The climate response to atmospheric aerosols, including their effects on dominant modes of climate variability like El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), remains highly uncertain. This is due to several sources of uncertainty, including aerosol emission, transport, removal, vertical distribution, and radiative properties. Here, we conduct coupled ocean‐atmosphere simulations with two versions of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) driven by semiempirical fine‐mode aerosol direct radiative effects without dust and sea salt. Aerosol atmospheric heating off the west coast of Africa—most of which is due to biomass burning—leads to a significant atmospheric dynamical response, including localized ascent and upper‐level divergence. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 6 (CMIP6) biomass burning simulations support this response. Moreover, CESM shows that the anomalous aerosol heating in the Atlantic triggers an atmospheric teleconnection to the tropical Pacific, including strengthening of the Walker circulation. The easterly trade winds accelerate, and through coupled ocean‐atmosphere processes and the Bjerknes feedback, a La Niña‐like response develops. Observations also support a relationship between south African biomass burning emissions and ENSO, with La Niña events preceding strong south African biomass burning in boreal fall. Our simulations suggest a possible two‐way feedback between ENSO and south African biomass burning, with La Niña promoting more biomass burning emissions, which may then strengthen the developing La Niña.
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Science Advances
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures impact precipitation across the basin through coupled ocean‐atmosphere responses to changes in climate. To understand the hydroclimate response over the western Indian Ocean and equatorial east Africa to different forcing mechanisms, we present four new proxy reconstructions from core VM19‐193 (2.98°N, 51.47°E) that span the last 250 ky. Sub‐surface water temperatures (Sub‐T; TEX86) show strong precessional (23 ky) variability that is primarily influenced by maximum incoming solar radiation (insolation) during the Northern Hemisphere spring season, likely indicating that local insolation dominates the upper water column at this tropical location over time. Leaf waxes, on the other hand, reflect two different precipitation signals:
δ13C wax(in phase with boreal fall insolation) is likely reflecting vegetation changes in response to local rainfall over east Africa, whereas δD precip(primarily driven by boreal summer insolation) represents changes in regional circulation associated with the summer monsoon. Glacial‐interglacial changes in ocean temperatures support glacial shelf exposure over the Maritime Continent in the eastern Indian Ocean and the subsequent weakening of the Indian Walker Circulation as a mechanism driving 100 ky climate variability across the tropical Indo‐Pacific. Additionally, the 100 ky spectral power in δD precipsupports a basin‐wide weakening of summer monsoon circulation in response to glacial climates. Overall, the proxy records from VM19‐193 indicate that both precession and glacial‐interglacial cycles exert control over hydroclimate at this tropical location.
Abstract Different oceanic and atmospheric mechanisms have been proposed to describe the response of the tropical Pacific to global warming, yet large uncertainties persist on their relative importance and potential interaction. Here, we use idealized experiments forced with a wide range of both abrupt and gradual CO2 increases in a coupled climate model (CESM) together with a simplified box model to explore the interaction between, and time scales of, different mechanisms driving Walker circulation changes. We find a robust transient response to CO2 forcing across all simulations, lasting between 20 and 100 years, depending on how abruptly the system is perturbed. This initial response is characterized by the strengthening of the Indo-Pacific zonal SST gradient and a westward shift of the Walker cell. In contrast, the equilibrium response, emerging after 50–100 years, is characterized by a warmer cold tongue, reduced zonal winds, and a weaker Walker cell. The magnitude of the equilibrium response in the fully coupled model is set primarily by enhanced extratropical warming and weaker oceanic subtropical cells, reducing the supply of cold water to equatorial upwelling. In contrast, in the slab ocean simulations, the weakening of the Walker cell is more modest and driven by differential evaporative cooling along the equator. The “weaker Walker” mechanism implied by atmospheric energetics is also observed for the midtroposphere vertical velocity, but its surface manifestation is not robust. Correctly diagnosing the balance between these transient and equilibrium responses will improve understanding of ongoing and future climate change in the tropical Pacific.more » « less
Abstract. Despite offsetting global mean surface temperature, various studies demonstrated that stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) could influence the recovery of stratospheric ozone and have important impacts on stratospheric and tropospheric circulation, thereby potentially playing an important role in modulating regional and seasonal climate variability. However, so far, most of the assessments of such an approach have come from climate model simulations in which SO2 is injected only in a single location or a set of locations. Here we use CESM2-WACCM6 SAI simulations under a comprehensive set of SAI strategies achieving the same global mean surface temperature with different locations and/or timing of injections, namely an equatorial injection, an annual injection of equal amounts of SO2 at 15∘ N and 15∘ S, an annual injection of equal amounts of SO2 at 30∘ N and 30∘ S, and a polar strategy injecting SO2 at 60∘ N and 60∘ S only in spring in each hemisphere. We demonstrate that despite achieving the same global mean surface temperature, the different strategies result in contrastingly different magnitudes of the aerosol-induced lower stratospheric warming, stratospheric moistening, strengthening of stratospheric polar jets in both hemispheres, and changes in the speed of the residual circulation. These impacts tend to maximise under the equatorial injection strategy and become smaller as the aerosols are injected away from the Equator into the subtropics and higher latitudes. In conjunction with the differences in direct radiative impacts at the surface, these different stratospheric changes drive different impacts on the extratropical modes of variability (Northern and Southern Annular modes), including important consequences on the northern winter surface climate, and on the intensity of tropical tropospheric Walker and Hadley circulations, which drive tropical precipitation patterns. Finally, we demonstrate that the choice of injection strategy also plays a first-order role in the future evolution of stratospheric ozone under SAI throughout the globe. Overall, our results contribute to an increased understanding of the fine interplay of various radiative, dynamical, and chemical processes driving the atmospheric circulation and ozone response to SAI and lay the foundation for designing an optimal SAI strategy that could form a basis of future multi-model intercomparisons.
null (Ed.)Abstract In the past 40 years, the global annual mean surface temperature has experienced a nonuniform warming, differing from the spatially uniform warming simulated by the forced responses of large multimodel ensembles to anthropogenic forcing. Rather, it exhibits significant asymmetry between the Arctic and Antarctic, with intermittent and spatially varying warming trends along the Northern Hemisphere (NH) midlatitudes and a slight cooling in the tropical eastern Pacific. In particular, this “wavy” pattern of temperature changes over the NH midlatitudes features strong cooling over Eurasia in boreal winter. Here, we show that these nonuniform features of surface temperature changes are likely tied together by tropical eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs), via a global atmospheric teleconnection. Using six reanalyses, we find that this teleconnection can be consistently obtained as a leading circulation mode in the past century. This tropically driven teleconnection is associated with a Pacific SST pattern resembling the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), and hereafter referred to as the IPO-related bipolar teleconnection (IPO-BT). Further, two paleo-reanalysis reconstruction datasets show that the IPO-BT is a robust recurrent mode over the past 400 and 2000 years. The IPO-BT mode may thus serve as an important internal mode that regulates high-latitude climate variability on multidecadal time scales, favoring a warming (cooling) episode in the Arctic accompanied by cooling (warming) over Eurasia and the Southern Ocean (SO). Thus, the spatial nonuniformity of recent surface temperature trends may be partially explained by the enhanced appearance of the IPO-BT mode by a transition of the IPO toward a cooling phase in the eastern Pacific in the past decades.more » « less