Changes of South-Central Pacific Large-Scale Environment Associated With Hydrometeors-Radiation-Circulation Interactions in a Coupled GCM

J. L.F. Li, Kuan Man Xu, Wei Liang Lee, J. H. Jiang, Eric Fetzer, Graeme Stephens, Jia Yuh Yu, Yi Hui Wang

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A common deficiency in coupled atmosphere-ocean models is the lack of stratocumulus clouds near the west coasts of continents and shallow cumulus clouds over the trade wind regions. In this study, we examine changes of large-scale trade wind environment associated with hydrometeors-radiation-circulation interactions, focusing over the south-central Pacific, by carrying out experiments with falling ice (snow) radiative effects (FIREs) on or off using the CESM1-CAM5 coupled model. Compared to observations/reanalysis data and an experiment with FIREs on (SON), an experiment with FIREs off (NOS) tends to have too-high (0.3–0.9 K) sea surface temperature (SST) over the eastern half of the Pacific, and weaker surface wind stress over the northeast side but stronger stress over the southwest side of the study domain. The difference between NOS and SON shows lower-tropospheric wind fields with a cyclonic-like wind pattern, which is similar to surface wind stress, accompanied with weaker subsidence over the northeast side. The cyclonic-like wind pattern causes stronger moisture convergence, accompanied with horizontal warm and moist advections, and stronger effective ascending motion over the northeast side of the study domain, building large-scale environmental conditions to facilitate middle- and high-clouds instead of shallow cumulus clouds in nature. This large-scale environment in conjunction with the higher SSTs may be also responsible for the lack of the stratocumulus clouds near the coast of America. Remaining biases in SON such as the double intertropical convergence zone and parameterization deficiencies may also prevent a more realistic simulation of trade wind clouds and their associated large-scale environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JD034973
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume126
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • circulation
  • cloud fraction
  • coupled GCM
  • hydrometeors-radiation interactions
  • trade-wind regions

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