Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Controls on the width of tropical precipitation and its contraction under global warming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 1/01/50)

Author(s)

A. Donohoe, A.R. Atwood, M.P. Byrne

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Climate models robustly and unanimously simulate narrowing of the intense tropical precipitation under greenhouse gas forcing. We argue that the meridional width of tropical precipitation is controlled by the seasonal meridional range of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). The contraction of tropical precipitation under greenhouse forcing results from a reduced seasonal range of ITCZ migration. An energetic theory -- similar to the energetic theory for ITCZ shifts based on the hemispheric contrast of energy input to the atmosphere-- is developed. The meridional width of tropical precipitation is proportional to the seasonal range of the inter-hemispheric contrast in atmospheric heating divided by the efficiency of atmospheric cross-equatorial heat transport. Climate models are biased toward overly expansive tropical precipitation resulting from an exaggerated seasonal atmospheric heating. The robust contraction of tropical precipitation under global warming results from increased efficiency of inter-hemispheric energy transport consistent with enhanced gross moist stability of the tropical atmosphere.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
VolumeIn press
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jun 2019

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Response of the intertropical convergence zone to climate change: location, width and strength

    Byrne, M. P., Pendergrass, A., Rapp, A. & Wodzicki, K., 9 Aug 2018, In : Current Climate Change Reports. First Online, 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Atmospheric dynamics feedback: concept, simulations and climate implications

    Byrne, M. & Schneider, T., 26 Mar 2018, In : Journal of Climate. 31, 8, p. 3249-3264

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Warm and cold wet-states in the western United States during the Pliocene-Pleistocene

    Ibarra, D., Oster, J., Winnick, M., Caves Rugenstein, J., Byrne, M. P. & Chamberlain, P., 15 Feb 2018, In : Geology. 46, 4, p. 355-358 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Understanding decreases in land relative humidity with global warming: conceptual model and GCM simulations

    Byrne, M. P. & O'Gorman, P., 15 Dec 2016, In : Journal of Climate. 29, p. 9045-9061 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Discharge of meteoric water in the eastern Norwegian Sea since the last glacial period

    Hong, W-L., Lepland, A., Himmler, T., Kim, J-H., Chand, S., Sahy, D., Solomon, E. A., Rae, J. W. B., Martma, T., Nam, S-I. & Knies, J., 19 Jul 2019, In : Geophysical Research Letters. 46, 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Indigenous organic-oxidized fluid interactions in the Tissint Mars meteorite

    Jaramillo, E. A., Royle, S. H., Claire, M. W., Kounaves, S. P. & Sephton, M. A., 28 Mar 2019, In : Geophysical Research Letters. 46, 6, p. 3090-3098

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Natural analogue constraints on Europa's non-ice surface material

    Fox-Powell, M. G., Osinski, G. R., Applin, D., Stromberg, J. M., Gázquez, F., Cloutis, E., Allender, E. & Cousins, C. R., 16 Jun 2019, In : Geophysical Research Letters. 46, 11, p. 5759-5767 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Climatic effect of Antarctic meltwater overwhelmed by concurrent Northern hemispheric melt

    Ivanovic, R. F., Gregoire, L. J., Wickert, A. D. & Burke, A., 16 Jun 2018, In : Geophysical Research Letters. 45, 11, p. 5681-5689 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 259580449