The TropD software package (v1): Standardized methods for calculating tropical-width diagnostics

Ori Adam*, Kevin M. Grise, Paul Staten, Isla R. Simpson, Sean M. Davis, Nicholas A. Davis, Darryn W. Waugh, Thomas Birner, Alison Ming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Observational and modeling studies suggest that Earth's tropical belt has widened over the late 20th century and will continue to widen throughout the 21st century. Yet, estimates of tropical-width variations differ significantly across studies. This uncertainty, to an unknown degree, is partly due to the large variety of methods used in studies of the tropical width. Here, methods for eight commonly used metrics of the tropical width are implemented in the Tropical-width Diagnostics (TropD) code package in the MATLAB programming language. To consolidate the various methods, the operations used in each of the implemented methods are reduced to two basic calculations: finding the latitude of a zero crossing and finding the latitude of a maximum. A detailed description of the methods implemented in the code and of the code syntax is provided, followed by a method sensitivity analysis for each of the metrics. The analysis provides information on how to reduce the methodological component of the uncertainty associated with fundamental aspects of the calculations, such as monthly vs. seasonal averaging biases, grid dependence, sensitivity to noise, and sensitivity to threshold criteria.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4339-4357
Number of pages19
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - 26 Oct 2018

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