Impact of Warmer Sea Surface Temperature on the Global Pattern of Intense Convection: Insights From a Global Storm Resolving Model

Kai Yuan Cheng, Lucas Harris, Christopher Bretherton, Timothy M. Merlis, Maximilien Bolot, Linjiong Zhou, Alex Kaltenbaugh, Spencer Clark, Stephan Fueglistaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intense convection (updrafts exceeding 10 m s−1) plays an essential role in severe weather and Earth's energy balance. Despite its importance, how the global pattern of intense convection changes in response to warmed climates remains unclear, as simulations from traditional climate models are too coarse to simulate intense convection. Here we use a kilometer-scale global storm resolving model (GSRM) and conduct year-long simulations of a control run, forced by analyzed sea surface temperature (SST), and one with a 4 K increase in SST. Comparisons show that the increased SST enhances the frequency of intense convection globally with large spatial and seasonal variations. Changes in the spatial pattern of intense convection are associated with changes in planetary circulation. Increases in the intense convection frequency do not necessarily reflect increases in convective available potential energy. The GSRM results are also compared with previously published traditional climate model projections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GL099796
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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