Lagrangian decomposition of the Hadley and Ferrel cells
2012 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, Vol. 39, L15807- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The meridional overturning circulation of the atmosphere between 45°S and 45°N is decomposed using simulated 3D Lagrangian trajectories for calculating the Lagrangian overturning streamfunctions. This permits an analysis of meridional mass transports which otherwise cancel in time-averaged zonal-mean Eulerian streamfunctions. Overturning circulations inferred from trajectories of no net meridional transport are qualitatively similar to the Eulerian mean, but yield half the Hadley cell amplitude, and twice that of the Ferrel cell. Cross-equatorial transports of some 130 Sv result in two cells that account for the remainder of the Hadley cells. The overturning in midlatiudes is partly cancelled by large (≈150 Sv) meridional transports approximately following isentropes. Changes and implications for various coordinate systems, e.g., isentropic, are also discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 39, L15807- p.
Ferrel cell, Hadley cell, Lagrangian trajectories, meridional overturning circulation, 0545 Computational Geophysics: Modeling (1952, 4255, 4316), 1620 Global Change: Climate dynamics (0429, 3309), 3319 Atmospheric Processes: General circulation (1223), 3346 Atmospheric Processes: Planetary meteorology (5445, 5739), 3394 Atmospheric Processes: Instruments and techniques
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject Meteorology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79043DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052420ISI: 000307464100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79043DiVA: diva2:549365