Publication Abstracts

Cesana et al. 2019

Cesana, G., D.E. Waliser, D. Henderson, T.S. L'Ecuyer, X. Jiang, and J-L.F. Li, 2019: The vertical structure of radiative heating rates: A multimodel evaluation using A-Train satellite observations. J. Climate, 32, no. 5, 1573-1590, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0136.1.

We assess the vertical distribution of radiative heating rates (RHRs) in climate models using a multimodel experiment and A-Train satellite observations, for the first time. As RHRs rely on the representation of cloud amount and properties, we first compare the modeled vertical distribution of clouds directly against lidar-radar combined cloud observations (i.e., without simulator). On a near-global scale (50°S-50°N), two systematic differences arise: an excess of high-level clouds around 200 hPa in the tropics, and a general lack of mid- and low-level clouds compared to the observations. Then, using RHR profiles calculated with constraints from A-Train and reanalysis data, along with their associated maximum uncertainty estimates, we show that the excess clouds and ice water content in the upper troposphere results in excess infrared heating in the vicinity and below the clouds as well as a lack of solar heating below the clouds. In the lower troposphere, the smaller cloud amount and the underestimation of cloud-top height is coincident with a shift of the infrared cooling to lower levels, substantially reducing the greenhouse effect, that is slightly compensated for by an erroneous excess absorption of solar radiation. Clear-sky RHR differences between the observations and the models mitigate cloudy RHR biases in the low levels while they enhance them in the high levels. Finally, our results indicate that a better agreement between observed and modeled cloud profiles could substantially improve the RHR profiles. However, more work is needed to precisely quantify modeled cloud errors and their subsequent effect on RHRs.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{ce04100o,
  author={Cesana, G. and Waliser, D. E. and Henderson, D. and L'Ecuyer, T. S. and Jiang, X. and Li, J-L. F.},
  title={The vertical structure of radiative heating rates: A multimodel evaluation using A-Train satellite observations},
  year={2019},
  journal={J. Climate},
  volume={32},
  number={5},
  pages={1573--1590},
  doi={10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0136.1},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - ce04100o
AU  - Cesana, G.
AU  - Waliser, D. E.
AU  - Henderson, D.
AU  - L'Ecuyer, T. S.
AU  - Jiang, X.
AU  - Li, J-L. F.
PY  - 2019
TI  - The vertical structure of radiative heating rates: A multimodel evaluation using A-Train satellite observations
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 32
IS  - 5
SP  - 1573
EP  - 1590
DO  - 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0136.1
ER  -

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