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Title: The transient response of atmospheric and oceanic heat transports to anthropogenic warming

Abstract

Model projections of the near-future response to anthropogenic warming show compensation between meridional heat transports by the atmosphere (AHT) and ocean (OHT) that are largely symmetric about the equator1,2,3, the causes of which remain unclear. Here, using both the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 archive and Community Climate System Model version 4 simulations forced with Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 to 2600, we show that this transient compensation—specifically during the initial stage of warming—is caused by combined changes in both atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In particular, it is caused by a southward OHT associated with a weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a northward apparent OHT associated with an ocean heat storage maximum around the Southern Ocean, and a symmetric coupled response of the Hadley and Subtropical cells in the Indo-Pacific basin. It is further shown that the true advective OHT differs from the flux-inferred OHT in the initial warming due to the inhomogeneous responses of ocean heat storage. These results provide new insights to further our understanding of future heat transport responses, and thereby global climatic processes such as the redistribution of ocean heat.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Nanjing Univ. of Information Science and Technology (China). College of Atmospheric Sciences; The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). Dept. of Geography, Atmospheric Science Program; Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  2. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). Dept. of Geography, Atmospheric Science Program
  3. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Climate and Global Dynamics Lab.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory-National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1530810
DOE Contract Number:  
FC02-97ER62402; AC02- 05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature Climate Change
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1758-678X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

He, Chengfei, Liu, Zhengyu, and Hu, Aixue. The transient response of atmospheric and oceanic heat transports to anthropogenic warming. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0387-3.
He, Chengfei, Liu, Zhengyu, & Hu, Aixue. The transient response of atmospheric and oceanic heat transports to anthropogenic warming. United States. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0387-3.
He, Chengfei, Liu, Zhengyu, and Hu, Aixue. Mon . "The transient response of atmospheric and oceanic heat transports to anthropogenic warming". United States. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0387-3.
@article{osti_1530810,
title = {The transient response of atmospheric and oceanic heat transports to anthropogenic warming},
author = {He, Chengfei and Liu, Zhengyu and Hu, Aixue},
abstractNote = {Model projections of the near-future response to anthropogenic warming show compensation between meridional heat transports by the atmosphere (AHT) and ocean (OHT) that are largely symmetric about the equator1,2,3, the causes of which remain unclear. Here, using both the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 archive and Community Climate System Model version 4 simulations forced with Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 to 2600, we show that this transient compensation—specifically during the initial stage of warming—is caused by combined changes in both atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In particular, it is caused by a southward OHT associated with a weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a northward apparent OHT associated with an ocean heat storage maximum around the Southern Ocean, and a symmetric coupled response of the Hadley and Subtropical cells in the Indo-Pacific basin. It is further shown that the true advective OHT differs from the flux-inferred OHT in the initial warming due to the inhomogeneous responses of ocean heat storage. These results provide new insights to further our understanding of future heat transport responses, and thereby global climatic processes such as the redistribution of ocean heat.},
doi = {10.1038/s41558-018-0387-3},
journal = {Nature Climate Change},
issn = {1758-678X},
number = 3,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}

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