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Creators/Authors contains: "Xie, Shang-Ping"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 17, 2023
  2. Abstract Cross-equatorial ocean heat transport (OHT) changes have been found to damp meridional shifts of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) induced by hemispheric asymmetries in radiative forcing. Zonal-mean energy transport theories and idealized model simulations have suggested that these OHT changes occur primarily due to wind-driven changes in the Indo-Pacific’s shallow subtropical cells (STCs) and buoyancy-driven changes in the deep Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). In this study we explore the partitioning between buoyancy and momentum forcing in the ocean’s response. We adjust the top-of-atmosphere solar forcing to cool the Northern Hemisphere (NH) extratropics in a novel set of comprehensive climate model simulations designed to isolate buoyancy-forced and momentum-forced changes. In this case of NH high-latitude forcing, we confirm that buoyancy-driven changes in the AMOC dominate in the Atlantic. However, in contrast with prior expectations, buoyancy-driven changes in the STCs are the primary driver of the heat transport changes in the Indo-Pacific. We find that buoyancy-forced Indo-Pacific STC changes transport nearly 4 times the amount of heat across the equator as the shallower wind-driven STC changes. This buoyancy-forced STC response arises from extratropical density perturbations that are amplified by the low cloud feedback and communicated to the tropics by themore »ventilated thermocline. While the ocean’s specific response is dependent on the forcing scheme, our results suggest that partitioning the ocean’s total response to energy perturbations into buoyancy and momentum forcing provides basin-specific insight into key aspects of how the ocean damps ITCZ migrations that previous zonal-mean frameworks omit.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 15, 2023
  3. Abstract The Indian Ocean has an intriguing intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) south of the equator year-round, which remains largely unexplored. Here we investigate this Indian Ocean ITCZ and the mechanisms for its origin. With a weak semiannual cycle, this ITCZ peaks in January–February with the strongest rainfall and southernmost location and a northeast–southwest orientation from the Maritime Continent to Madagascar, reaches a minimum around May with a zonal orientation, grows until its secondary maximum around September with a northwest–southeast orientation, weakens slightly until December, and then regains its mature phase in January. During austral summer, the Indian Ocean ITCZ exists over maximum surface moist static energy (MSE), consistent with convective quasi-equilibrium theory. This relationship breaks up during boreal summer when the surface MSE maximizes in the northern monsoon region. The position and orientation of the Indian Ocean ITCZ can be simulated well in both a linear dynamical model and the state-of-the-art Community Atmosphere Model version 6 (CAM6) when driven by observed sea surface temperature (SST). To quantify the contributions of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and free-atmosphere processes to this ITCZ, we homogenize the free-atmosphere diabatic heating over the Indian Ocean in CAM6. In response, the ITCZ weakens significantly, owingmore »to a weakened circulation and deep convection. Therefore, in CAM6, the SST drives the Indian Ocean ITCZ directly through PBL processes and indirectly via free-atmosphere diabatic heating. Their contributions are comparable during most seasons, except during the austral summer when the free-atmosphere diabatic heating dominates the mature-phase ITCZ. Significance Statement The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is the globe-encircling band where trade winds converge and strong rainfall occurs in the tropics. Its rains provide life-supporting water to billions of people. Its associated latent heating invigorates the tropical atmospheric circulation and influences climate and weather across the planet. The ITCZ is located north of the equator in most tropical oceans, except in the Indian Ocean where it sits south of the equator year-around. In contrast to the well-known northern ITCZs, the origin of the southern ITCZ in the Indian Ocean remains unknown. This work provides the first explanation for how ocean surface temperature works together with processes in the lower and upper atmosphere to shape the unique ITCZ in the Indian Ocean.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 15, 2023
  4. Excessive precipitation over the southeastern tropical Pacific is a major common bias that persists through generations of global climate models. While recent studies suggest an overly warm Southern Ocean as the cause, models disagree on the quantitative importance of this remote mechanism in light of ocean circulation feedback. Here, using a multimodel experiment in which the Southern Ocean is radiatively cooled, we show a teleconnection from the Southern Ocean to the tropical Pacific that is mediated by a shortwave subtropical cloud feedback. Cooling the Southern Ocean preferentially cools the southeastern tropical Pacific, thereby shifting the eastern tropical Pacific rainbelt northward with the reduced precipitation bias. Regional cloud locking experiments confirm that the teleconnection efficiency depends on subtropical stratocumulus cloud feedback. This subtropical cloud feedback is too weak in most climate models, suggesting that teleconnections from the Southern Ocean to the tropical Pacific are stronger than widely thought.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  5. Abstract This study quantifies the contributions of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) variations during the boreal warm season to the interannual-to-decadal variability in tropical cyclone genesis frequency (TCGF) over the Northern Hemisphere ocean basins. The first seven leading modes of tropical SST variability are found to affect basinwide TCGF in one or more basins, and are related to canonical El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), global warming (GW), the Pacific meridional mode (PMM), Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO), Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), and the Atlantic meridional mode (AMM). These modes account for approximately 58%, 50%, and 56% of the variance in basinwide TCGF during 1969–2018 over the North Atlantic (NA), northeast Pacific (NEP), and northwest Pacific (NWP) Oceans, respectively. The SST effect is weak on TCGF variability in the north Indian Ocean. The SST modes dominating TCGF variability differ among the basins: ENSO, the AMO, AMM, and GW are dominant for the NA; ENSO and the AMO for the NEP; and the PMM, interannual AMO, and GW for the NWP. A specific mode may have opposite effects on TCGF in different basins, particularly between the NA and NEP. Sliding-window multiple linear regression analyses show that the SST effects on basinwide TCGF are stablemore »in time in the NA and NWP, but have strengthened since the 1990s in the NEP. The SST effects on local TC genesis and occurrence frequency are also explored, and the underlying physical mechanisms are examined by diagnosing a genesis potential index and its components.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 15, 2023
  6. Anthropogenic surface warming dominates and drives a global acceleration of the upper ocean currents in a warmer climate.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 22, 2023
  7. Abstract The reorganization of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is often associated with changes in Earth’s climate. These AMOC changes are communicated to the Indo-Pacific basins via wave processes and induce an overturning circulation anomaly that opposes the Atlantic changes on decadal to centennial time scales. We examine the role of this transient, interbasin overturning response, driven by an AMOC weakening, both in an ocean-only model with idealized geometry and in a coupled CO 2 quadrupling experiment, in which the ocean warms on two distinct time scales: a fast decadal surface warming and a slow centennial subsurface warming. We show that the transient interbasin overturning produces a zonal heat redistribution between the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific basins. Following a weakened AMOC, an anomalous northward heat transport emerges in the Indo-Pacific, which substantially compensates for the Atlantic southward heat transport anomaly. This zonal heat redistribution manifests as a thermal interbasin seesaw between the high-latitude North Atlantic and the subsurface Indo-Pacific and helps to explain why Antarctic temperature records generally show more gradual changes than the Northern Hemisphere during the last glacial period. In the coupled CO 2 quadrupling experiment, we find that the interbasin heat transport due to a weakened AMOCmore »contributes substantially to the slow centennial subsurface warming in the Indo-Pacific, accounting for more than half of the heat content increase and sea level rise. Thus, our results suggest that the transient interbasin overturning circulation is a key component of the global ocean heat budget in a changing climate.« less