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  • Chou, C, and C.-A. Chen, 2010: Depth of convection and the weakening of tropical circulation in global warming. J. Climate. In press.

Anthropogenic forcings, such as greenhouse gases and aerosols, are starting to show their influence on the climate, as evidenced by a global warming trend observed in the past century. The weakening of tropical circulation, a consequence of global warming, has also been found in observations and in 21st-century climate model simulations. It is a common belief that this weakening of tropical circulation is associated with the fact that global-mean precipitation increases more slowly than water vapor. Here we propose a new mechanism for this robust change, which is determined by atmospheric stability associated with depth of convection. Convection tends to extend higher in a warmer climate, due to an uplifting of the tropopause. The higher the convection, the more stable the atmosphere. This leads to a weakening of tropical circulation.

Full Article: http://www.rcec.sinica.edu.tw/~chia/pub.html

Last Updated: 2010-02-03

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