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Title: The Dependence of ITCZ Structure on Model Resolution and Dynamical Core in Aquaplanet Simulations

Aqua-planet simulations using the Community Atmosphere Model version 4 (CAM4) with the Model for Prediction Across Scales Atmosphere (MPAS-A) and Higher Order Method Modeling Environment (HOMME) dynamical cores and zonally symmetric sea surface temperature (SST) structure are studied to understand the dependence of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) structure on resolution and dynamical core. While all resolutions in HOMME and the low-resolution MPAS-A simulations give a single equatorial peak in zonal mean precipitation, the high-resolution MPAS-A simulations give a double ITCZ with precipitation peaking around 2° to 3° on either side of the equator. This study reveals that the structure of ITCZ is dependent on the feedbacks among convection and large-scale circulation and surface heat fluxes. We show that, by increasing convective available potential energy (CAPE) off the equator, the simulations with higher wind induced surface heat fluxes result in double ITCZ structure. This in turn leads to stronger convection and positive feedback with the large-scale circulation. We further show that the dominance of anti-symmetric waves in a model is not enough to cause double ITCZ, and the lateral extent of equatorial waves does not play an important role in determining the width of the ITCZ but rather the lattermore » may influence the former.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Climate, 27(6):2375–2385
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
inter-tropical; convergence; zone; ITCZ; aqua-planet; atmosphere; model