Kilometer-scale global warming simulations and active sensors reveal changes in tropical deep convection

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

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1 Scopus citations


Changes in tropical deep convection with global warming are a leading source of uncertainty for future climate projections. A comparison of the responses of active sensor measurements of cloud ice to interannual variability and next-generation global storm-resolving model (also known as k-scale models) simulations to global warming shows similar changes for events with the highest column-integrated ice. The changes reveal that the ice loading decreases outside the most active convection but increases at a rate of several percent per Kelvin surface warming in the most active convection. Disentangling thermodynamic and vertical velocity changes shows that the ice signal is strongly modulated by structural changes of the vertical wind field towards an intensification of strong convective updrafts with warming, suggesting that changes in ice loading are strongly influenced by changes in convective velocities, as well as a path toward extracting information about convective velocities from observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number209
Journalnpj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Science


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