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Title: Long-Term Behavior of the Atlantic Interhemispheric SST Gradient in the CMIP5 Historical Simulations

Abstract

Multidecadal and longer changes to the Atlantic interhemispheric sea surface temperature gradient (AITG) in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) historical simulations are investigated. Observations show a secular trend to this gradient over most of the twentieth century, with the southern lobe warming faster relative to its northern counterpart. A previous study of phase 3 of the CMIP (CMIP3) suggests that this trend is partially forced by anthropogenic sulfate aerosols. This analysis collectively confirms the partially forced trend for the CMIP5 and by anthropogenic aerosols. Like the CMIP3, the CMIP5 also simulates a reversal in the AITG trend in the late 1970s, which was attributed to a leveling offof the anthropogenic aerosol influence and increased influence of greenhouse gases in the late twentieth century. Two (of 25) CMIP5 models, however, systematically simulate a twentieth-century trend opposite to observed, leading to some uncertainty regarding the forced nature of the AITG trend. Here, the observed AITG also exhibits a pronounced multidecadal modulation on top of the trend, associated with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). Motivated by a recent suggestion that the AMO is a forced response to aerosols, the causes of this multidecadal behavior were also examined. A fewmore » of the CMIP5 models analyzed do produce multidecadal AITG variations that are correlated to the observed AMO-like variation, but only one, the Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model, version 2 (HadGEM2), systematically simulates AMO-like behavior with both the requisite amplitude and phase. The CMIP5 simulations thus point to a robust aerosol influence on the historical AITG trend but not to the AMO-like multidecadal behavior.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (United States); Risk Management Solutions, Fremont, CA (United States)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1523861
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Atlantic Ocean; Atmosphere-ocean interaction; Climate variability; Coupled models; Multidecadal variability; Trends

Citation Formats

Chiang, John C. H., Chang, C. -Y., and Wehner, M. F. Long-Term Behavior of the Atlantic Interhemispheric SST Gradient in the CMIP5 Historical Simulations. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00487.1.
Chiang, John C. H., Chang, C. -Y., & Wehner, M. F. Long-Term Behavior of the Atlantic Interhemispheric SST Gradient in the CMIP5 Historical Simulations. United States. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00487.1.
Chiang, John C. H., Chang, C. -Y., and Wehner, M. F. Wed . "Long-Term Behavior of the Atlantic Interhemispheric SST Gradient in the CMIP5 Historical Simulations". United States. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00487.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1523861.
@article{osti_1523861,
title = {Long-Term Behavior of the Atlantic Interhemispheric SST Gradient in the CMIP5 Historical Simulations},
author = {Chiang, John C. H. and Chang, C. -Y. and Wehner, M. F.},
abstractNote = {Multidecadal and longer changes to the Atlantic interhemispheric sea surface temperature gradient (AITG) in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) historical simulations are investigated. Observations show a secular trend to this gradient over most of the twentieth century, with the southern lobe warming faster relative to its northern counterpart. A previous study of phase 3 of the CMIP (CMIP3) suggests that this trend is partially forced by anthropogenic sulfate aerosols. This analysis collectively confirms the partially forced trend for the CMIP5 and by anthropogenic aerosols. Like the CMIP3, the CMIP5 also simulates a reversal in the AITG trend in the late 1970s, which was attributed to a leveling offof the anthropogenic aerosol influence and increased influence of greenhouse gases in the late twentieth century. Two (of 25) CMIP5 models, however, systematically simulate a twentieth-century trend opposite to observed, leading to some uncertainty regarding the forced nature of the AITG trend. Here, the observed AITG also exhibits a pronounced multidecadal modulation on top of the trend, associated with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). Motivated by a recent suggestion that the AMO is a forced response to aerosols, the causes of this multidecadal behavior were also examined. A few of the CMIP5 models analyzed do produce multidecadal AITG variations that are correlated to the observed AMO-like variation, but only one, the Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model, version 2 (HadGEM2), systematically simulates AMO-like behavior with both the requisite amplitude and phase. The CMIP5 simulations thus point to a robust aerosol influence on the historical AITG trend but not to the AMO-like multidecadal behavior.},
doi = {10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00487.1},
journal = {Journal of Climate},
number = 21,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {10}
}

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