- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- How do the continents affect large-scale hydrological cycles? How important can one continent be to the climate system? To address these questions, 4-years of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observations, and the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) global precipitation analysis, were used to assess the land impacts on clouds, rainfall, and water vapor at continental scales. At these scales, the observations illustrate that continents are integrated regions that enhance the seasonality of atmospheric and surface hydrological parameters. Specifically, the continents of Eurasia and North America enhance the seasonality of cloud optical thickness, cirrus fraction, rainfall, and water vapor. Over land, both liquid water and ice cloud effective radii are smaller than over oceans primarily because land has more aerosol particles. In addition, different continents have similar impacts on hydrological variables in terms of seasonality, but differ in magnitude. For example, in winter, North America and Eurasia increase cloud optical thickness to 17.5 and 16, respectively, while in summer, Eurasia has much smaller cloud optical thicknesses than North America. Such different land impacts are determined by each continent s geographical condition, land cover, and land use. These new understandings help further address the land-ocean contrasts on global climate, help validate global climate model simulated land-atmosphere interactions, and help interpret climate change over land.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050180538.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 15963400