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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2913895, 13 pages
Research Article

Brewer–Dobson Circulation: Recent-Past and Near-Future Trends Simulated by Chemistry-Climate Models

1Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disasters of China Ministry of Education (KLME), Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change (ILCEC), Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD), Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2Key Laboratory of Mesoscale Severe Weather of Ministry of Education and School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
3Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yipeng Guo

Received 29 March 2017; Accepted 11 May 2017; Published 11 June 2017

Academic Editor: Yu Liu

Copyright © 2017 Dingzhu Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Based on data from 16 chemistry-climate models (CCMs) and separate experimental results using a state-of-the-art CCM, the trends in the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC) during the second half of the 20th century (1960–2000) and the first half of the 21st century (2001–2050) are examined. From the ensemble mean of the CCMs, the BDC exhibits strengthening trends in both the 20th and 21st centuries; however, the acceleration rates of tropical upwelling and southern downwelling during 2001–2050 are smaller than those during 1960–2000, while the acceleration rate of the northern downward branch of the BDC during 2001–2050 is slightly larger than that during 1960–2000. The differences in the extratropical downwelling trends between the two periods are closely related to changes in planetary-wave propagation into the stratosphere caused by the combined effects of increases in the concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and changes in stratospheric ozone. Model simulations demonstrate that the response of southern downwelling to stratospheric ozone depletion is larger than that to the increase in GHGs, but that the latter plays a more important role in the strengthening of northern downwelling. This result suggests that, under the expected future climate, northern downwelling will play a more important role in balancing tropical upwelling.