How anthropogenic forcing could change tropical cyclones (TCs) is a keen societal concern owing to its significant socio-economic impacts. However, a global picture of the anthropogenic aerosol effect on TCs has not yet emerged. Here we show that anthropogenic aerosol emission can reduce northern hemisphere (NH) TCs but increase southern hemisphere (SH) TCs primarily through altering vertical wind shear and mid-tropospheric upward motion in the TC formation zones. These circulation changes are driven by anthropogenic aerosol-induced NH-cooler-than-SH and NH-increased versus SH-decreased meridional (equator to mid-latitudes) temperature gradients. The cooler NH produces a low-level southward cross-equatorial transport of moist static energy, weakening the NH ascent in the TC formation zones; meanwhile, the increased meridional temperature gradients strengthen vertical wind shear, reducing NH TC genesis. The opposite is true for the SH. The results may help to constrain the models’ uncertainty in the future TC projection. Reduction of anthropogenic aerosol emission may increase the NH TCs threat.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Nature Publishing Group
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Nature Communications
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
null (Ed.)Abstract Earlier studies have proposed many semiempirical relations between climate and tropical cyclone (TC) activity. To explore these relations, this study conducts idealized aquaplanet experiments using both symmetric and asymmetric sea surface temperature (SST) forcings. With zonally symmetric SST forcings that have a maximum at 10°N, reducing meridional SST gradients around an Earth-like reference state leads to a weakening and southward displacement of the intertropical convergence zone. With nearly flat meridional gradients, warm-hemisphere TC numbers increase by nearly 100 times due particularly to elevated high-latitude TC activity. Reduced meridional SST gradients contribute to a poleward expansion of the tropics, which is associated with a poleward migration of the latitudes where TCs form or reach their lifetime maximum intensity. However, these changes cannot be simply attributed to the poleward expansion of Hadley circulation. Introducing zonally asymmetric SST forcings tends to decrease the global TC number. Regional SST warming—prescribed with or without SST cooling at other longitudes—affects local TC activity but does not necessarily increase TC genesis. While regional warming generally suppresses TC activity in remote regions with relatively cold SSTs, one experiment shows a surprisingly large increase of TC genesis. This increase of TC genesis over relatively cold SSTs is related to local tropospheric cooling that reduces static stability near 15°N and vertical wind shear around 25°N. Modeling results are discussed with scaling analyses and have implications for the application of the “convective quasi-equilibrium and weak temperature gradient” framework.more » « less
Abstract. Anthropogenic aerosols (AAs) induce global and regionaltropospheric circulation adjustments due to the radiative energyperturbations. The overall cooling effects of AA, which mask a portion ofglobal warming, have been the subject of many studies but still have largeuncertainty. The interhemispheric contrast in AA forcing has also beendemonstrated to induce a major shift in atmospheric circulation. However,the zonal redistribution of AA emissions since start of the 20th century, with anotable decline in the Western Hemisphere (North America and Europe) and acontinuous increase in the Eastern Hemisphere (South Asia and East Asia),has received less attention. Here we utilize four sets of single-model initial-condition large-ensemblesimulations with various combinations of external forcings to quantify theradiative and circulation responses due to the spatial redistribution of AAforcing during 1980–2020. In particular, we focus on the distinct climateresponses due to fossil-fuel-related (FF) aerosols emitted from the Western Hemisphere (WH) versus the Eastern Hemisphere (EH). The zonal (west to east) redistribution of FF aerosol emission since the1980s leads to a weakening negative radiative forcing over the WHmid-to-high latitudes and an enhancing negative radiative forcing over theEH at lower latitudes. Overall, the FF aerosol leads to a northward shift of the Hadley cell and an equatorward shift of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) jet stream. Here, two sets of regional FF simulations (Fix_EastFF1920and Fix_WestFF1920) are performed to separate the roles ofzonally asymmetric aerosol forcings. We find that the WH aerosol forcing,located in the extratropics, dominates the northward shift of the Hadley cell by inducing an interhemispheric imbalance in radiative forcing. On the other hand, the EH aerosol forcing, located closer to the tropics, dominates the equatorward shift of the NH jet stream. The consistent relationship between the jet stream shift and the top-of-atmosphere net solar flux (FSNTOA) gradient suggests that the latter serves as a rule-of-thumb guidance for the expected shift of the NH jet stream. The surface effect of EH aerosol forcing (mainly from low- to midlatitudes)is confined more locally and only induces weak warming over the northeastern Pacific and North Atlantic. In contrast, the WH aerosol reduction leads to a large-scale warming over NH mid-to-high latitudes that largely offsets the cooling over the northeastern Pacific due to EH aerosols. The simulated competing roles of regional aerosol forcings in drivingatmospheric circulation and surface temperature responses during the recentdecades highlight the importance of considering zonally asymmetric forcings(west to east) and also their meridional locations within the NH (tropicalvs. extratropical).more » « less
