|Title||Is the net cloud radiative effect constrained to be uniform over the tropical warm pools?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Wall C.J, Hartmann D.L, Norris J.R|
|Type of Article||Article; Early Access|
|Keywords||aggregation; circulation; climate; Cloud Radiative Effects; convergence; energy-balance; Geology; interactions; life-cycle; model; ocean-atmosphere; surface-temperature-gradients; thermostats; tropical convection; variability|
Global radiative-convective equilibrium simulations are used to investigate the hypothesis that mutual interactions among cloud albedo, sea surface temperature gradients, and atmospheric circulation constrain the net cloud radiative effect (CRE) to be similar in convective and nonconvective regions over the tropical warm pools. We perform an experiment in which convective clouds interact naturally with the ocean and atmosphere by forming over the warmest water and shading it and an experiment in which this interaction is removed by randomizing cloud shading of the ocean. Removing the cloud shading interaction enhances sea surface temperature gradients, lateral atmospheric heat transport, and large-scale convective aggregation and produces convective clouds with much more negative net CRE. These findings support the hypothesis that feedbacks between sea surface temperature and convection are critical to obtaining similar net CRE in convective and nonconvective regions over the tropical warm pools.