The radiative impact of clouds on the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone
Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014
©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 41, Issue 12, pages 4308–4315, 28 June 2014
How to Cite
2014), The radiative impact of clouds on the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 4308–4315, doi:10.1002/2014GL060354., , , and (
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 9 JUN 2014 02:09PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 2 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 27 APR 2014
- circulation changes
Whereas it is well established that clouds are important to changes in Earth's surface temperature, their impact on changes of the large-scale atmospheric circulation is less well understood. Here we study the radiative impact of clouds on the shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in response to hemispheric surface albedo forcings. The problem is approached using aquaplanet simulations with four comprehensive atmosphere models. The radiative impact of clouds on the ITCZ shift differs in sign and magnitude across models and is responsible for half of the model spread in the ITCZ shift. The model spread is dominated by tropical clouds whose radiative impact is linked to the dependence of their cloud radiative properties on the circulation. The simulations not only demonstrate the importance of clouds for circulation changes but also propose a way to reduce the model uncertainty in ITCZ shifts.