I am working on the realism of a fictional planet which has an average temperature lower than that of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and possesses a single large supercontinent rather than distributed landmasses.

My research has indicated that Hadley Cells retreated equator-ward during the LGM, which would place the Subtropical Ridges closer to the Equator. I am curious what is likely to occur on a planet that is even colder than that? Would the Hadley Cells disappear entirely? What happens to the Subtropical Ridges and their accompanying deserts in such a case?

For reference: Hadley Cell Retreat - https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI3766.1

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    $\begingroup$ If you don't get an answer in seven days, remind me to set a larger bounty here. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2018 at 3:21

2 Answers 2


I'm not a climate scientist and this may not be much of an answer, but I'm hoping some of the sources I've found from quick searches online might prove useful:

  • The Abstract of the 1987 paper "Components of the ice age circulation" seems to indicate weakening of the Hadley cells due to "altered sea surface temperature patterns", and "the poleward extent of the Hadley cell and the zonally averaged jet stream show little difference from current climate values" which I take to mean that the size of the cell is the same.
  • The book "The Hadley Circulation: Present, Past and Future (Advances in Global Change Research)" might be the best starting point for understanding Hadley Cells during glacial periods. Based on its summary, it seems to cover models of past climate conditions using known paleoclimatic records and is presented as a "fundamental reference work" for this area of research.
  • I'd like to mention that most modern research is geared towards understanding man-made climate change and the effects of general warming trends. Quite the opposite of research that covers glacial periods. Most likely very little computer simulation time is allocated to historical, glacial research. As such, very little material will be available that covers your specific scenario.
  • You may want to look at data concerning even older ice ages. It's likely there were even colder ice ages that mimic the conditions you are looking for. If that is the case, there should be literature out there describing the climate conditions of Earth at that time.

I hope you find this small bit of information helpful!


Heat is just a word for random particle movement.
A normal atom moves somewhere, until it hits another atom and moves in another direction. Most atom do. When your heating up this atom gets faster and hits the next atom with more speed and gets bounced back with more speed.
Heat means the particles are getting so fast that chemical bindings could get disrupted and particles run crazily fast.
Cold is just a word for lesser speed of the particles.
At 0°K or -273.15°C the absolute zero stands, meaning no more particle speed.

At the absolute zero no particle moves, meaning no more wind and no more Hadley Cells at all

Hope it helps :)


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