24 November 2015

The Role of the PMOC in Modulating the Deglacialshift of the ITCZ

Summary

Based on an energy-constraint framework, the effect of the Pacific meridional overturning circulation (PMOC) has been investigated on the  meridional shift of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). During Hein- rich Event 1, the global ITCZ displaces southward in response to a shutdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). However, the PMOC resumes and induces an enhanced northward meridional heat transport (MHT). Further analyses show that the resumption of the PMOC and its associated MHT can relieve the decrease of oceanic cross-equatorial heat transport by the collapsed AMOC and lower the compensating decline of atmospheric cross-equatorial meridional heat transport by 0.09PW, leading to an offset of the southward shift of the global ITCZ by 0.5°. Regionally the developed PMOC does not affect the southward movement of the Atlantic ITCZ much since the latter is dominated by the collapsed AMOC that induces the change of Atlantic MHT. In contrast, the PMOC- induced northward heat transport largely abates the hemispheric temperature contrast in the tropical Pacific and reduces the southward ITCZ shift by as much as 5° in the
eastern Pacific.

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