Feedbacks between Dynamical Heat Fluxes and Temperature Structure in the Atmosphere

  1. James E. Hansen and
  2. Taro Takahashi
  1. Peter H. Stone

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM029p0006

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity

How to Cite

Stone, P. H. (2013) Feedbacks between Dynamical Heat Fluxes and Temperature Structure in the Atmosphere, in Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity (eds J. E. Hansen and T. Takahashi), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM029p0006

Author Information

  1. Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904047

Online ISBN: 9781118666036

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Keywords:

  • Climatology—Congresses;
  • Geophysics—Congresses;
  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction—Congresses

Summary

Observational studies of meridional and vertical dynamical fluxes of heat and temperature structure in the atmosphere indicate that the primary dynamical modes affecting the temperature structure are large-scale eddies (mainly transient eddies) and moist convection. Theoretical parameterizations of these processes suitable for heat balance models are reviewed and the observational evidence supporting them is summarized. Some of the implied feedback mechanisms have been investigated with simple climate models and can have a sizeable impact on model sensitivity. Other dynamical feedbacks are omitted from current one-dimensional and two-dimensional models and have not yet been assessed. In particular, the impact on climate sensitivity of feedbacks associated with large-scale vertical eddy heat fluxes and β-effects need to be determined. It is advocated that simulations of seasonal changes in vertical and meridional dynamical fluxes and temperature structure be documented more thoroughly for general circulation models, as an aid in validating their simulations of dynamical feedbacks. The simulations of these feedbacks can be seriously compromised in experiments which use annual mean insolation or omit ocean transports.