The curious nature of the hemispheric symmetry of the Earth’s water and energy balances

Stephens, Graeme L. and Hakuba, Maria Z. and Hawcroft, Matt and Haywood, Jim M. and Behrangi, Ali and Kay, Jennifer E. and Webster, Peter J. (2016) The curious nature of the hemispheric symmetry of the Earth’s water and energy balances. Current Climate Change Reports, 2 (4). pp. 135-147. ISSN 2198-6061

Abstract

This paper presents new estimates of the hemispheric energy balance based on an assembly of radiative flux and ocean heat data. Further, it provides an overview of recent simulations with fully coupled climate models to investigate the role of its representation in causing tropical precipitation biases. The energy balance portrayed here features a small hemispheric imbalance with slightly more energy being absorbed by the Southern hemisphere. This yields a net transport of heat towards the NH composing of a northward cross-equatorial heat transport by the oceans and a southward heat flow in the atmosphere. The turbulent fluxes and hemispheric precipitation balance to about 3 Wm−2 with slightly larger total accumulation occurring in the NH. CloudSat data indicate more frequent precipitation in the SH implying more intense precipitation in the NH. Fully coupled climate model simulations show that reducing hemispheric energy balance biases does little to reduce existing biases in tropical precipitation.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 July 2013 - 5 Sept 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 July 2013 - 5 Sept 2019)
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2019 01:35
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2019 05:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: hemispheric energy balance, surface heat budget, ocean heat storage, cross-equatorial heat transport, fully coupled climate model, tropical precipitation bias
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0499 Other Earth Sciences > 049999 Earth Sciences not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s40641-016-0043-9
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35938

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