TROPICAL METEOROLOGY & Climate: Hadley Circulation
The Hadley circulation, a prominent circulation feature characterized by rising air near the Equator and sinking air in the subtropics, defines the position of dry subtropical areas and is a fundamental regulator of the earth’s energy and momentum budgets. The character of the Hadley circulation, and its related precipitation regimes, exhibits variation and change in response to both climate variability and radiative forcing changes. The strength and position of the Hadley circulation change from year to year paced by El Niño and La Niña events. Over the last few decades of the twentieth century, the Hadley cell has expanded poleward in both hemispheres, with changes in atmospheric composition (including stratospheric ozone depletion and greenhouse gas increases) thought to have contributed to its expansion. This article introduces the basic phenomenology and driving mechanism of the Hadley circulation and discusses its variations under both natural and anthropogenic climate forcings.
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- Related Information: Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences. 2nd ed., 113-120
- J Pyle and F Zhang; Elsevier Ltd., Waltham, MA, United States(US).
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- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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- United States