Atmospheric Sciences Seminar

September 1, 3:15pm - 5:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Virtual Meeting

A new general framework for understanding the drivers of regional climate change

Dr. Malte F. Stuecker
Assistant Professor
Department of Oceanography & International Pacific Research Center (IPRC)
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST)
University of Hawai'i at Manoa

You are invited to our weekly online Atmospheric Sciences Fall 2021 seminars via Zoom meeting.
When: September 1, 2021 at 3:15PM HST

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please save this information for future seminars.

As a security precaution, unmuting microphones, starting video, screen share, and using the 'chat' feature will be disabled for those attending the seminar, except for ATMO faculty. If you would like to say something, please use the 'raise hand' feature. The host or a co-host can then enable you to unmute your microphone.

With the Earth warming in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing, changes in surface temperature and rainfall manifest themselves with characteristic geographical patterns. For instance, land areas warm faster than the oceans and the poles warm faster than the low-latitudes.

In addition, numerical climate models with prescribed anthropogenically-driven changes in greenhouse gas concentrations robustly simulate enhanced warming on the equator compared to the adjacent off-equatorial regions. However, the physical processes driving these equatorial patterns of change are still strongly debated. Improved understanding of these is critical, as small deviations from projected surface temperature change patterns can cause large geographical shifts in projected future rainfall patterns. Moreover, the global impacts felt by internal climate variability – such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Madden-Julian Oscillation – will depend crucially on the climate mean state change pattern that will emerge in the future.

Recently, we developed a new general framework to better understand the physical drivers of regional climate change patterns. We use linear impulse response theory combined with targeted coupled climate model simulations forced by idealized regional radiative perturbations to delineate the relative contributions of coupled local feedbacks and remote drivers to regional climate change. Within this framework, I will revisit the question of how much different processes contribute to the equatorial warming signal that is robustly projected by the current generation of climate models. I will show that off-equatorial radiative forcing and corresponding coupled circulation/cloud adjustments are responsible for a large fraction of equatorial warming in response to global CO2 forcing. Similarly, the framework is applied to delineate the physical drivers of polar amplification.

Event Sponsor
SOEST Atmospheric Sciences, Mānoa Campus

More Information
808-956-8775, SEE FLYER (PDF)

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