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January and July Global Distributions of Atmospheric Heating for 1986, 1987, and 1988

Todd K. SchaackSpace Science and Engineering Center, University ofWisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

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Donald R. JohnsonSpace Science and Engineering Center and Department ofatmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. University ofWisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

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Abstract

Three-dimensional global distributions of atmospheric heating are estimated for January and July of the 3-year period 1986–88 from the ECMWF/TOGA assimilated datasets. Emphasis is placed on the interseasonal and interannual variability of heating both locally and regionally. Large fluctuations in the magnitude of heating and the disposition of maxima/minima in the Tropics occur over the 3-year period. This variability, which is largely in accord with anomalous precipitation expected during the ENSO cycle, appears realistic. In both January and July, interannual differences of 1.07−1.5 K day−1 in the vertically averaged heating occur over the tropical Pacific. These interannual regional differences are substantial in comparison with maximum monthly averaged Heating rates of 2.0−2.5 K day−1. In the extratropics, the most prominent interannual variability occurs along the wintertime North Atlantic cyclone track.

Vertical profiles of heating from selected regions also reveal large interannual variability. Clearly evident is the modulation of the heating within tropical regions of deep moist convection associated with the evolution of the ENSO cycle. The beating integrated over continental and oceanic basins emphasizes the impact of land and ocean surfaces on atmospheric energy balance and depicts marked interseasonal and interannual large-scale variability.

Abstract

Three-dimensional global distributions of atmospheric heating are estimated for January and July of the 3-year period 1986–88 from the ECMWF/TOGA assimilated datasets. Emphasis is placed on the interseasonal and interannual variability of heating both locally and regionally. Large fluctuations in the magnitude of heating and the disposition of maxima/minima in the Tropics occur over the 3-year period. This variability, which is largely in accord with anomalous precipitation expected during the ENSO cycle, appears realistic. In both January and July, interannual differences of 1.07−1.5 K day−1 in the vertically averaged heating occur over the tropical Pacific. These interannual regional differences are substantial in comparison with maximum monthly averaged Heating rates of 2.0−2.5 K day−1. In the extratropics, the most prominent interannual variability occurs along the wintertime North Atlantic cyclone track.

Vertical profiles of heating from selected regions also reveal large interannual variability. Clearly evident is the modulation of the heating within tropical regions of deep moist convection associated with the evolution of the ENSO cycle. The beating integrated over continental and oceanic basins emphasizes the impact of land and ocean surfaces on atmospheric energy balance and depicts marked interseasonal and interannual large-scale variability.

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