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Similarity among atmospheric thermal stratifications over elevated surfaces under radiative-convective equilibrium

TitleSimilarity among atmospheric thermal stratifications over elevated surfaces under radiative-convective equilibrium
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsNie J., Xia Y., Hu S.N, Yuan W., Yang J., Ma D.
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2019/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000464650400054
KeywordsAsia; atmospheric vertical structure; climate; cloud-resolving model; convection; equilibrium; Geology; model; monsoon; radiative-convective; resolution; scheme; shallow; Tibetan Plateau; view

An air column under radiative-convective equilibrium is studied here to understand equilibrium climate over different surface elevations. Cloud-resolving model (CRM) simulations show that atmospheric thermal stratifications exhibit similar structures when expressed in sigma coordinates over varying surface elevations under radiative-convective equilibrium. A zero-buoyancy plume model that reproduces CRM results is used to interpret related processes. As surface pressure decreases, decreased pressure on a certain sigma level leads to decreases of moist adiabatic temperature lapse rate, which largely cancel the increases of moist adiabatic lapse rate by temperature decreases. Meanwhile, the invariance of convective entrainment/detrainment rates keeps the deviation of environmental temperature lapse rate from moist adiabat approximately invariant, result in similar thermal stratifications under varying surface pressures. A comparison of thermodynamic profiles over the Tibetan Plateau with those over plains in reanalysis confirms the similarity found in CRM simulations. This similarity provides a useful simplification for representing the effects of convection.

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