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Factors controlling Hadley circulation changes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the end of the 21st century

D'Agostino, Roberta and Lionello, Piero and Adam, Ori and Schneider, Tapio (2017) Factors controlling Hadley circulation changes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the end of the 21st century. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (16). pp. 8585-8591. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/2017GL074533.

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The Hadley circulation (HC) extent and strength are analyzed in a wide range of simulated climates from the Last Glacial Maximum to global warming scenarios. Motivated by HC theories, we analyze how the HC is influenced by the subtropical stability, the near-surface meridional potential temperature gradient, and the tropical tropopause level. The subtropical static stability accounts for the bulk of the HC changes across the simulations. However, since it correlates strongly with global mean surface temperature, most HC changes can be attributed to global mean surface temperature changes. The HC widens as the climate warms, and it also weakens, but only robustly so in the Northern Hemisphere. On the other hand, the Southern Hemisphere strength response is uncertain, in part because subtropical static stability changes counteract meridional potential temperature gradient changes to various degrees in different models, with no consensus on the response of the latter to global warming.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lionello, Piero0000-0002-0779-5681
Adam, Ori0000-0003-0334-0636
Schneider, Tapio0000-0001-5687-2287
Additional Information:© 2017 American Geophysical Union. Received 9 JUN 2017; Accepted 7 AUG 2017; Accepted article online 14 AUG 2017; Published online 31 AUG 2017. This study has been funded by University of Salento, joined by CMCC within the PhD school in Ecology and Climate Change and by the JPI Climate-Belmont Forum project “PaCMEDy” ( The CMIP5 and PMIP3 data have been analyzed using GOAT (Geophysical Observations Analysis Tool,
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of SalentoUNSPECIFIED
JPI Climate-Belmont Forum ProjectPaCMEDy
Subject Keywords:Hadley circulation; climate change; PMIP3-CMIP5 climate models
Issue or Number:16
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171005-103437608
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:D'Agostino, R., P. Lionello, O. Adam, and T. Schneider (2017), Factors controlling Hadley circulation changes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the end of the 21st century, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 8585–8591, doi:10.1002/2017GL074533
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82113
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Oct 2017 18:16
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:48

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