Next Article in Journal
Effects of Meteorology Nudging in Regional Hydroclimatic Simulations of the Eastern Mediterranean
Next Article in Special Issue
Contrasting Impacts of ENSO on the Interannual Variations of Summer Runoff between the Upper and Mid-Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River
Previous Article in Journal
Long-Term Wintertime Trend of Zonally Asymmetric Ozone in Boreal Extratropics During 1979–2016
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Review on the Methods for Observing the Substance and Energy Exchange between Atmosphere Boundary Layer and Free Troposphere
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Atmosphere 2018, 9(12), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9120469

Interdecadal Variations in the Walker Circulation and Its Connection to Inhomogeneous Air Temperature Changes from 1961–2012

1
Key Laboratory of Semi-Arid Climate Change of Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Physical Science and Technology College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [11295 KB, uploaded 30 November 2018]   |  

Abstract

The tropical Pacific Walker circulation (PWC) is fundamentally important to global atmospheric circulation, and changes in it have a vital influence on the weather and climate systems. A novel three-pattern decomposition of a global atmospheric circulation (3P-DGAC) method, which can be used to investigate atmospheric circulations including the PWC, was proposed in our previous study. Therefore, the present study aims to examine the capability of this 3P-DGAC method to acquire interdecadal variations in the PWC and its connection to inhomogeneous air temperature changes in the period from 1961–2012. Our findings reveal that interdecadal variations in the PWC, i.e., weakening (strengthening) between the periods 1961–1974 and 1979–1997 (1979–1997 and 1999–2012), can be observed using the zonal stream function (ZSF) derived from the 3P-DGAC method. Enhancement of the PWC is also associated with the strengthening and weakening of zonal circulations in the tropical Indian Ocean (IOC) and Atlantic (AOC), respectively, and vice versa, implying a connection between these zonal overturning circulations in the tropics. The interdecadal variations in the zonal circulations correspond well to inhomogeneous air temperature changes, i.e., an enhancement of the PWC is associated with a warming (cooling) of the air temperature from 1000 to 300 hPa in the western (mid–eastern) Pacific Ocean and a cooling (warming) of the air temperature in the tropopause in the western (mid–eastern) Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, a novel index for the PWC intensity based on air temperature is defined, and the capability of the novel index in representing the PWC intensity is evaluated. This novel index is potentially important for the prediction of the PWC by using dynamic equations derived from the 3P-DGAC method. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3P-DGAC method; Walker circulation; interdecadal variations; inhomogeneous air temperature changes; novel index 3P-DGAC method; Walker circulation; interdecadal variations; inhomogeneous air temperature changes; novel index
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hou, X.; Cheng, J.; Hu, S.; Feng, G. Interdecadal Variations in the Walker Circulation and Its Connection to Inhomogeneous Air Temperature Changes from 1961–2012. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 469.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Atmosphere EISSN 2073-4433 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top