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Organized Trade Cumulus Clouds Suppressed by Climate Change
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  • Jan Kazil,
  • Pornampai Narenpitak,
  • Takanobu Yamaguchi,
  • Graham Feingold
Jan Kazil
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado and Chemical Sciences Laboratory, NOAA ESRL

Corresponding Author:jan.kazil@noaa.gov

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Pornampai Narenpitak
National Electronics and Computer Technology Center
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Takanobu Yamaguchi
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
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Graham Feingold
CSD, ESRL, NOAA, Boulder
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We present a first study showing that organization of trade cumulus (Tc) clouds can significantly enhance Tc response to climate change. Among four recently identified states of Tc organization, the “Flower” state has the highest and the “Sugar” state the lowest cloud fraction and cloud radiative effect. Using large-eddy simulations, we show that the organized “Flower” Tc state is strongly suppressed at the end of the 21st century, unlike the less organized “Sugar” Tc state and Tc studied previously. The primary cause of the suppression is down-welling long-wave radiation from increased greenhouse gas concentrations, which weakens the mesoscale circulation that organizes clouds into the “Flower” Tc state. The cumulus-valve mechanism, which is thought to limit Tc response to climate change, does not prevent this response. Our work unravels an unrecognized role of cloud organization in the cloud response to climate change.
18 Feb 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
20 Feb 2023Published in ESS Open Archive