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Robust cloud feedback over tropical land in a warming climate

TitleRobust cloud feedback over tropical land in a warming climate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKamae Y., Ogura T., Watanabe M., Xie SP, Ueda H.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres
Date Published2016/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-897X
Accession NumberWOS:000374710300005
KeywordsAtmospheric circulation; carbon-dioxide; cloud radiative kernel; co2; dynamic feedback; future projections; hadley-center; hydrological cycle; land cloud feedback; land-sea contrast; mechanisms; precipitation change; rainfall projections; sea-surface temperature; tropical atmospheric circulation

Cloud-related radiative perturbations over land in a warming climate are of importance for human health, ecosystem, agriculture, and industry via solar radiation availability and local warming amplification. However, robustness and physical mechanisms responsible for the land cloud feedback were not examined sufficiently because of the limited contribution to uncertainty in global climate sensitivity. Here we show that cloud feedback in general circulation models over tropical land is robust, positive, and is relevant to atmospheric circulation change and thermodynamic constraint associated with water vapor availability. In a warming climate, spatial variations in tropospheric warming associated with climatological circulation pattern result in a general weakening of tropical circulation and a dynamic reduction of land cloud during summer monsoon season. Limited increase in availability of water vapor also reduces the land cloud. The reduction of land cloud depends on global-scale oceanic warming and is not sensitive to regional warming patterns. The robust positive feedback can contribute to the warming amplification and drying over tropical land in the future.

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