Journal article

Tropical convective transport and the Walker circulation

Hosking J, Russo M, Braesicke P, Pyle J ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 12, issue 20 (2012) pp. 9791-9797

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We introduce a methodology to visualise rapid vertical and zonal tropical
transport pathways. Using prescribed sea-surface temperatures in
four monthly model integrations for 2005, we characterise preferred
transport routes from the troposphere to the stratosphere in a high
resolution climate model. Most efficient transport is modelled over
the Maritime Continent (MC) in November and February, i.e., boreal
winter. In these months, the ascending branch of the Walker Circulation
over the MC is formed in conjunction with strong deep convection,
allowing fast transport into the stratosphere. In the model the upper
tropospheric zonal winds associated with the Walker Circulation are
also greatest in these months in agreement with ERA-Interim reanalysis
data. We conclude that the Walker circulation plays an important
role in the seasonality of fast tropical transport from the lower
and middle troposphere to the upper troposphere and so impacts at
the same time the potential supply of surface emissions to the tropical
tropopause layer (TTL) and subsequently to the stratosphere.

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