Publication Abstracts

Bailey et al. 2017

Bailey, A., P.N. Blossey, D. Noone, J. Nusbaumer, and R. Wood, 2017: Detecting shifts in tropical moisture imbalances with satellite-derived isotope ratios in water vapor. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 122, no. 11, 5763-5779, doi:10.1002/2016JD026222.

As global temperatures rise, regional differences in evaporation (E) and precipitation (P) are likely to become more disparate, causing the drier E-dominated regions of the tropics to become drier and the wetter P-dominated regions to become wetter. Models suggest such intensification of the water cycle should already be taking place; however, quantitatively verifying these changes is complicated by inherent difficulties in measuring E and P with sufficient spatial coverage and resolution. This paper presents a new metric for tracking changes in regional moisture imbalances (e.g. E-P) by defining δDq — the isotope ratio normalized to a reference water vapor concentration of 4 mmol/mol — and evaluates its efficacy using both remote-sensing retrievals and climate model simulations in the tropics. By normalizing the isotope ratio with respect to water vapor concentration, δDq isolates the portion of isotopic variability most closely associated with shifts between E- and P-dominated regimes. Composite differences in δDq between cold and warm phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) verify that δDq effectively tracks changes in the hydrological cycle when large-scale convective reorganization takes place. Simulated δDq also demonstrates sensitivity to shorter-term variability in E-P at most tropical locations. Since the isotopic signal of E-P in free tropospheric water vapor transfers to the isotope ratios of precipitation, multi-decadal observations of both water vapor and precipitation isotope ratios should provide key evidence of changes in regional moisture imbalances now and in the future.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{ba01500z,
  author={Bailey, A. and Blossey, P. N. and Noone, D. and Nusbaumer, J. and Wood, R.},
  title={Detecting shifts in tropical moisture imbalances with satellite-derived isotope ratios in water vapor},
  year={2017},
  journal={J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.},
  volume={122},
  number={11},
  pages={5763--5779},
  doi={10.1002/2016JD026222},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - ba01500z
AU  - Bailey, A.
AU  - Blossey, P. N.
AU  - Noone, D.
AU  - Nusbaumer, J.
AU  - Wood, R.
PY  - 2017
TI  - Detecting shifts in tropical moisture imbalances with satellite-derived isotope ratios in water vapor
JA  - J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.
VL  - 122
IS  - 11
SP  - 5763
EP  - 5779
DO  - 10.1002/2016JD026222
ER  -

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