Projected Response of Low-Level Convergence and Associated Precipitation to Greenhouse Warming

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Abstract

The parameterization of convection in climate models is a large source of uncertainty in projecting future precipitation changes. Here an objective method to identify organized low-level convergence lines has been used to better understand how atmospheric convection is organized and projected to change, as low-level convergence plays an important role in the processes leading to precipitation. The frequency and strength of convergence lines over both ocean and land in current climate simulations is too low compared to reanalysis data. Projections show a further reduction in the frequency and strength of convergence lines over the midlatitudes. In the tropics, the largest changes in frequency are generally associated with shifts in major low-latitude convergence zones, consistent with changes in the precipitation. Further, examining convergence lines when in the presence or absence of precipitation results in large spatial contrasts, providing a better understanding of regional changes in terms of thermodynamic and dynamic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10682-10690
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • atmospheric circulation
  • climate change
  • CMIP5 evaluation
  • convergence
  • rainfall

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