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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-08
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 31 (2018): 7565-7581, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0108.1.
    Description: There is mounting evidence that the width of the tropics has increased over the last few decades, but there are large differences in reported expansion rates. This is, likely, in part due to the wide variety of metrics that have been used to define the tropical width. Here we perform a systematic investigation into the relationship among nine metrics of the zonal-mean tropical width using preindustrial control and abrupt quadrupling of CO2 simulations from a suite of coupled climate models. It is shown that the latitudes of the edge of the Hadley cell, the midlatitude eddy-driven jet, the edge of the subtropical dry zones, and the Southern Hemisphere subtropical high covary interannually and exhibit similar long-term responses to a quadrupling of CO2. However, metrics based on the outgoing longwave radiation, the position of the subtropical jet, the break in the tropopause, and the Northern Hemisphere subtropical high have very weak covariations with the above metrics and/or respond differently to increases in CO2 and thus are not good indicators of the expansion of the Hadley cell or subtropical dry zone. The differing variability and responses to increases in CO2 among metrics highlights that care is needed when choosing metrics for studies of the width of the tropics and that it is important to make sure the metric used is appropriate for the specific phenomena and impacts being examined.
    Description: DW acknowledges support from NSF AGS-1403676.
    Description: 2019-02-08
    Keywords: Hadley circulation ; Hydrologic cycle ; Meridional overturning circulation
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-08-08
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 32(5) (2019): 1551-1571. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0444.1.
    Description: Previous studies have documented a poleward shift in the subsiding branches of Earth’s Hadley circulation since 1979 but have disagreed on the causes of these observed changes and the ability of global climate models to capture them. This synthesis paper reexamines a number of contradictory claims in the past literature and finds that the tropical expansion indicated by modern reanalyses is within the bounds of models’ historical simulations for the period 1979–2005. Earlier conclusions that models were underestimating the observed trends relied on defining the Hadley circulation using the mass streamfunction from older reanalyses. The recent observed tropical expansion has similar magnitudes in the annual mean in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Southern Hemisphere (SH), but models suggest that the factors driving the expansion differ between the hemispheres. In the SH, increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and stratospheric ozone depletion contributed to tropical expansion over the late twentieth century, and if GHGs continue increasing, the SH tropical edge is projected to shift further poleward over the twenty-first century, even as stratospheric ozone concentrations recover. In the NH, the contribution of GHGs to tropical expansion is much smaller and will remain difficult to detect in a background of large natural variability, even by the end of the twenty-first century. To explain similar recent tropical expansion rates in the two hemispheres, natural variability must be taken into account. Recent coupled atmosphere–ocean variability, including the Pacific decadal oscillation, has contributed to tropical expansion. However, in models forced with observed sea surface temperatures, tropical expansion rates still vary widely because of internal atmospheric variability.
    Description: We thank Ori Adam, Nick Davis, Isaac Held, Tim Merlis, Lorenzo Polvani, and one anonymous reviewer for helpful comments and suggestions. We thank U.S. CLIVAR and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) for funding working groups that stimulated this project. We thank all members of the working groups for helpful discussions, and the U.S. CLIVAR and ISSI offices and their sponsoring agencies (NASA,NOAA,NSF,DOE, ESA, Swiss Confederation, Swiss Academy of Sciences, and University of Bern) for supporting these groups and activities.We acknowledge WCRP’sWorking Group on CoupledModelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modeling groups (Table 2) for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP, the U.S. DOE PCMDI provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals.
    Description: 2019-08-06
    Keywords: Hadley circulation ; Climate models ; Reanalysis data ; Multidecadal variability ; Pacific decadal oscillation ; Trends
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-01-13
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 48 (2018): 1555-1566, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0231.1.