Relative contributions to the zonal mean meridional heat transport by the climatological annual mean, climatological annual variation, synoptic, intra‐seasonal and lower‐frequency motions were examined based on the ERA‐Interim reanalysis data for the period of 1981–2015. The meridional heat transport analysed in this study only includes the component related to meridional wind and temperature. In the tropics, the climatological annual mean circulations dominate the long‐term mean meridional heat transport, while the interaction between the climatological annual mean temperature and the seasonal anomalous flow largely contributes to the seasonal variation of the meridional heat transport. In the middle latitudes, the climatological annual mean circulations and transient eddies (mostly synoptic and intra‐seasonal eddies) are of roughly equal importance in the poleward heat transport, leading to the maximum poleward heat transport around 50°N/S. The upper‐ and lower‐tropospheric heat transports by the climatological annual mean circulations appear opposite, with the magnitude of the lower‐tropospheric transport being greater. The preferred maximum zonal mean heat transport at 50°N by the climatological mean flow is attributed to the maximum zonal mean low‐level southerly in situ. The preferred peak latitude of the mid‐latitude poleward heat transport by synoptic eddies near 50°N arises from the combined effect of the strong synoptic‐scale meridional wind and temperature variabilities in situ and their in‐phase relationship. The heat transport by tropical cyclones (TCs) was estimated by applying a statistical relationship between TC intensity and the vertically integrated temperature averaged over the TC core region derived from high‐resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations. For northern hemisphere summer, TCs contribute about 35% of the total heat transport in the active TC regions, suggesting that TCs play a critical role in the regional meridional heat transport.
The sea surface temperature (SST) contrast between the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Southern Hemisphere (SH) influences the location of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and the intensity of the monsoon systems. This study examines the contributions of external forcing and unforced internal variability to the interhemispheric SST contrast in HadSST3 and ERSSTv5 observations, and 10 models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) from 1881 to 2012. Using multimodel mean fingerprints, a significant influence of anthropogenic, but not natural, forcing is detected in the interhemispheric SST contrast, with the observed response larger than that of the model mean in ERSSTv5. The forced response consists of asymmetric NH–SH SST cooling from the mid-twentieth century to around 1980, followed by opposite NH–SH SST warming. The remaining best-estimate residual or unforced component is marked by NH–SH SST maxima in the 1930s and mid-1960s, and a rapid NH–SH SST decrease around 1970. Examination of decadal shifts in the observed interhemispheric SST contrast highlights the shift around 1970 as the most prominent from 1881 to 2012. Both NH and SH SST variability contributed to the shift, which appears not to be attributable to external forcings. Most models examined fail to capture such large-magnitude shifts in their control simulations, although some models with high interhemispheric SST variability are able to produce them. Large-magnitude shifts produced by the control simulations feature disparate spatial SST patterns, some of which are consistent with changes typically associated with the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC).
The connection relating upper-ocean salinity stratification in the form of oceanic barrier layers to tropical cyclone (TC) intensification is investigated in this study. Previous works disagree on whether ocean salinity is a negligible factor on TC intensification. Relationships derived in many of these studies are based on observations, which can be sparse or incomplete, or uncoupled models, which neglect air–sea feedbacks. Here, idealized ensemble simulations of TCs performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model coupled to the 3D Price–Weller–Pinkel (PWP) ocean model facilitate examination of the TC–upper-ocean system in a controlled, high-resolution, mesoscale environment. Idealized vertical ocean profiles are modeled after barrier layer profiles of the Amazon–Orinoco river plume region, where barrier layers are defined as vertical salinity gradients between the mixed and isothermal layer depths. Our results reveal that for TCs of category 1 hurricane strength or greater, thick (24–30 m) barrier layers may favor further intensification by 6%–15% when averaging across ensemble members. Conversely, weaker cyclones are hindered by thick barrier layers. Reduced sea surface temperature cooling below the TC inner core is the primary reason for additional intensification. Sensitivity tests of the results to storm translation speed, initial oceanic mixed layer temperature, and atmospheric vertical wind shear provide a more comprehensive analysis. Last, it is shown that the ensemble mean intensity results are similar when using a 3D or 1D version of PWP.