Convective influence of the heat balance of the tropical tropopause layer: A cloud-resolving model study.

Kuang, Z., and C. S. Bretherton

J. Atmos. Sci., accepted.

Abstract

The tropical tropopause layer (TTL), and in particular the cold point tropopause, has been previously suggested as a feature decoupled from convection. Using a cloud resolving model, we demonstrate that convection in fact has a cooling effect in the TTL that significantly affects its thermal structure. In particular, the cold point is found to be strongly tied to the convective cooling maximum. We interpret these as natural features of an entrainment layer such as the TTL. The recognition that the cold point tropopause is strongly tied to, rather than decoupled from, convection suggests that dehydration processes at the cold point cannot be assumed as gradual and the effect of convection cannot be ignored.
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Zhiming Kuang <kzm@atmos.washington.edu>