Physical Mechanisms Controlling Upper Tropospheric Water Vapor as Revealed by MLS Data from UARS
- Newell, Reginald E.
- Nov. 30, 1998.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The seasonal changes of the upper tropospheric humidity are studied with the water vapor data from the Microwave Limb Sounder on the NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, and the winds and vertical velocity data obtained from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Using the same algorithm for vertical transport as that used for horizontal transport (Zhu and Newell, 1998), we find that the moisture in the tropical upper troposphere may be increased mainly by intensified local convection in a small portion, less than 10%, of the whole area between 40 deg S to 40 deg N. The contribution of large scale background circulations and divergence of horizontal transport is relatively small in these regions. These dynamic processes cannot be revealed by the traditional analyses of moisture fluxes. The negative feedback suggested by Lindzen (1990) also exists, if enhanced convection is concentrated in the tropics, but is apparently not the dominant process in the moisture budget.
- Document ID: 19990008757.
- No Copyright.
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