Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Ramalingam Saravanan x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Caihong Wen, Ping Chang, and Ramalingam Saravanan

Abstract

Previous coupled climate model simulations reveal that a dipole-like SST pattern with cooler (warmer) temperature over the north (south) tropical Atlantic emerges in response to a slowdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Using a 2½-layer reduced-gravity ocean model, a systematic investigation into oceanic processes controlling the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) response to AMOC changes by varying the strength of northward mass transport at the open boundaries was conducted. It is found that the North Brazil Current (NBC) reverses its direction in response to a shutdown of the AMOC. Such a circulation change causes a decrease in upper equatorial ocean stratification and warming in the Gulf of Guinea and off the coast of Africa. These findings point to the importance of oceanic dynamics in the equatorial SST response to AMOC changes. Sensitivity experiments further show that the SST response relates nonlinearly to AMOC changes. The strength of the SST response increases dramatically when the AMOC strength falls below a threshold value. This nonlinear threshold behavior depends on the position of a subsurface temperature gradient forming along the boundary between the northern subtropical gyre and the tropical gyre that interacts with the western boundary current. The analysis suggests that, in order for the oceanic dynamics to have a dominant influence on tropical Atlantic SST in response to AMOC changes, two conditions must be satisfied: 1) the AMOC must weaken substantially so that the NBC flows equatorward, permitting water mass exchange between the northern subtropical and tropical gyres, and 2) the subsurface temperature front must be located in an optimal location where subsurface temperature anomalies induced by AMOC change are able to enter the equatorial zone.

Full access
Caihong Wen, Ping Chang, and Ramalingam Saravanan

Abstract

A simplified coupled ocean–atmosphere model, where an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) is fully coupled to a 2½-layer reduced-gravity ocean model (RGO) over the tropical Atlantic basin, is presented in the context of studying the role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in tropical Atlantic variability (TAV). In the ocean model, the strength of the AMOC is controlled by specifying mass transport at open boundaries. The fidelity of the reduced-physics model in capturing major features of tropical Atlantic variability, as well as its response to the AMOC changes, is demonstrated in a series of model experiments. The results of the experiments reveal the relative importance of oceanic processes and atmospheric processes in AMOC-induced tropical Atlantic variability–change. It is found that the oceanic processes are a primary factor contributing to the warming at and south of the equator and the precipitation increase over the Gulf of Guinea, while atmospheric processes are responsible for the surface cooling of the tropical North Atlantic and southward displacement of ITCZ.

A systematic investigation of the coupled system response to changes in AMOC strength indicates that the SST over the cold-tongue region responds nonlinearly to AMOC changes. The sensitivity of the SST response increases rapidly when AMOC strength decreases below a threshold value. Such nonlinear behavior is also found in precipitation response over the Gulf of Guinea. These results suggest that complex and competing atmosphere–ocean processes are involved in TAV response to AMOC changes and the nature of the response can vary from one region to another. This complexity should be taken into consideration in Atlantic abrupt climate studies.

Full access
Kevin J. E. Walsh, Suzana J. Camargo, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Anne Sophie Daloz, James Elsner, Kerry Emanuel, Michael Horn, Young-Kwon Lim, Malcolm Roberts, Christina Patricola, Enrico Scoccimarro, Adam H. Sobel, Sarah Strazzo, Gabriele Villarini, Michael Wehner, Ming Zhao, James P. Kossin, Tim LaRow, Kazuyoshi Oouchi, Siegfried Schubert, Hui Wang, Julio Bacmeister, Ping Chang, Fabrice Chauvin, Christiane Jablonowski, Arun Kumar, Hiroyuki Murakami, Tomoaki Ose, Kevin A. Reed, Ramalingam Saravanan, Yohei Yamada, Colin M. Zarzycki, Pier Luigi Vidale, Jeffrey A. Jonas, and Naomi Henderson

Abstract

While a quantitative climate theory of tropical cyclone formation remains elusive, considerable progress has been made recently in our ability to simulate tropical cyclone climatologies and to understand the relationship between climate and tropical cyclone formation. Climate models are now able to simulate a realistic rate of global tropical cyclone formation, although simulation of the Atlantic tropical cyclone climatology remains challenging unless horizontal resolutions finer than 50 km are employed. This article summarizes published research from the idealized experiments of the Hurricane Working Group of U.S. Climate and Ocean: Variability, Predictability and Change (CLIVAR). This work, combined with results from other model simulations, has strengthened relationships between tropical cyclone formation rates and climate variables such as midtropospheric vertical velocity, with decreased climatological vertical velocities leading to decreased tropical cyclone formation. Systematic differences are shown between experiments in which only sea surface temperature is increased compared with experiments where only atmospheric carbon dioxide is increased. Experiments where only carbon dioxide is increased are more likely to demonstrate a decrease in tropical cyclone numbers, similar to the decreases simulated by many climate models for a future, warmer climate. Experiments where the two effects are combined also show decreases in numbers, but these tend to be less for models that demonstrate a strong tropical cyclone response to increased sea surface temperatures. Further experiments are proposed that may improve our understanding of the relationship between climate and tropical cyclone formation, including experiments with two-way interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere and variations in atmospheric aerosols.

Full access
Kevin J. E. Walsh, Suzana J. Camargo, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Anne Sophie Daloz, James Elsner, Kerry Emanuel, Michael Horn, Young-Kwon Lim, Malcolm Roberts, Christina Patricola, Enrico Scoccimarro, Adam H. Sobel, Sarah Strazzo, Gabriele Villarini, Michael Wehner, Ming Zhao, James P. Kossin, Tim LaRow, Kazuyoshi Oouchi, Siegfried Schubert, Hui Wang, Julio Bacmeister, Ping Chang, Fabrice Chauvin, Christiane Jablonowski, Arun Kumar, Hiroyuki Murakami, Tomoaki Ose, Kevin A. Reed, Ramalingam Saravanan, Yohei Yamada, Colin M. Zarzycki, Pier Luigi Vidale, Jeffrey A. Jonas, and Naomi Henderson
Full access