Observed dependence of outgoing longwave radiation on sea surface temperature and moisture

A. Raval, A. H. Oort, V. Ramaswamy

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Abstract

In the midlatitudes, the surface temperature explains over 80% of the variability in the clear-sky OLR (Fcs) and almost half of the variability in the total OLR (Ftot). It fails badly in the tropics and subtropics, however, where Ts explains only about 20% of the variability in Fcs, and is largely decoupled from Ftot. The two-dimensional contour plot of the OLR binned with respect to Ts and R̄H̄ is marked by distinct changes in the gradient that are consistent with inferences from earlier investigations. For low values of Ts (<10°C), the OLR depends mainly on Ts. For values of Ts above 10°C, the OLR depends increasingly on R̄H̄. Specifically, in the tropics (Ts ~ 25°C), the total and clear-sky OLR depend significantly on both Ts and R̄H̄. The well-known drop in OLR in the tropics with increasing Ts correlates directly to an increase in R̄H̄, and not to changes in Ts. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-821
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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