Tropical climate change control of the lower stratospheric circulation

Pu Lin, Yi Ming, V. Ramaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The behavior of the Brewer-Dobson circulation is investigated using a suite of global climate model simulations with different forcing agents, in conjunction with observation-based analysis. We find that the variations in the Brewer-Dobson circulation are strongly correlated with those in the tropical mean surface temperature through changes in the upper tropospheric temperature and zonal winds. This correlation is seen on both interannual and multidecadal time scales, and holds for natural and forced variations alike. The circulation change is relatively insensitive to the spatial pattern of the forcings. Consistent changes in the Brewer-Dobson circulation with respect to those in the tropical mean surface temperature prevail across time scales and forcings, and constitute an important attribution element of the atmospheric adjustment to global climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-948
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 16 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • climate change
  • natural variability
  • stratospheric circulation


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