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Responses of the Tropical Atmospheric Circulation to Climate Change and Connection to the Hydrological Cycle
  • Published Date:
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    Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol 46, 549-580.
Filetype[PDF-701.07 KB]

  • Description:
    This review describes the climate change-induced responses of the tropical atmospheric circulation and their impacts on the hydrological cycle. We depict the theoretically predicted changes and diagnose physical mechanisms for observational and model-projected trends in large-scale and regional climate. The tropical circulation slows down with moisture and stratification changes, connecting to a poleward expansion of the Hadley cells and a shift of the intertropical convergence zone. Redistributions of regional precipitation consist of thermodynamic and dynamical components, including a strong offset between moisture increase and circulation weakening throughout the tropics. This allows other dynamical processes to dominate local circulation changes, such as a surface warming pattern effect over oceans and multiple mechanisms over land. To improve reliability in climate projections, more fundamental understandings of pattern formation, circulation change, and the balance of various processes redistributing land rainfall are suggested to be important.
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