Publication Abstracts

Del Genio et al. 1994

Del Genio, A.D., W. Kovari, Jr., and M.-S. Yao, 1994: Climatic implications of the seasonal variation of upper troposphere water vapor. Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 2701-2704, doi:10.1029/94GL02658.

Satellite observations indicate that the humidity of the upper troposphere is higher in summer than in winter. We use general circulation model (GCM) simulations to explore the processes that maintain upper troposphere water vapor and determine its seasonal cycle. In the subtropics, drying by Hadley cell subsidence and stratiform condensation is offset primarily by moistening by eddies, with moist convection playing a minor role. Elsewhere, both mean meridional circulation and eddies moisten the upper troposphere and are balanced primarily by stratiform condensation drying. The effect of the seasonal shift of the Hadley cell is limited to latitudes equatorward of 30°. At higher latitudes where the largest observed summer moistening occurs, eddy moisture fluxes are primarily responsible despite the eddies being weaker in summer than winter. The same mechanism causes upper level humidity to increase in GCM climate warming simulations. The observed seasonal variation may thus be a good proxy for decadal climate change. This suggests that upper troposphere water vapor feedback is positive at all latitudes, consistent with GCM predictions.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Del Genio, A. D. and Kovari, Jr., W. and Yao, M.-S.},
  title={Climatic implications of the seasonal variation of upper troposphere water vapor},
  journal={Geophys. Res. Lett.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - de05200y
AU  - Del Genio, A. D.
AU  - Kovari, W., Jr.
AU  - Yao, M.-S.
PY  - 1994
TI  - Climatic implications of the seasonal variation of upper troposphere water vapor
JA  - Geophys. Res. Lett.
VL  - 21
SP  - 2701
EP  - 2704
DO  - 10.1029/94GL02658
ER  -

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