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Title: Thresholds for Atmospheric Convection in Amazonian Rainforests

Abstract

The Amazon rainforest is known as the “Green Ocean” for its maritime-like convection and cloud microphysics during the wet season. Although previous studies suggest the dominant thermodynamic processes involved in deep convection may differ between land and ocean, a comprehensive understanding of the thermodynamics of Amazonian convection is lacking. Using 404,971 daytime precipitating cloud profiles from the CloudSat satellite, we observe a regime transition from congestus dominance to cumulonimbus dominance when convective available potential energy exceeds a threshold in Amazonia and also in shrublands, but not in oceanic regions. In addition, the cloud regime transition is linked to boundary layer moisture in the two continental regions, while it is linked to lower-free-tropospheric moisture in the oceanic region. As the dry season progresses in Amazonia and modifies the free-tropospheric stability, a moderate plant water stress and increased incoming solar energy facilitate the initiation of deep convection and the onset of the wet season.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brown Univ., Providence, RI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1611600
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1557899
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0011111
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 16; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Geology

Citation Formats

Wu, M., and Lee, J. ‐E. Thresholds for Atmospheric Convection in Amazonian Rainforests. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl082909.
Wu, M., & Lee, J. ‐E. Thresholds for Atmospheric Convection in Amazonian Rainforests. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl082909
Wu, M., and Lee, J. ‐E. Mon . "Thresholds for Atmospheric Convection in Amazonian Rainforests". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl082909. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1611600.
@article{osti_1611600,
title = {Thresholds for Atmospheric Convection in Amazonian Rainforests},
author = {Wu, M. and Lee, J. ‐E.},
abstractNote = {The Amazon rainforest is known as the “Green Ocean” for its maritime-like convection and cloud microphysics during the wet season. Although previous studies suggest the dominant thermodynamic processes involved in deep convection may differ between land and ocean, a comprehensive understanding of the thermodynamics of Amazonian convection is lacking. Using 404,971 daytime precipitating cloud profiles from the CloudSat satellite, we observe a regime transition from congestus dominance to cumulonimbus dominance when convective available potential energy exceeds a threshold in Amazonia and also in shrublands, but not in oceanic regions. In addition, the cloud regime transition is linked to boundary layer moisture in the two continental regions, while it is linked to lower-free-tropospheric moisture in the oceanic region. As the dry season progresses in Amazonia and modifies the free-tropospheric stability, a moderate plant water stress and increased incoming solar energy facilitate the initiation of deep convection and the onset of the wet season.},
doi = {10.1029/2019gl082909},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 16,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

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