Publication Abstracts

Del Genio et al. 1991

Del Genio, A.D., A.A. Lacis, and R.A. Ruedy, 1991: Simulations of the effect of a warmer climate on atmospheric humidity. Nature, 351, 382-385, doi:10.1038/351382a0.

The increases in the concentration of water vapour constitute the single largest positive feedback in models of global climate warming caused by greenhouse gases. It has been suggested that sinking air in the regions surrounding deep cumulus clouds will dry the upper troposphere and eliminate or reverse the direction of water vapour feedback. We have now tested this hypothesis by performing an idealized simulation of climate change with two different versions of a climate model. The versions differ in their parameterizations of moist convection and stratiform clouds, but both incorporate the drying due to subsidence of clear air. Despite increased drying of the upper troposphere by cumulus clouds, upper-level humidity increases in the warmer climate because of enhanced upward moisture transport by the general circulation and increased accumulation of water vapour and ice at cumulus cloud tops. The model behaviour is consistent with recent satellite estimates of the water vapour feedback.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Del Genio, A. D. and Lacis, A. A. and Ruedy, R. A.},
  title={Simulations of the effect of a warmer climate on atmospheric humidity},

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RIS Citation

ID  - de02200i
AU  - Del Genio, A. D.
AU  - Lacis, A. A.
AU  - Ruedy, R. A.
PY  - 1991
TI  - Simulations of the effect of a warmer climate on atmospheric humidity
JA  - Nature
VL  - 351
SP  - 382
EP  - 385
DO  - 10.1038/351382a0
ER  -

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