May 4, 2006

Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing

by
Gabriel A. Vecchi, Brian J. Soden, Andrew T. Wittenberg, Isaac M. Held, Ants Leetmaa, Matthew J. Harrison
,
Nature
  • Explores changes in tropical Pacific circulation since the mid-nineteenth century using observations and a suite of global climate model experiments
  • States that observed Indo-Pacific sea level pressure reveals a weakening of the Walker circulation
  • States that the size of this trend is consistent with theoretical predictions, is accurately reproduced by climate model simulations and, within the climate models, is largely due to anthropogenic
  • Finds that the climate model indicates the weakened surface winds have altered the thermal structure and circulation of the tropical Pacific Ocean
  • These results support model projections of further weakening of tropical atmospheric circulation during the twenty-first century