Influence of the extratropical ocean circulation on the intertropical convergence zone in an idealized coupled general circulation model

TitleInfluence of the extratropical ocean circulation on the intertropical convergence zone in an idealized coupled general circulation model
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFuckar N.S, Xie SP, Farneti R., Maroon E.A, Frierson D.MW
JournalJournal of Climate
Date Published2013/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0894-8755
Accession NumberWOS:000321259000014
Keywordsatlantic; atmosphere; Atmosphere-ocean interaction; circulation; drake; eastern pacific; General circulation models; global climate; Hadley circulation; Meridional overturning; Meridional overturning circulation; part i; passage; precipitation; teleconnections; thermohaline; tropical response

The authors present coupled model simulations in which the ocean's meridional overturning circulation (MOC) sets the zonal mean location of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in the hemisphere with deep-water production. They use a coarse-resolution single-basin sector coupled general circulation model (CGCM) with simplified atmospheric physics and two idealized land-sea distributions.In an equatorially symmetric closed-basin setting, unforced climate asymmetry develops because of the advective circulation-salinity feedback that amplifies the asymmetry of the deep-MOC cell and the upper-ocean meridional salinity transport. It confines the deep-water production and the dominant extratropical ocean heat release to a randomly selected hemisphere. The resultant ocean heat transport (OHT) toward the hemisphere with the deep-water source is partially compensated by the atmospheric heat transport (AHT) across the equator via an asymmetric Hadley circulation, setting the ITCZ in the hemisphere warmed by the ocean.When a circumpolar channel is open at subpolar latitudes, the circumpolar current disrupts the poleward transport of the upper-ocean saline water and suppresses deep-water formation poleward of the channel. The MOC adjusts by lowering the main pycnocline and shifting the deep-water production into the opposite hemisphere from the channel, and the ITCZ location follows the deep-water source again because of the Hadley circulation adjustment to cross-equatorial OHT. The climate response is sensitive to the sill depth of the channel but becomes saturated when the sill is deeper than the main pycnocline depth in subtropics. In simulations with a circumpolar channel, the ITCZ is in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) because of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) circumpolar flow that forces northward OHT.

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