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This book looks at the circulation features of the Southern Hemisphere, both for the atmosphere and oceans. It includes observational techniques based on satellites, anchored and drifting buoys, and the research carried out at research stations in the Southern Hemisphere. The book was originally published in 1972 by the American Meteorological Society. It has been revised and updated in 1999, following the expansion of research bases and the development of research in the region at the time.



The Mean State of the Troposphere

Chapter 1. The Mean State of the Troposphere

The mean state of the troposphere on broad scales in space and time is described in this chapter. Emphasis is placed on the climate of the Southern Hemisphere (SH), although global maps will be presented and some relevant comparisons with the Northern Hemisphere (NH) will be made. General descriptions of the seasonal mean distributions of many atmospheric variables will be given, while the following chapters will present discussions on topics including the variability of the SH circulation and the dominant processes that maintain the general circulation.
James W. Hurrell, Harry van Loon, Dennis J. Shea

General Circulation

Chapter 2. General Circulation

The mean state of the troposphere has been described in the previous chapter, with emphasis on features in the SH. In this chapter, we seek to explain the origin of these features in terms of the dominant processes that maintain the general circulation of the SH, primarily in the summer and winter seasons, and particularly in middle latitudes. More detailed discussions of the features in the Tropics and in high southern latitudes, and of the variability of the SH circulation, are given in chapters 3, 4, and 8, respectively.
David J. Karoly, Dayton G. Vincent, Jon M. Schrage

Meteorology of the Tropics


Chapter 3A. Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Tropical Australia: The Southern Hemisphere Monsoon

In this section we discuss the tropical atmosphere over the longitudes of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. This area is described variously as the location of the SH summer monsoon (Murakami and Sumi 1982; McBride 1983), the Australian summer monsoon (Troup 1961; McBride 1987), and the maritime continent (Ramage 1968). It is the location of one of the three global tropical heat sources and is the primary region of latent heat release associated with both the Southern Oscillation and the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO; see chapter 8 for more details). Thus, it plays an important role in the dynamics of the global climate.
John McBride

Chapter 3B. Pacific Ocean

The equatorial and southern low-latitude region of the Pacific Ocean contains many of the world’s most interesting and significant circulation features. These occur on a variety of temporal scales. For example, the El Niño takes place there. The Madden-Julian (1971, 1972) oscillation and other intraseasonal fluctuations, which account for much of the variability in convection and related circulation patterns, also occur in this region. These topics, however, are discussed in detail in chapter 8 and, thus, are not emphasized in this chapter. Instead, the focus here will be on other important large-scale features that occur in the region, such as the ITCZ, SPCZ, and subtropical jet. The distributions of several variables, including SSTs, convective heating, precipitation, mean SLP (MSLP), and kinematic properties of the flow field will be related to these features. In addition, because of the enhanced scientific interest during the last decade in the “warm pool” region of the western Pacific, a special section is devoted to the discussion of the climatological features in that region. This is particularly appropriate because of its relevance to many of the recently published results from TOGA COARE, held from 1 November 1992 to 28 February 1993. Finally, the last part of this section will be devoted to an examination of the vertical distributions of total convective heating over the South Pacific. Smaller-scale and shorter-term phenomena (e.g., mesoscale features) are delegated to chapter 5 and, thus, will not be discussed here.
Dayton G. Vincent

Chapter 3C. South America

Extending meridionally from 10°N to 60°S, South America (SA) presents features of tropical, subtropical, and extratropical weather and climate. This continent lies between the two large oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, and as such there is a great influence of these oceans on the meteorology of this landmass. The regional circulation characteristics over SA can only be appreciated by referring to the effects of these two oceans. An important and distinct geographical feature of the continent is the presence of a steep and narrow mountain range extending all the way from the northern tip to the southern tip along the west coast. Another important feature is the tropical Amazon jungle, occupying about 35% of the total continental area and 65% of the tropical area. With one of the world’s most humid climates, this tropical forest makes the continent very unique. This region also contains some of the infamous deserts and and regions, such as the Atacama desert in northern Chile and northeastern Brazil (NEB).
Prakki Satyamurty, Carlos A. Nobre, Pedro L. Silva Dias

Chapter 3D. Africa and Surrounding Waters

Although the main theme of the chapter is the meteorology and basic climatology of the Tropics, presumably bounded in the south by the 25°S latitude circle, or the Tropic of Capricorn at 23° 30′S, there is no natural boundary between the weather systems to the north and south across the subcontinent or the oceans on either side. In addition, the weather along the subtropical belt has not been allocated for separate discussion; therefore, South African conditions, being intimately related with events farther north, are included in the discussion.
John van Heerden, J. J. Taljaard

