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Hadley Circulation Response to Orbital Precession. Part II: Subtropical Continent

Merlis, Timothy M. and Schneider, Tapio and Bordoni, Simona and Eisenman, Ian (2013) Hadley Circulation Response to Orbital Precession. Part II: Subtropical Continent. Journal of Climate, 26 (3). pp. 754-771. ISSN 0894-8755. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00149.1.

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The response of the monsoonal and annual-mean Hadley circulation to orbital precession is examined in an idealized atmospheric general circulation model with a simplified representation of land surface processes in subtropical latitudes. When perihelion occurs in the summer of a hemisphere with a subtropical continent, changes in the top-of-atmosphere energy balance, together with a poleward shift of the monsoonal circulation boundary, lead to a strengthening of the monsoonal circulation. Spatial variations in surface heat capacity determine whether radiative perturbations are balanced by energy storage or by atmospheric energy fluxes. Although orbital precession does not affect annual-mean insolation, the annual-mean Hadley circulation does respond to orbital precession because its sensitivity to radiative changes varies over the course of the year: the monsoonal circulation in summer is near the angular momentum-conserving limit and responds directly to radiative changes; whereas in winter, the circulation is affected by the momentum fluxes of extratropical eddies and is less sensitive to radiative changes.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Schneider, Tapio0000-0001-5687-2287
Bordoni, Simona0000-0003-4771-3350
Additional Information:© 2013 American Meteorological Society. Received: March 14, 2012; Accepted: July 3, 2012. We thank three anonymous reviewers for their comments. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Princeton Center for Theoretical Science Fellowship, and National Science Foundation Grant AGS-1049201. We thank Sonja Graves for providing modifications to the GCM code. The program codes for the simulations, based on the Flexible Modeling System of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory as well as the simulation results themselves, are available from the authors upon request.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Princeton Center for Theoretical Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Intertropical convergence zone; Atmosphere-land interaction; Hadley circulation; Paleoclimate
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130307-111836691
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Official Citation:Merlis, Timothy M., Tapio Schneider, Simona Bordoni, Ian Eisenman, 2013: Hadley Circulation Response to Orbital Precession. Part II: Subtropical Continent. J. Climate, 26, 754–771. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37373
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 19:36
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:28

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