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The effect of changing Southern Hemisphere winter sea surface temperatures on Southern Annular Mode strength

Marshall, Gareth J.; Connolley, William M.. 2006 The effect of changing Southern Hemisphere winter sea surface temperatures on Southern Annular Mode strength. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (17), L17717. 4, pp. 10.1029/2006GL026627

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Abstract/Summary

We examine the impact that changes in the winter Southern Hemisphere (SH) meridional sea surface temperature (SST) gradient have on the sign and strength of the SH Annular Mode (SAM). This is undertaken by perturbing either tropical or extra-tropical SSTs in an atmospheric General Circulation Model. Changes in winter tropical SSTs have little direct influence on the SAM but do force a strong wave train in geopotential height across the Southern Ocean. In contrast, changes in winter SSTs in the SH extra-tropics have a profound effect on the SAM: cooler SSTs strengthen the SAM and vice versa. The mechanism involves modifications to the Ferrel cell. As a positive (negative) SAM enhances (reduces) the extra-tropical meridional temperature gradient, these experiments demonstrate a positive feedback mechanism. SAM variability remains unchanged, indicating a shift in the mean, rather than a change in the probability distribution of its positive and negative phases

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2006GL026627
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Antarctic Climate and the Earth System
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text not available from this repository
Additional Keywords: Atmosphere ; Circulation
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 22 Aug 2007 13:27
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/80

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