Detecting cross-equatorial wind change as a fingerprint of climate response to anthropogenic aerosol forcing

Hai Wang, Shang Ping Xie, Hiroki Tokinaga, Qinyu Liu, Yu Kosaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anthropogenic aerosols are a major driver of the twetieth century climate change. In climate models, the aerosol forcing, larger in the Northern than Southern Hemispheres, induces an interhemispheric Hadley circulation. In support of the model result, we detected a robust change in the zonal mean cross-equatorial wind over the past 60 years from ship observations and reanalyses, accompanied by physically consistent changes in atmospheric pressure and marine cloud cover. Single-forcing experiments indicate that the observed change in cross-equatorial wind is a fingerprint of aerosol forcing. This zonal mean mode follows the evolution of global aerosol forcing that is distinct from regional changes in the Atlantic sector. Atmospheric simulations successfully reproduce this interhemispheric mode, indicating the importance of sea surface temperature mediation in response to anthropogenic aerosol forcing. As societies awaken to reduce aerosol emissions, a phase reversal of this interhemispheric mode is expected in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3444-3450
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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