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Synchronized spatial shifts of Hadley and Walker circulations

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Title
Synchronized spatial shifts of Hadley and Walker circulations
Author(s)
Yun, Kyung-Sook; Timmermann, Axel; Stuecker, Malte
Publication Date
2021-02
Journal
EARTH SYSTEM DYNAMICS, v.12, no.1, pp.121 - 132
Publisher
COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH
Abstract
The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) influences the most extensive tropospheric circulation cells on our planet, known as Hadley and Walker circulations. Previous studies have largely focused on the effect of ENSO on the strength of these cells. However, what has remained uncertain is whether interannual sea surface temperature anomalies can also cause synchronized spatial shifts of these circulations. Here, by examining the spatiotemporal relationship between Hadley and Walker cells in observations and climate model experiments, we demonstrate that the seasonally evolving warm-pool sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the decay phase of an El Nino event generate a meridionally asymmetric Walker circulation response, which couples the zonal and meridional atmospheric overturning circulations. This process, which can be characterized as a phase-synchronized spatial shift in Walker and Hadley cells, is accompanied by cross-equatorial northwesterly low-level flow that diverges from an area of anomalous drying in the western North Pacific and converges towards a region with anomalous moistening in the southern central Pacific. Our results show that the SST-induced concurrent spatial shifts of the two circulations are climatically relevant as they can further amplify extratropical precipitation variability on interannual timescales.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/9176
DOI
10.5194/esd-12-121-2021
ISSN
2190-4979
Appears in Collections:
Center for Climate Physics(기후물리 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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