Tropical Expansion Metrics

How should we define tropical width?

Lately there has been great interest in determining whether or not the tropics have been and will continue to expand with rising global mean surface temperatures. One difficulty in constraining the answer to these inquires is the wide range of metrics researchers use to define the edge of the Tropics. A recent publication (linked above) highlights the discrepancies between the many metrics and explains how those discrepancies have led to differing conclusions on the tropical expansion. Particularly there is a disconnect between “lower” and “upper” tropospheric metrics. Investigating the disconnect between these metrics categories is complementary to my main focus of diagnosing the true relationship between the subtropical jet and Hadley Cell. This work is associated with the ISSI TWIST collaboration of which I was selected as 1 of 2 young scientists.

Molly Erin Menzel
Molly Erin Menzel
Climate Scientist

Graduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying atmospheric dynamics.