Hadley Circulation Response to Orbital Precession. Part I: Aquaplanets

TitleHadley Circulation Response to Orbital Precession. Part I: Aquaplanets
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMerlis TM, Schneider T, Bordoni S, Eisenman I
JournalJournal of Climate
Date Published2013/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0894-8755
Accession NumberWOS:000314695500004
Keywordsatmosphere; climate; holocene; idealized gcm; monsoon dynamics; ocean; regime transitions; simulations; transport; wide-range

The response of the monsoonal and annual-mean Hadley circulation to orbital precession is examined in an idealized atmospheric general circulation model with an aquaplanet slab-ocean lower boundary. Contrary to expectations, the simulated monsoonal Hadley circulation is weaker when perihelion occurs at the summer solstice than when aphelion occurs at the summer solstice. The angular momentum balance and energy balance are examined to understand the mechanisms that produce this result. That the summer with stronger insolation has a weaker circulation is the result of an increase in the atmosphere's energetic stratification, the gross moist stability, which increases more than the amount required to balance the change in atmospheric energy flux divergence necessitated by the change in top-of-atmosphere net radiation. The solstice-season changes result in annual-mean Hadley circulation changes (e.g., changes in circulation strength).

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