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Influence of the Gulf Stream on the troposphere

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Title: Influence of the Gulf Stream on the troposphere
Authors: Minobe, Shoshiro Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Kuwano-Yoshida, Akira Browse this author
Komori, Nobumasa Browse this author
Xie, Shang-Ping Browse this author
Small, Richard Justin Browse this author
Issue Date: 13-Mar-2008
Publisher: Nature Publishing
Journal Title: Nature
Volume: 452
Issue: 7184
Start Page: 206
End Page: 209
Publisher DOI: 10.1038/nature06690
PMID: 18337820
Abstract: The Gulf Stream transports large amounts of heat from the tropics to middle and high latitudes, and thereby affects weather phenomena such as cyclogenesis and low cloud formation. But its climatic influence, on monthly and longer timescales, remains poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear how the warm current affects the free atmosphere above the marine atmospheric boundary layer. Here we consider the Gulf Stream's influence on the troposphere, using a combination of operational weather analyses, satellite observations and an atmospheric general circulation model. Our results reveal that the Gulf Stream affects the entire troposphere. In the marine boundary layer, atmospheric pressure adjustments to sharp sea surface temperature gradients lead to surface wind convergence, which anchors a narrow band of precipitation along the Gulf Stream. In this rain band, upward motion and cloud formation extend into the upper troposphere, as corroborated by the frequent occurrence of very low cloud-top temperatures. These mechanisms provide a pathway by which the Gulf Stream can affect the atmosphere locally, and possibly also in remote regions by forcing planetary waves. The identification of this pathway may have implications for our understanding of the processes involved in climate change, because the Gulf Stream is the upper limb of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which has varied in strength in the past and is predicted to weaken in response to human-induced global warming in the future.
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:理学院・理学研究院 (Graduate School of Science / Faculty of Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 見延 庄士郎

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