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Yu Zhigang
Secretary of CPC OUC Committee

Wu Dexing

Li Yaozhen
Deputy Secretary of CPC OUC Committee

Yu Yifa

Liu Guiju
Secretary of CPC OUC Committee for Discipline Inspection

Dong Shuanglin

Zhang Jing
Deputy Secretary of CPC OUC Committee

Li Weiran

Yan Ju

Li Huajun
OUC Professor’s Paper in Nature
Author: Source: Update:2012-11-22 Hits:

    A major breakthrough in the study of the world climate change has been made by Dr. Xie Shangping, a professor of physical oceanography at Ocean University of China (OUC), and four other researchers from the United States.【点击查看中文版

    Their joint research paper titled “Slowdown of the Walker Circulation Driven by Tropical Indo-Pacific Warming” appeared in the latest issue (Nov.15,2012) of Nature.

    The paper contends that Global mean sea surface temperature (SST) has risen steadily over the past century, but the overall pattern contains extensive and often uncertain spatial variations, with potentially important effects on regional precipitation. Observations suggest a slowdown of the zonal atmospheric overturning circulation above the tropical Pacific Ocean (the Walker circulation) over the twentieth century.

    Although this change has been attributed to a muted hydrological cycle forced by global warming, the effect of SST warming patterns has not been explored and quantified, Prof. Xie and his fellow researchers hold.

    Prof. Xie and his colleagues have performed experiments using an atmospheric model, and find that SST warming patterns are the main cause of the weakened Walker circulation over the past six decades (1950-2009). The SST trend reconstructed from bucket-sampled SST and night-time marine surface air temperature features a reduced zonal gradient in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean, a change consistent with subsurface temperature observations.

    Model experiments with this trend pattern robustly simulate the observed changes, including the Walker circulation slowdown and the eastward shift of atmospheric convection from the Indonesian maritime continent to the central tropical Pacific.

    “Our results cannot establish whether the observed changes are due to natural variability or anthropogenic global warming, but they do show that the observed slowdown in the Walker circulation is presumably driven by oceanic rather than atmospheric processes,” Prof. Xie and the four other co-authors summarize in the abstract of their paper.

    Prof. Xie is currently a “Qianren Overseas Scholars Program” professor at OUC. The other scientists who co-wrote the paper published in Nature are Dr. Hiroki Tokinaga with International Pacific Research Center, Department of Meteorology, SOEST, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dr. Clara Deser with National Center for Atmospheric Research,     Colorado, Dr.Yu Kosaka with International Pacific Research Center, SOEST, University of Hawii at Manoa and Dr. Yuko M.Okumura with Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas at Austin.






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