    Description: A primary challenge in modeling flow over shallow coral reefs is accurately characterizing the bottom drag. Previous studies over continental shelves and sandy beaches suggest surface gravity waves should enhance the drag on the circulation over coral reefs. The influence of surface gravity waves on drag over four platform reefs in the Red Sea is examined using observations from 6-month deployments of current and pressure sensors burst sampling at 1Hz for 4–5min. Depth-average current fluctuations U0 within each burst are dominated by wave orbital velocities uw that account for 80%–90%of the burst variance and have a magnitude of order 10 cm s21, similar to the lower-frequency depth-average current Uavg. Previous studies have shown that the cross-reef bottom stress balances the pressure gradient over these reefs. A bottom stress estimate that neglects the waves (rCdaUavgjUavgj, where r is water density and Cda is a drag coefficient) balances the observed pressure gradient when uw is smaller than Uavg but underestimates the pressure gradient when uw is larger than Uavg (by a factor of 3–5 when uw 5 2Uavg), indicating the neglected waves enhance the bottom stress. In contrast, a bottom stress estimate that includes the waves [rCda(Uavg 1 U0)jUavg 1 U0j)] balances the observed pressure gradient independent of the relative size of uw and Uavg, indicating that this estimate accounts for the wave enhancement of the bottom stress. A parameterization proposed by Wright and Thompson provides a reasonable estimate of the total bottom stress (including the waves) given the burst-averaged current and the wave orbital velocity.
    Description: The Red Sea field program was supported by Awards USA 00002 and KSA 00011 made by KAUST. S. Lentz was supported for the analysis by NSF Award OCE-1558343.
    Description: 2019-01-13
    Keywords: Coastal flows ; Currents ; Dynamics ; Gravity waves ; Turbulence
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 28 (2015): 5885–5907, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00635.1.
    Description: The structure, variability, and regional connectivity of the Tokar Gap jet (TGJ) are described using WRF Model analyses and supporting atmospheric datasets from the East African–Red Sea–Arabian Peninsula (EARSAP) region during summer 2008. Sources of the TGJ’s unique quasi-diurnal nature and association with atypically high atmospheric moisture transport are traced back to larger-scale atmospheric dynamics influencing its forcing. These include seasonal shifts in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), variability of the monsoon and North African wind regimes, and ties to other orographic flow patterns. Strong modulation of the TGJ by regional processes such as the desert heating cycle, wind convergence at the ITCZ surface front, and the local land–sea breeze cycle are described. Two case studies present the interplay of these influences in detail. The first of these was an “extreme” gap wind event on 12 July, in which horizontal velocities in the Tokar Gap exceeded 26 m s−1 and the flow from the jet extended the full width of the Red Sea basin. This event coincided with development of a large mesoscale convective complex (MCC) and precipitation at the entrance of the Tokar Gap as well as smaller gaps downstream along the Arabian Peninsula. More typical behavior of the TGJ during the 2008 summer is discussed using a second case study on 19 July. Downwind impact of the TGJ is evaluated using Lagrangian model trajectories and analysis of the lateral moisture fluxes (LMFs) during jet events. These results suggest means by which TGJ contributes to large LMFs and has potential bearing upon Sahelian rainfall and MCC development.
    Description: This work was supported by a grant from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as well as National Science Foundation Grant OCE0927017 and from DOD (MURI) Grant N000141110087, administered by the Office of Naval Research.
    Description: 2016-02-01
    Keywords: Africa ; Orographic effects ; Monsoons ; Atmosphere-land interaction ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Hydrometeorology
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-06-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 1061-1075, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0248.1.
    Description: A major challenge in modeling the circulation over coral reefs is uncertainty in the drag coefficient because existing estimates span two orders of magnitude. Current and pressure measurements from five coral reefs are used to estimate drag coefficients based on depth-average flow, assuming a balance between the cross-reef pressure gradient and the bottom stress. At two sites wind stress is a significant term in the cross-reef momentum balance and is included in estimating the drag coefficient. For the five coral reef sites and a previous laboratory study, estimated drag coefficients increase as the water depth decreases consistent with open channel flow theory. For example, for a typical coral reef hydrodynamic roughness of 5 cm, observational estimates, and the theory indicate that the drag coefficient decreases from 0.4 in 20 cm of water to 0.005 in 10 m of water. Synthesis of results from the new field observations with estimates from previous field and laboratory studies indicate that coral reef drag coefficients range from 0.2 to 0.005 and hydrodynamic roughnesses generally range from 2 to 8 cm. While coral reef drag coefficients depend on factors such as physical roughness and surface waves, a substantial fraction of the scatter in estimates of coral reef drag coefficients is due to variations in water depth.
    Description: The Red Sea field program was supported by Awards USA 00002 and KSA 00011 made by KAUST to S. Lentz and J. Churchill. The Palau field program was funded by NSF Award OCE-1220529.
    Keywords: Ocean ; Currents ; Wind stress ; Boundary layer ; Sea level ; Tides
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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