Atmospheres & Climate

The Key Factors Controlling the Seasonality of Planetary Climate

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 23, 2022
Filed under , , , ,
The Key Factors Controlling the Seasonality of Planetary Climate
The seasonal cycle of the zonally averaged surface temperature on Earth (climatology from 1980 to 2019, reanalysis data from ERA5), Mars (climatology from reanalysis data from Greybush et al., 2019) and Titan (from a Titan atmospheric model used in Faulk et al. (2020)). —

Several different factors influence the seasonal cycle of a planet. This study uses a general circulation model and an energy balance model (EBM) to assess the parameters that govern the seasonal cycle.

We define two metrics to describe the seasonal cycle, ϕs, the latitudinal shift of the maximum temperature, and ΔT, the maximum seasonal temperature variation amplitude.

We show that alongside the expected dependence on the obliquity and orbital period, where seasonality generally strengthens with an increase in these parameters, the seasonality depends in a nontrivial way on the rotation rate. While the seasonal amplitude decreases as the rotation rate slows down, the latitudinal shift, ϕs, shifts poleward. A similar result occurs in a diffusive EBM with increasing diffusivity. These results suggest that the influence of the rotation rate on the seasonal cycle stems from the effect of the rotation rate on the atmospheric heat transport.

Ilai Guendelman, Yohai Kaspi

Subjects: Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (; Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2210.11357 [] (or arXiv:2210.11357v1 [] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Ilai Guendelman
[v1] Thu, 20 Oct 2022 15:45:43 UTC (1,348 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.