How will southern hemisphere subtropical anticyclones respond to global warming? Mechanisms and seasonality in CMIP5 and CMIP6 model projections
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How will southern hemisphere subtropical anticyclones respond to global warming? Mechanisms and seasonality in CMIP5 and CMIP6 model projections

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  • Journal Title:
    Climate Dynamics
  • Description:
    The anticyclonic high-pressure systems over the southern-hemisphere, subtropical oceans have a significant influence on regional climate. Previous studies of how these subtropical anticyclones will change under global warming have focused on austral summer while the winter season has remained largely uninvestigated, together with the extent to which the dominant mechanisms proposed to explain the multi-model-mean changes similarly explain the inter-model spread in projections. This study addresses these gaps by focusing on the mechanisms that drive the spread in projected future changes across the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 and 6 archives during both the summer and winter seasons. The southern hemisphere anticyclones intensify in strength at their center and poleward flank during both seasons in the future projections analyzed. The inter-model spread in projected local diabatic heating changes accounts for a considerable amount of the inter-model spread in the response of the South Pacific anticyclone during both seasons. However, model differences in projected zonal-mean tropospheric static stability changes, which in turn influence baroclinic eddy growth, are most influential in determining the often-strong increases in sea level pressure seen along the poleward flank of all the anticyclones during both seasons. Increased zonal-mean tropospheric static stability over the subtropics is consistent with the poleward shift in Hadley cell edge and zonal-mean sea level pressure increases. The results suggest that differences in the extent of tropical-upper-tropospheric and subtropical-lower-tropospheric warming in the southern hemisphere, via their influence on tropospheric static stability, will largely determine the fate of the anticyclones over the coming century.
  • Source:
    Climate Dynamics, 55(3), 703-718
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  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
  • Compliance:
    PMC
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