Tropospheric water vapor, convection, and climate

AMS Citation:
Sherwood, S. C., R. Roca, T. M. Weckwerth, and N. G. Andronova, 2010: Tropospheric water vapor, convection, and climate. Reviews of Geophysics, 48, RG2001, doi:10.1029/2009RG000301.
Resource Type:article
Title:Tropospheric water vapor, convection, and climate
Abstract: Recent progress is reviewed in the understanding of convective interaction with water vapor and changes associated with water vapor in warmer climates. Progress includes new observing techniques (including isotopic methods) that are helping to illuminate moisture-convection interaction, better observed humidity trends, new modeling approaches, and clearer expectations as to the hydrological consequences of increased specific humidity in a warmer climate. A theory appears to be in place to predict humidity in the free troposphere if winds are known at large scales, providing a crucial link between small-scale behavior and large-scale mass and energy constraints. This, along with observations, supports the anticipated water vapor feedback on climate, though key uncertainties remain connected to atmospheric dynamics and the hydrological consequences of a moister atmosphere. More work is called for to understand how circulations on all scales are governed and what role water vapor plays. Suggestions are given for future research.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2010 American Geophysical Union.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7j966tq
Publisher's Version: 10.1029/2009RG000301
  • Steve Sherwood
  • Remi Roca
  • Tammy Weckwerth - NCAR/UCAR
  • Natalia Andronova
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