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Kathleen A. Schiro, J. David Neelin, David K. Adams, and Benjamin R. Lintner

1. Introduction Despite the complex relationships, interactions, and feedbacks that exist among the atmosphere, land, and ocean, a robust relationship exists between precipitation and column water vapor (CWV). Bretherton et al. (2004) identified a smooth relationship of CWV and precipitation in daily mean satellite observations. On shorter time scales, conditionally averaged precipitation rate increases sharply with increasing CWV ( Peters and Neelin 2006 ; Holloway and Neelin 2009 ; Neelin

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Benjamin R. Lintner, Christopher E. Holloway, and J. David Neelin

1. Introduction The spatial and temporal distributions of tropospheric moisture have important implications for the global climate system and its variability. As Earth’s principal greenhouse gas, water vapor strongly affects the cloud optical properties and their distribution and atmospheric column and surface radiative budgets ( Held and Soden 2000 ). Phase changes of tropospheric water provide important sources of heating (condensation of the vapor phase) and cooling (evaporation or

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Eva Monteiro and Enrico Torlaschi

1. Introduction The concept of virtual temperature has been introduced in meteorology to account for the dependence of air density on water vapor content and represents the temperature of dry air that has the same density as a parcel of moist air at the same pressure ( Guldberg and Mohn 1876 ; Dufour 1963 ; cf. Curry and Webster 1999 ). The virtual temperature is then used in the computation of the buoyancy force. Saunders (1957) generalized the concept of virtual temperature to cloudy air

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Hao Yan and Song Yang

rate, cloud water, water vapor, sea surface winds, sea surface temperature, ice, snow, and soil moisture ( Njoku et al. 2003 ; Wilheit et al. 2003 ; Kelly et al. 2003 ). The AMSR-E official rainfall products were obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC; see online at http://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/ae_rain_l2b.gd.html ). The level-2B swath product (AE_Rain) contains instantaneous rain rates and rain types (convective versus stratiform) at a spatial resolution of 5.4 km ( Adler

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Paul A. O’Gorman, Nicolas Lamquin, Tapio Schneider, and Martin S. Singh

1. Introduction The humidity distribution of the free troposphere plays an important role in the climate system for a number of reasons. Much attention has focused on the effect of upper-tropospheric water vapor on radiative transfer ( Pierrehumbert 1995 ; Held and Soden 2000 ). But the humidity distribution of the free troposphere also plays an important role in determining the distributions of clouds (e.g., Mitchell and Ingram 1992 ) and precipitation (e.g., Derbyshire et al. 2004

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James A. Mueller and Fabrice Veron

1. Introduction The sensible heat and water vapor fluxes at the air–sea interface are important boundary conditions for atmospheric and oceanic models that attempt to capture the physics and evolution of weather and climate. While these fluxes are fairly well known at moderate wind speeds, they remain obscured at the high wind speeds present in storms and hurricanes. Recent measurements at high wind speeds from the Coupled Boundary Layer and Air–Sea Transfer (CBLAST; Drennan et al. 2007

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Panmao Zhai and Robert E. Eskridge

1. Introduction Atmospheric water vapor plays a part in all water and heat processes of the climate system. It is the most abundant greenhouse gas and makes the largest contribution to the “natural” greenhouse effect ( IPCC 1996 ). It also plays an important part in the hydrologic cycle, but scientists were unable to study its spatial and temporal distribution until radiosonde data became available ( Bannon and Steele 1960 ; Starr et al. 1965 ). Recently, the Global Energy and Water Cycle

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Edwin K. Schneider, Ben P. Kirtman, and Richard S. Lindzen

1. Introduction Experiments were carried out with a GCM coupled to a slab mixed layer ocean to determine the contribution of the feedback from water vapor in various regions of the atmosphere on the sensitivity of global mean surface temperature to doubling of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). While the boundary layer moisture is closely coupled to the underlying surface and can be considered, to a first approximation, to be near saturation at the local surface temperature, both advection and

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Olivier Pauluis

, diffusion of water vapor and irreversible phase transitions account for a large portion of the total entropy production—roughly two-thirds in the simulations discussed in Pauluis and Held (2002a) . The irreversible entropy source associated with these moist processes reduces the amount of entropy that can be generated by frictional dissipation. As a result, the amount of kinetic energy produced in a moist atmosphere is much lower than what would be expected from a Carnot cycle with the same energy

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J. R. Wang, J. L. King, T. T. Wilheit, G. Szejwach, L. H. Gesell, R. A. Nieman, D. S. Niver, B. M. Krupp, and J. A. Gagliano

MAY 1983 WANG ET AL. 779Profiling Atmospheric Water Vapor by Microwave RadiometryJ. R. WANG, J. L. KING,1 T. T. WILHEIT AND G. SZEJWACH2 NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771L. H. GESELL, R. A. NIEMAN AND D. S. NIVERComputer Sciences Corporation, Silver Spring, MD 20910 B. M. KRUPPSystems and Applied Sciences Corporation, Riverdale, MD 20840

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