Differential expansion speeds of Indo-Pacific warm pool and deep convection favoring pool under greenhouse warming
Jeremy Cheuk-Hin Leung, Banglin Zhang, Qiuying Gan, Lei Wang, Weihong Qian & Zeng-Zhen Hu
Published in NPJ Climate and Atmospheric Science, Nov. 2022
The Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP), which affects the global climate system through supporting tropical convection, has been reported to expand significantly under greenhouse warming. Although early research revealed that the sea surface temperature (SST) threshold for deep convection (σconv) increases with global warming, many latest relevant works were still conducted based on the traditional IPWP definition (e.g., static SST = 28 °C threshold, and is referred to as the oceanic warm pool, OWP28). Here, we claim that the OWP28 expansion differs from the deep convection favoring pool (DCFP) area change and may not reflect the direct impacts of Indo-Pacific warming on the climate system. Results show that, because of the long-term increase in σconv, the DCFP expands at a rate 2.6 times slower than the OWP28 from 1979 to 2020. The difference reaches 12–27 times from 2015–2100 under different emission scenarios, based on CMIP6 model simulations. While the OWP28 expands to the eastern Pacific, the DCFP will remain within the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean regardless of emission levels. This study emphasizes the necessity of considering the response of the relationship between deep convection and SST to climate change when studying the long-term variability of the IPWP.
Leung, J.CH., Zhang, B., Gan, Q. et al. Differential expansion speeds of Indo-Pacific warm pool and deep convection favoring pool under greenhouse warming. npj Clim Atmos Sci 5, 97 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-022-00315-w