Seasonal Dependence of the Effect of Arctic Greening on Tropical Precipitation

Sarah M. Kang, Baek-Min Kim, Dargan M. W. Frierson, Su-Jong Jeong, Jeongbin Seo, Yoojeong Chae
2015 Journal of Climate  
This paper examines the seasonal dependence of the effect of Arctic greening on tropical precipitation. In CAM3/CLM3 coupled to a mixed layer ocean, shrub and grasslands poleward of 608N are replaced with boreal forests. With darker Arctic vegetation, the absorption of solar energy increases, but primarily in boreal spring and summer since little insolation reaches the Arctic in boreal winter. The net energy input into the northern extratropics is partly balanced by southward atmospheric energy
more » ... atmospheric energy transport across the equator by an anomalous Hadley circulation, resulting in a northward shift of the tropical precipitation. In contrast, in boreal fall, the slight increase in insolation over the Arctic is more than offset by increased outgoing longwave radiation and reduced surface turbulent fluxes in midlatitudes, from the warmer atmosphere. As a result, the Northern Hemisphere atmosphere loses energy, which is compensated by a northward cross-equatorial atmospheric energy transport, leading to a southward shift of the tropical precipitation in boreal fall. Thus, although Arctic vegetation is changed throughout the year, its effect on tropical precipitation exhibits substantial seasonal variations.
doi:10.1175/jcli-d-15-0079.1 fatcat:cn5ys23ihzbf5bekj7aq34vkhq