Observations of aerosol-induced convective invigoration in the tropical east Atlantic

Authors:

Storer, R. L., S. C. van den Heever, & T. S. L'Ecuyer...
Resource type:
Scientific Publications
Publishing year:
2014

Abstract - Four years of CloudSat data have been analyzed over a region of the east Atlantic Ocean in order to examine the influence of aerosols on deep convection. The satellite data were combined with information about aerosols taken from the Global and Regional Earth-System Monitoring Using Satellite and In Situ Data model. Only those profiles fitting the definition of deep convective clouds were analyzed. Overall, the cloud center of gravity, cloud top, and rain top were all found to increase with increased aerosol loading. These effects were largely independent of the environment, and the differences between the cleanest and most polluted clouds sampled were found to be statistically significant. When examining an even smaller subset of deep convective clouds likely to be part of the convective core, similar trends were seen. These observations suggest that convective invigoration occurs with increased aerosol loading, leading to deeper, stronger storms in polluted environments.

Storer, R. L., S. C. van den Heever, & T. S. L'Ecuyer (2014) Observations of aerosol-induced convective invigoration in the tropical east Atlantic, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119(7):3963-3975.

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