Response of tropical deep convection to localized heating perturbations: Implications for aerosol-induced convective invigoration

AMS Citation:
Morrison, H., and W. W. Grabowski, 2013: Response of tropical deep convection to localized heating perturbations: Implications for aerosol-induced convective invigoration. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 70, 3533-3555, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-13-027.1.
Date:2013-11-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Response of tropical deep convection to localized heating perturbations: Implications for aerosol-induced convective invigoration
Abstract: A cloud-system-resolving model is used to investigate the effects of localized heating/cooling perturbations on tropical deep convection, in the context of the aerosol "invigoration effect." This effect supposes that a reduction of droplet collision-coalescence in polluted conditions leads to lofting of cloud water in convective updrafts and enhanced freezing, latent heating, and buoyancy. To specifically isolate and test this mechanism, heating perturbations were applied to updrafts with corresponding cooling applied in downdrafts. Ensemble simulations were run with either perturbed or unperturbed conditions and large-scale forcing from a 7.5-day period of active monsoon conditions during the 2006 Tropical Warm Pool–International Cloud Experiment. In the perturbed simulations there was an initial invigoration of convective updrafts and surface precipitation, but convection returned to its unperturbed state after about 24 h because of feedback with the larger-scale environment. This feedback led to an increase in the horizontally averaged mid-/upper-tropospheric temperature of about 1 K relative to unperturbed simulations. When perturbed conditions were applied to only part of the domain, gravity waves rapidly dispersed buoyancy anomalies in the perturbed region to the rest of the domain, allowing convective invigoration from the heating perturbations to be sustained over the entire simulation period. This was associated with a mean mesoscale circulation consisting of ascent (descent) at mid-/upper levels in the perturbed (unperturbed) region. In contrast to recent studies, it is concluded that the invigoration effect is intimately coupled with larger-scale dynamics through a two-way feedback, and in the absence of alterations in the larger-scale circulation there is limited invigoration beyond the convective adjustment time scale.
Subject(s):Convective-scale processes, Cumulus clouds, Heating, Cloud resolving models
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7f76dg3
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JAS-D-13-027.1
Author(s):
  • Hugh Morrison - NCAR/UCAR
  • Wojciech Grabowski - NCAR/UCAR
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