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Pascal Marquet and Thibaut Dauhut

Abstract

A careful reading of old articles puts Olivier Pauluis’s criticisms concerning the definition of isentropic processes in terms of a potential temperature closely associated with the entropy of moist air, together with the third principle of thermodynamics, into perspective.

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Daria Kuznetsova, Thibaut Dauhut, and Jean-Pierre Chaboureau

Abstract

The passage of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) over the Indian Ocean and the Maritime Continent is investigated during the episode of 23–30 November 2011. A Meso-NH convection-permitting simulation with a horizontal grid spacing of 4 km is examined. The simulation reproduces the MJO signal correctly, showing the eastward propagation of the primary rain activity. The atmospheric overturning is analyzed using the isentropic method, which separates the ascending air with high equivalent potential temperature from the subsiding air with low equivalent potential temperature. Three key circulations are found. The first two circulations are a tropospheric deep circulation spanning from the surface to an altitude of 14 km and an overshoot circulation within the tropical tropopause layer. As expected for circulations associated with deep convection, their intensities, as well as their diabatic tendencies, increase during the active phase of the MJO, while their entrainment rates decrease. The third circulation is characterized by a rising of air with low equivalent potential temperature in the lower free troposphere. The intensity of the circulation, as well as its depth, varies with the MJO activity. During the suppressed phase, this circulation is associated with a dry air intrusion from the subtropical region into the tropical band and shows a strong drying of the lower to middle troposphere.

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Thibaut Dauhut, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, Juan Escobar, and Patrick Mascart

Abstract

The dynamics of Hector the Convector, which overshot into the stratosphere on 30 November 2005 over the Tiwi Islands, Australia, is investigated using a giga-large-eddy simulation with a 100-m cubic mesh. Individual updrafts, defined as 3D objects with vertical velocity above 10 m s−1 are identified. Among the 20 000 updrafts formed during the most intense phase, only a dozen were more than 4 km tall. The two tallest updrafts accounted for more than 90% of the total vertical mass flux through the tropical tropopause layer. Their locations were determined by low-level convergence lines first created by the sea breeze in the morning, then enhanced by cold pools due to cumulus congestus. They finally reinforced each other as they moved inland and intersected. The two tallest updrafts that overshot the tropopause were contrasted with those occurring 1 h earlier and later. They presented larger widths (up to 8 km), greater buoyancy (up to 0.1 m s−2), stronger vertical velocities (up to 50 m s−1), and larger hydrometeor contents (more than 10 g kg−1). They kept their core weakly diluted on their way to the stratosphere with an entrainment rate as low as 0.08 km−1. Both the low-level convergence lines intensified by cold pools and the reduced mixing in the troposphere were found to be the determinant for the transition from deep to very deep convection.

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Thibaut Dauhut, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, Patrick Mascart, and Olivier Pauluis

Abstract

The overturning of Hector the Convector, a tropical multicellular convective system of northern Australia that regularly overshoots into the stratosphere, is synthesized at the scale of a large-eddy simulation. The isentropic analysis offers the advantage of filtering out the reversible motions due to gravity waves and taking into account the turbulent fluxes that contribute to the vertical transport. Two key circulations are characterized: the troposphere deep overturning and the mass exchange due to the overshoots into the stratosphere. The transition from deep to very deep convection is associated with a change in the diabatic tendency inside the tallest updrafts: the latent heat release due to the formation of a large amount of icy hydrometeors exceeds the loss of energy due to mixing with the drier, colder air of the environment. In agreement with a previous study of Hector examining the properties of its two tallest updrafts, the entrainment rate exhibits a minimum during the very deep convection phase as low as 0.04 km−1. The overturning intensity corroborates the Eulerian computation of the vertical mass flux in the midtroposphere and in the lower stratosphere. It however gives a lower estimate of the flux in the upper troposphere, filtering out the reversible motions, and a larger estimate in the lower troposphere and at the tropopause, where slow vertical motions contribute significantly to the transport.

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Thibaut Dauhut, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, Peter H. Haynes, and Todd P. Lane

Abstract

Overshoots are convective air parcels that rise beyond their level of neutral buoyancy. A giga-large-eddy simulation (100-m cubic resolution) of “Hector the Convector,” a deep convective system that regularly forms in northern Australia, is analyzed to identify overshoots and quantify the effect of hydration of the stratosphere. In the simulation, 1507 individual overshoots were identified, and 46 of them were tracked over more than 10 min. Hydration of the stratosphere occurs through a sequence of mechanisms: overshoot penetration into the stratosphere, followed by entrainment of stratospheric air and then by efficient turbulent mixing between the air in the overshoot and the entrained warmer air, leaving the subsequent mixed air at about the maximum overshooting altitude. The time scale of these mechanisms is about 1 min. Two categories of overshoots are distinguished: those that significantly hydrate the stratosphere and those that have little direct hydration effect. The former reach higher altitudes and hence entrain and mix with air that has higher potential temperatures. The resulting mixed air has higher temperatures and higher saturation mixing ratios. Therefore, a greater amount of the hydrometeors carried by the original overshoot sublimates to form a persistent vapor-enriched layer. This makes the maximum overshooting altitude the key prognostic for the parameterization of deep convection to represent the correct overshoot transport. One common convection parameterization is tested, and the results suggest that the overshoot downward acceleration due to negative buoyancy is too large relative to that predicted by the numerical simulations and needs to be reduced.

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Stephanie Fiedler, Traute Crueger, Roberta D’Agostino, Karsten Peters, Tobias Becker, David Leutwyler, Laura Paccini, Jörg Burdanowitz, Stefan A. Buehler, Alejandro Uribe Cortes, Thibaut Dauhut, Dietmar Dommenget, Klaus Fraedrich, Leonore Jungandreas, Nicola Maher, Ann Kristin Naumann, Maria Rugenstein, Mirjana Sakradzija, Hauke Schmidt, Frank Sielmann, Claudia Stephan, Claudia Timmreck, Xiuhua Zhu, and Bjorn Stevens

Abstract

The representation of tropical precipitation is evaluated across three generations of models participating in phases 3, 5, and 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). Compared to state-of-the-art observations, improvements in tropical precipitation in the CMIP6 models are identified for some metrics, but we find no general improvement in tropical precipitation on different temporal and spatial scales. Our results indicate overall little changes across the CMIP phases for the summer monsoons, the double-ITCZ bias, and the diurnal cycle of tropical precipitation. We find a reduced amount of drizzle events in CMIP6, but tropical precipitation occurs still too frequently. Continuous improvements across the CMIP phases are identified for the number of consecutive dry days, for the representation of modes of variability, namely, the Madden–Julian oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation, and for the trends in dry months in the twentieth century. The observed positive trend in extreme wet months is, however, not captured by any of the CMIP phases, which simulate negative trends for extremely wet months in the twentieth century. The regional biases are larger than a climate change signal one hopes to use the models to identify. Given the pace of climate change as compared to the pace of model improvements to simulate tropical precipitation, we question the past strategy of the development of the present class of global climate models as the mainstay of the scientific response to climate change. We suggest the exploration of alternative approaches such as high-resolution storm-resolving models that can offer better prospects to inform us about how tropical precipitation might change with anthropogenic warming.

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