Horizontally homogeneous rotating radiative-convective equilibria at GCM resolution

Isaac M. Held, Ming Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Rotating radiative-convective equilibrium, using the column physics and resolution of GCMs, is proposed as a useful framework for studying the tropical storm-like vortices produced by global models. These equilibria are illustrated using the column physics and dynamics of a version of the GFDL Atmospheric Model 2 (AM2) at resolutions of 220, 110, and 55 km in a large 2 × 104 km horizontally homogeneous domain with fixed sea surface temperature and uniform Coriolis parameter. The large domain allows a number of tropical storms to exist simultaneously. Once equilibrium is attained, storms often persist for hundreds of days. The number of storms decreases as sea surface temperature increase, while the average intensity increases. As the background rotation is decreased, the number of storms a so decreases. At these resolutions and with this parameterization of convection, a dense collectior of tropical storms is always the end state of moist convection in the cases examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2003-2013
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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