A Regulation of Tropical Climate by Radiative Cooling as Simulated in a Cumulus Ensemble Model
- Lau, K.-M.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Sui, Chung-Hsiung, Li, X., Einaudi, Franco, and Chou, M.-D.
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- Responses of tropical atmosphere to low-boundary forcing are investigated in a 2-D cumulus ensemble model (CEM) with an imposed warm-pool and cold-pool SST contrast (deltaSST). The domain-mean vertical motion is constrained to produce heat sink and moisture source as in the observed tropical climate. In a series of experiments, the warm pool SST is specified at different values while the cold pool SST is specified at 26 C. The strength of the circulation increases with increasing deltaSST until deltaSST reaches 3.5 C, and remains unchanged as deltaSST exceeds 3.5 C. The regulation of tropical convection by zonal SST gradient is constrained by the radiative cooling over the cold pool. For deltaSST less than 3.5 C, an enhanced subsidence warming is balanced by a reduced condensation heating over the cold pool. For deltaSST greater than 3.5 C, the subsidence regime expands over the entire cold pool where no condensation heating exist so that a further enhanced subsidence warming can no longer be sustained. The above regulation mechanism is also evident in the change of energy at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) that is dominated by cloud and water vapor greenhouse effect (c (sub LW)) and G (sub clear). The change in shortwave radiation at TOA is largely cancelled between the warm pool and cold pool, likely due to the same imposed vertical motion in our experiments. For deltaSST less than 3.5 C, an increase of deltaSST is associated with a large increase in c (sub Lw) due to increased total clouds in response to enhanced SST-induced circulation. For deltaSST greater than 3.5 C, clouds over the warm pool decrease with increasing SST, and the change in c (sub LW) is much smaller. In both dSST regimes, the change in CLW is larger than the change in G(sub clear) which is slightly negative. However, in the case of uniform warming (deltaSST=0), DeltaG(sub clear), is positive, approximately 5 W per square meters per degree change of SST.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20000092089.
- No Copyright.
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