Skip to main content

How Tropical Convection Couples High Moist Static Energy Over Land and Ocean

Author(s): Zhang, Yi; Fueglistaler, Stephan

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: We show that in the tropics, tropical atmospheric dynamics force the subcloud moist static energy (MSE) over land and ocean to be very similar in, and only in, regions of deep convection. Using observed rainfall as a proxy for convection and reanalysis data to calculate MSE, we show that subcloud MSE in the nonconvective regions may differ substantially between land and ocean but is uniform across latitudes in convective regions even on a daily timescale. This result holds also in CMIP5 model simulations of past cold and future warm climates. Furthermore, the distribution of rainfall amount in subcloud MSE is very similar over land and ocean with the peak at 343 J/g and a half width at half maximum of 3 J/g. Our results demonstrate that the horizontally uniform free tropospheric temperature forces the highest subcloud MSE values to be similar over land and ocean.
Publication Date: 10-Jan-2020
Citation: Zhang, Yi, and Stephan Fueglistaler. "How tropical convection couples high moist static energy over land and ocean." Geophysical Research Letters 47, no. 2 (2020): e2019GL086387. doi:10.1029/2019GL086387.
DOI: doi:10.1029/2019GL086387
ISSN: 0094-8276
EISSN: 1944-8007
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.