The climatological mean atmospheric transport under weakened Atlantic thermohaline circulation climate scenario Academic Article uri icon


  • Global atmospheric transport in a climate subject to a substantial weakening of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) is studied by using climatological Green's functions of the mass conservation equation for a conserved, passive tracer. Two sets of Green's functions for the perturbed climate and for the present climate are evaluated from 11-year atmospheric trajectory calculations, based on 3-D winds simulated by GFDL's newly developed global coupled ocean-atmosphere model (CM2.1). The Green's function analysis reveals pronounced effects of the climate change on the atmospheric transport, including seasonally modified Hadley circulation with a stronger Northern Hemisphere cell in DJF and a weaker Southern Hemisphere cell in JJA. A weakened THC is also found to enhance mass exchange rates through mixing barriers between the tropics and the two extratropical zones. The response in the tropics is not zonally symmetric. The 3-D Green's function analysis of the effect of THC weakening on transport in the tropical Pacific shows a modified Hadley cell in the eastern Pacific, confirming the results of our previous studies, and a weakening (strengthening) of the upward and eastward motion to the south (north) of the Equator in the western Pacific in the perturbed climate as compared to the present climate. Springer-Verlag 2008.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Erukhimova, T., Zhang, R., & Bowman, K. P.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Erukhimova, T||Zhang, R||Bowman, KP

publication date

  • April 2009