Winter intensification of the moist branch of the circulation in simulations of 21st century climate

F. Laliberté, O. Pauluis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper, changes in isentropic circulations associated with global warming in the A1B model outputs for the 20th and 21st centuries are analyzed. The changes in the circulations on dry and moist isentropes are quantified through the use of three bulk measures of the circulations: mass transport, entropy transport and effective stratification. The circulation on dry isentropes is expected to weaken due to a reduction of the meridional heat transport and to an increase in stratification. In contrast, the moist branch of the circulation, measured in terms of the difference between the circulations on moist and dry isentropes, strengthens during the winter months. This intensification is characterized not only by an increase in the eddy latent heat transport but also by an increase in the mass transport. This indicate a larger poleward mass flow of warm moist subtropical air into the stormtracks leading to enhanced moist ascent within baroclinic eddies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL20707
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this