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Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9100377

The Impact of Cloud Radiative Effects on the Tropical Tropopause Layer Temperatures

1
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2
Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 16 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Radiative Processes and Effect)
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Abstract

A single-column radiative-convective model (RCM) is a useful tool to investigate the physical processes that determine the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) temperature structures. Previous studies on the TTL using the RCMs, however, omitted the cloud radiative effects. In this study, we examine the impact of cloud radiative effects on the simulated TTL temperatures using an RCM. We derive the cloud radiative effects based on satellite observations, which show heating rates in the troposphere but cooling rates in the stratosphere. We find that the cloud radiative effect warms the TTL by as much as 2 K but cools the lower stratosphere by as much as −1.5 K, resulting in a thicker TTL. With (without) considering cloud radiative effects, we obtain a convection top of ≈167 hPa (≈150 hPa) with a temperature of ≈213 K (≈209 K), and a cold point at ≈87 hPa (≈94 hPa) with a temperature of ≈204 K (≈204 K). Therefore, the cloud radiative effects widen the TTL by both lowering the convection-top height and enhancing the cold-point height. We also examine the impact of TTL cirrus radiative effects on the RCM-simulated temperatures. We find that the TTL cirrus warms the TTL with a maximum temperature increase of ≈1.3 K near 110 hPa. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropical tropopause layer; cloud radiative effects; temperature structure tropical tropopause layer; cloud radiative effects; temperature structure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Fu, Q.; Smith, M.; Yang, Q. The Impact of Cloud Radiative Effects on the Tropical Tropopause Layer Temperatures. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 377.

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