On the causal relationship between poleward heat flux and the equator-to-pole temperature gradient: A cautionary tale

Sukyoung Lee, Changhyun Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

An increase in the poleward heat or energy transport is often ascribed to a strengthening of the equator-topole gradient in temperature or in the top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) net radiation. While this attribution conforms to the well-established flux-gradient relationship, a counterexample is shown here, demonstrating that a forced atmospheric circulation, triggered by enhanced convection over the western tropical Pacific warm pool and suppressed convection over the eastern tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, can cause the equator-to-pole gradient in the TOA net radiation to increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6519-6525
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume27
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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