ESRL/PSD Seminar Series

Expansion of the Hadley cell under global warming

Jian Lu, NCAR


Consistent weakening and poleward expansion of the Hadley circulation are diagnosed in climate change simulations of the IPCC AR4 project. Associated with this widening is a concomitant poleward expansion of the subtropical dry zone. Simple scaling analysis supports the notion that the poleward extent of the Hadley cell is set by the location where the thermally driven jet first becomes baroclinically unstable. The expansion of the Hadley cell is caused by an increase in the subtropical static stability, which pushes poleward the baroclinic instability zone and hence the outer boundary of the Hadley cell.

Contrasting the mechanisms responsible for the expansion of the Hadley cell under global warming versus the expansion driven by the La Nina-like equatorial Pacific cooling unravels distinct sources for the two conditions ---an extratropical source for the former and a tropical source for the latter.

PSD-South Conference Room (1D403)
Wednesday, 31 January 2007
2:00 pm Refreshments at 1:50 pm

SECURITY: If you are coming from outside the NOAA campus, please be advised that you will need an on-site sponsor. Please contact that person in advance of the seminar to be put on the list and allow 10 minutes extra on the day of the seminar. Please contact Joe Barsugli (303-497-6042) or Lucia Harrop (303-497-6188) at least a day before the seminar if you have any questions.