Poleward expansion of the tropical belt derived from upper tropospheric water vapour

Qinglong You, Jinzhong Min, Shichang Kang, Nick Pepin

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    Abstract

    Based on intersatellite-calibrated high-resolution infrared radiation sounder (HIRS) upper tropospheric water vapour (UTWV) brightness temperatures, the width of the tropical belt is defined as the distance between the latitudes at which maximum HIRS UTWV brightness temperatures are recorded in both hemispheres. Poleward expansion of the tropical belt is evident during 1979–2013 on an annual basis, with an average global magnitude of 1.57° latitude per decade. Most rapid widening is evident in the west Pacific, in agreement with the strengthening of the Walker Circulation over time. This research suggests that the HIRS UTWV brightness temperatures are a good proxy to investigate the expansion of the tropical circulation in low latitudes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2237–2242
    JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
    Volume35
    Issue number9
    Early online date12 Aug 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

    Keywords

    • poleward expansion
    • tropical belt
    • water vapour

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