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Structure and Dynamical Influence of Water Vapor in the Lower Tropical Troposphere

Stevens, Bjorn and Brogniez, Hélène and Kiemle, Christoph and Lacour, Jean-Lionel and Crevoisier, Cyril and Kiliani, Johannes (2017) Structure and Dynamical Influence of Water Vapor in the Lower Tropical Troposphere. Surveys in Geophysics, pp. 1371-1397. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s10712-017-9420-8 ISSN 0169-3298

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-017-9420-8


In situ, airborne and satellite measurements are used to characterize the structure of water vapor in the lower tropical troposphere below the height, z�* of the triple-point isotherm, T�*. The measurements are evaluated in light of understanding of how lower tropospheric water vapor influences clouds, convection and circulation, through both radiative and thermodynamic effects. Lower-tropospheric water vapor, which concentrates in the first few kilometers above the boundary layer, controls the radiative cooling profile of the boundary layer and lower troposphere. Elevated moist layers originating from a preferred level of convective detrainment induce a profile of radiative cooling that drives circulations which reinforce such features. A theory for this preferred level of cumulus termination is advanced, whereby the difference between T� and the temperature at which primary ice forms gives a ‘first-mover advantage’ to glaciating cumulus convection, thereby concentrating the regions of the deepest convection and leading to more clouds and moisture near the triple point. A preferred level of convective detrainment near T� implies relative humidity reversals below z� which are difficult to identify using retrievals from satellite-borne microwave and infrared sounders. Isotopologues retrievals provide a hint of such features and their ability to constrain the structure of the vertical humidity profile merits further study. Nonetheless, it will likely remain challenging to resolve dynamically important aspects of the vertical structure of water vapor from space using only passive sensors.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/116534/
Document Type:Article
Title:Structure and Dynamical Influence of Water Vapor in the Lower Tropical Troposphere
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Stevens, BjornMPI für Meteorologie, HamburgUNSPECIFIED
Brogniez, HélèneLATMOS/IPSL, Guyancourt, FrankreichUNSPECIFIED
Kiemle, ChristophDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1231-2813
Lacour, Jean-LionelLMD, Palaiseau, FrankreichUNSPECIFIED
Crevoisier, CyrilLMD, Palaiseau, FrankreichUNSPECIFIED
Kiliani, JohannesMPI für Meteorologie, HamburgUNSPECIFIED
Date:26 July 2017
Journal or Publication Title:Surveys in Geophysics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1007/s10712-017-9420-8
Page Range:pp. 1371-1397
Keywords:Water vapor � Convection � Atmospheric circulation � Ice initiation � Remote sensing � Atmospheric measurements � Clouds
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben LIDAR-Forschung und -Entwicklung
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Kiemle, Dr.rer.nat. Christoph
Deposited On:04 Dec 2017 11:50
Last Modified:26 May 2020 22:55

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