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Examination of Relationships between Clear-Sky Longwave Radiation and Aspects of the Atmospheric Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Observations

Allan, R. P. (2009) Examination of Relationships between Clear-Sky Longwave Radiation and Aspects of the Atmospheric Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Observations. Journal of Climate, 22 (11). 3127 -3145 . ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2616.1

Abstract/Summary

Relationships between clear-sky longwave radiation and aspects of the atmospheric hydrological cycle are quantified in models, reanalyses, and observations over the period 1980-2000. The robust sensitivity of clear-sky surface net longwave radiation (SNLc) to column-integrated water vapor (CWV) of 1-1.5 Wm(-2) mm(-1) combined with the positive relationship between CWV and surface temperature (T-s) explains substantial increases in clear-sky longwave radiative cooling of the atmosphere (Q(LWc)) to the surface over the period. Clear-sky outgoing longwave radiation (OLRc) is highly sensitive to changes in aerosol and greenhouse gas concentrations in addition to temperature and humidity. Over tropical ocean regions of mean descent, Q(LWc) increases with T-s at similar to 3.5-5.5 W m(-2) K-1 for reanalyses, estimates derived from satellite data, and models without volcanic forcing included. Increased Q(LWc) with warming across the tropical oceans helps to explain model ensemble mean increases in precipitation of 0.1-0.15 mm day(-1) K-1, which are primarily determined by ascent regions where precipitation increases at the rate expected from the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The implications for future projections in the atmospheric hydrological cycle are discussed

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Environmental Systems Science Centre
ID Code:1603
Uncontrolled Keywords:WATER-VAPOR; SURFACE-TEMPERATURE; COUPLED MODEL; SEA-ICE; PRECIPITATION; SIMULATIONS; VARIABILITY; SATELLITE; TRENDS; FEEDBACKS
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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