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Tropical gravity wave momentum fluxes and latent heating distributions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 12:34 authored by Geller, MA, Zhou, T, Peter LovePeter Love
Recent satellite determinations of global distributions of absolute gravity wave (GW) momentum fluxes in the lower stratosphere show maxima over the summer subtropical continents and little evidence of GW momentum fluxes associated with the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). This seems to be at odds with parameterizations for GW momentum fluxes, where the source is a function of latent heating rates, which are largest in the region of the ITCZ in terms of monthly averages. The authors have examined global distributions of atmospheric latent heating, cloud-top-pressure altitudes, and lower-stratosphere absolute GW momentum fluxes and have found that monthly averages of the lower-stratosphere GW momentum fluxes more closely resemble the monthly mean cloud-top altitudes rather than the monthly mean rates of latent heating. These regions of highest cloud-top altitudes occur when rates of latent heating are largest on the time scale of cloud growth. This, plus previously published studies, suggests that convective sources for stratospheric GW momentum fluxes, being a function of the rate of latent heating, will require either a climate model to correctly model this rate of latent heating or some ad hoc adjustments to account for shortcomings in a climate model’s land–sea differences in convective latent heating.

History

Publication title

Journal of The Atmospheric Sciences

Volume

72

Issue

July

Pagination

2762-2768

ISSN

0022-4928

Department/School

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Publisher

Amer Meteorological Soc

Place of publication

45 Beacon St, Boston, USA, Ma, 02108-3693

Rights statement

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Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Atmospheric processes and dynamics