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Emergence and circulation coupling of moist layers over the tropical Atlantic
  • Marc Prange,
  • Bjorn Stevens,
  • Stefan Alexander Buehler
Marc Prange
Universit├Ąt Hamburg

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Bjorn Stevens
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
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Stefan Alexander Buehler
Universit├Ąt Hamburg
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Mid-tropospheric elevated moist layers (EMLs) near the melting level have been found in various regional observational studies in the tropics. Recently, a preponderance of EMLs in the presence of aggregated convection was found in cloud resolving simulations of radiative convective equilibrium (RCE), highlighting a significant circulation coupling. Here, we present global monthly EML occurrence rates based on reanalysis, yielding a broader view on where and when EMLs occur in the real world. Over the Atlantic, EML occurrence follows an annual cycle that maximizes in summer, aligning with maximized ITCZ intensity and organisation. Resembling the results in RCE, the large-scale circulation over the Atlantic shifts from a deep overturning in January to a bottom-heavy circulation in July. While EMLs embedded in the July cross-equatorial Hadley cell are found to be sourced from the ITCZ, EMLs north of the ITCZ emerge from the strongly sheared zonal flow over West Africa.
04 Mar 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
13 Mar 2024Published in ESS Open Archive