Examining the Hydrological Variations in an Aquaplanet World Using Wave Activity Transformation

Published in Journal of Climate, 2017

ABSTRACT: Building on the recent advent of the concept of finite-amplitude wave activity, a contour-following diagnostics for column water vapor (CWV) is developed and applied to a pair of aquaplanet model simulations to understand and quantify the higher moments in the global hydrological cycle. The Lagrangian nature of the diagnostics leads to a more tractable formalism for the transient, zonally asymmetric component of the hydrological cycle, with a strong linear relation emerging between the wave activity and the wave component of precipitation minus evaporation (). The dry-versus-wet disparity in the transient hydrological cycle is measured by , and it is found to increase at a super-Clausius–Clapeyron rate at the poleward side of the mean storm track in response to a uniform sea surface temperature (SST) warming and the meridional structure of the increase can be largely attributed to the change of the meridional stirring scale of the midlatitude Rossby waves. Further scaling for indicates that the ra…

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Lu, Jian, Koichi Sakaguchi, Qing Yang, L. Ruby Leung, Gang Chen, Chun Zhao, Erik Swenson and Zhangshuan J. Hou, 2017: Examining the Hydrological Variations in an Aquaplanet World Using Wave Activity Transformation, Journal of Climate, 30, 2559--2576, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0561.1.