Chapter 4. Meteorology of the Antarctic

The great antarctic ice sheets and the surrounding Southern Ocean environs are large heat sinks in the global energy budget. Their geographical position limits the amount of solar insolation incident at the surface at such latitudes, and the high reflectivity of the ice fields of the Antarctic continent reduces the effective heating (see Carleton 1992). There are pronounced differences between the north and south polar regions. The Northern Hemisphere polar region consists essentially of an ice-covered ocean surrounded by continental landmasses, while the Southern Hemisphere features a continental landmass about the pole surrounded by an ocean. The most significant consequence of the vastly differing polar geographies is that the meridional temperature gradients become enhanced in the SH, resulting in a semipermanent baroclinic zone surrounding Antarctica and in effect thermally isolating the Antarctic continent to a degree unparalleled in the NH. As a result, Antarctica experiences the coldest and most harsh climate on earth. The intensified temperature contrast also supports a large west-to-east thermal wind component. Upper-tropospheric westerlies, which circumscribe the Antarctic continent, are considerably stronger than their NH counterparts (Schwerdtfeger 1984, pp. 223–226).
David H. Bromwich, Thomas R. Parish

Chapter 5. Mesoscale Meteorology

In the present book’s predecessor, Meteorology of the Southern Hemisphere, mesoscale phenomena hardly rated a mention. Such a comment is certainly no criticism of that work, for their omission simply represented the state of the science: mesoscale meteorology was still in its infancy. Since then our understanding of the mesoscale aspects of weather in both hemispheres has progressed in leaps and bounds. The progress made over the past two decades in understanding mesoscale phenomena has been stimulated in large part by the practical benefits of such research, since mesoscale phenomena account for most of our significant “weather.” Nonetheless, it should be acknowledged that we still have a long way to go in understanding mesoscale weather systems.
Michael J. Reeder, Roger K. Smith

Chapter 6. The Stratosphere in the Southern Hemisphere

The stratosphere over Antarctica is one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. During the antarctic winter, it extends from about 8 to 55 km above the surface, has temperatures colder than −90°C, and winds that are greater than 100 m s−1. Yet even this terribly remote and hostile region has felt man’s impact. The antarctic ozone hole is a clear example of how our industrial society can affect the atmosphere even in this remote corner of the earth. The tremendous ozone losses over Antarctica observed each spring have ultimately resulted from man-made chlorine compounds, and these ozone losses have led to increased levels of biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation at the earth’s surface. Understanding the meteorology of the southern stratosphere is the key to our understanding of the antarctic ozone hole.
William J. Randel, Paul A. Newman

Chapter 7. The Role of the Oceans in Southern Hemisphere Climate

Atmospheric circulation is strongly influenced by details of the sea surface temperature. In many parts of the World Ocean, SST is fairly well approximated by a one-dimensional local balance, in which (at least on long-term mean) the SST adjusts locally until the losses due to latent and sensible heat and longwave radiation balance the incident shortwave radiation. There are large parts of the World Ocean, however, for which ocean currents affect SST quite strongly. Ocean currents connect regions of heat gain to regions of heat loss; heat gained from the atmosphere may be stored for many years and carried thousands of kilometers before being returned to the atmosphere. These currents are driven by the atmosphere, through surface winds or buoyancy fluxes. Thus, the atmosphere and the ocean interact strongly on one another, and the coupled system cannot be understood by considering either component in isolation. The aim of this chapter is to describe some of the physics underlying the observed patterns of sea surface temperature and heat flux, with an emphasis on the Southern Hemisphere.
J. Stuart Godfrey, Stephen R. Rintoul

Chapter 8. Interannual and Intraseasonal Variability in the Southern Hemisphere

The aim of this chapter is to examine the temporal and spatial variability of the troposphere over the Southern Hemisphere and, in the case of El Niño/Southern Oscillation, link it to fluctuations in the tropical oceans as well. In the time since the first volume on Southern Hemisphere meteorology appeared in 1972, it has been possible to examine in much more detail the variability of the SH atmosphere, due to the vast improvements in the amount and quality of data that have since become available. Despite this progress, vast regions of the southern oceans remain very poorly observed. Fortunately, advances in remote sensing by satellite have done much to fill in some of the existing gaps in the ship- and ground-based observing network.
George N. Kiladis, Kingtse C. Mo

Chapter 9. Climatic Change and Long-Term Climatic Variability

This chapter reviews both climatic change and climatic variability in the Southern Hemisphere. While its scope concentrates on the changes and processes that have occurred during the twentieth century, particularly since 1950, it also attempts to bring together much paleoclimatic data and consider whether “pseudo-cyclic” phenomena, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, have influences on longer timescales.
Philip D. Jones, Robert J. Allan

Chapter 10. Climate Modeling

The purpose of this chapter is to describe current Southern Hemisphere climate model simulation capabilities in terms of seasonal mean quantities, the annual cycle, interannual and longer timescale variability, and possible future climate change. Climate modeling is defined here to include global climate simulations with general circulation models. Since the timescales will include monthly to seasonal to interannual to interdecadal and longer, the subject matter of this chapter is distinct from numerical weather prediction studies on shorter-than-monthly timescales. The climate models covered in this chapter involve spatial resolutions from about 2° × 2° to 5° × 5°. A number of the climate model results in this chapter will include some type of interactive ocean surface as well as specified SST experiments.
Gerald A. Meehl


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