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Physical and dynamical analysis of climate change

PI: Edgar Perez
Institution: CCA-UNAM
We are interested in understanding whether as a result of a stronger differential heating at mid- and higher latitudes with respect to the tropics (as some numerical simulations have suggested), the local Hadley circulation and the mid-latitude waves would result affected. If the regional Hadley cell becomes weaker a diminished convective activity in the Inter-Tropical zone of convergence can be expected (at least in zonal averages) as a consequence of the weaker convergence of tropical flows. This would affect the monsoonic systems that characterize the summer rainfall in extensive tropical and subtropical regions. Moreover, if the strength of large scale and synoptic waves becomes affected at mid-latitudes, it would decrease the transport of heat from the tropics to mid-latitudes and the westward transport of momentum. This ultimately might affect the strength of the trade winds and would therefore cause alterations to the climate not only in the tropics but across the planet. the winter climate is highly influenced by the activity of mid-latitude waves. The so-called "nortes" are the result of these waves interacting with lower latitudes. The nortes and cold fronts associated with these waves are not only responsible for changing temperature and regional wind patterns but also bring about winter rainfall of considerable importance for Mexico. An alteration to the dynamics of these waves would be manifested in changes to the hydrological cycle in several regions of the country.

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate