Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Structural Changes and Variability of the ITCZ Induced by Radiation–Cloud–Convection–Circulation Interactions: Inferences from the Goddard Multi-Scale Modeling Framework (GMMF) Experiments

TitleStructural Changes and Variability of the ITCZ Induced by Radiation–Cloud–Convection–Circulation Interactions: Inferences from the Goddard Multi-Scale Modeling Framework (GMMF) Experiments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume54
Number1-2
Pages211-229
Abstract / Summary

In this paper, we have investigated the impact of radiation–cloud–convection–circulation interaction (RC3I) on structural changes and variability of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) using the Goddard Multi-scale Modeling Framework, where cloud processes are super-parameterized, i.e., explicitly resolved with 2-D cloud-resolving models embedded in each coarse grid of the host Goddard Earth Observing System-Version 5 global climate model. Experiments have been conducted under prescribed sea surface temperature conditions for 10 years (2007–2016), with and without cloud radiation feedback in the atmosphere, respectively. Diagnostic analyses separately for January and July show that RC3I leads to an enhanced and expanded Hadley Circulation characterized by (1) quasi-uniform warming and moistening of the tropical atmosphere and a sharpening of the ITCZ with enhanced deep convection, more intense precipitation and higher clouds, (2) extended drying of the tropical marginal convective zones, and extratropical mid- to lower troposphere, and (3) cooling of the polar regions, with increased baroclinicity and midlatitude storm track activities. Computations based on the zonal mean thermodynamic energy balance equation show that the radiative warming and cooling are strongly balanced by local adiabatic processes associated with changes in large-scale vertical motions, as well as horizontal atmospheric heat transport. In the tropics, enhanced short-wave absorption and longwave water vapor greenhouse effects by high clouds play key roles in providing strong positive feedback to the tropospheric warming. In the extratropics, increased atmospheric heat transport associated with changes in the Hadley circulation is balanced by strong longwave cooling above, and warming below due to increasing high clouds. We also find a strong positive correlation between daily and pentad heavy rain in the ITCZ core, and expansion of the drier zones coupled to a contraction of the highly convective zones in the ITCZ, indicating a strong tendency RC3I-induced convective aggregation in tropical clouds i.e., wet-regions-get-wetter and contracted, and dry-areas-get-drier and expanded.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-05000-y
DOI10.1007/s00382-019-05000-y
Journal: Climate Dynamics
Year of Publication: 2020
Volume: 54
Number: 1-2
Pages: 211-229
Publication Date: 01/2020

In this paper, we have investigated the impact of radiation–cloud–convection–circulation interaction (RC3I) on structural changes and variability of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) using the Goddard Multi-scale Modeling Framework, where cloud processes are super-parameterized, i.e., explicitly resolved with 2-D cloud-resolving models embedded in each coarse grid of the host Goddard Earth Observing System-Version 5 global climate model. Experiments have been conducted under prescribed sea surface temperature conditions for 10 years (2007–2016), with and without cloud radiation feedback in the atmosphere, respectively. Diagnostic analyses separately for January and July show that RC3I leads to an enhanced and expanded Hadley Circulation characterized by (1) quasi-uniform warming and moistening of the tropical atmosphere and a sharpening of the ITCZ with enhanced deep convection, more intense precipitation and higher clouds, (2) extended drying of the tropical marginal convective zones, and extratropical mid- to lower troposphere, and (3) cooling of the polar regions, with increased baroclinicity and midlatitude storm track activities. Computations based on the zonal mean thermodynamic energy balance equation show that the radiative warming and cooling are strongly balanced by local adiabatic processes associated with changes in large-scale vertical motions, as well as horizontal atmospheric heat transport. In the tropics, enhanced short-wave absorption and longwave water vapor greenhouse effects by high clouds play key roles in providing strong positive feedback to the tropospheric warming. In the extratropics, increased atmospheric heat transport associated with changes in the Hadley circulation is balanced by strong longwave cooling above, and warming below due to increasing high clouds. We also find a strong positive correlation between daily and pentad heavy rain in the ITCZ core, and expansion of the drier zones coupled to a contraction of the highly convective zones in the ITCZ, indicating a strong tendency RC3I-induced convective aggregation in tropical clouds i.e., wet-regions-get-wetter and contracted, and dry-areas-get-drier and expanded.

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-019-05000-y
Citation:
Lau, W, K Kim, J Chern, W Tao, and L Leung.  2020.  "Structural Changes and Variability of the ITCZ Induced by Radiation–Cloud–Convection–Circulation Interactions: Inferences from the Goddard Multi-Scale Modeling Framework (GMMF) Experiments."  Climate Dynamics 54(1-2): 211-229.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-05000-y.