On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observations

Qiang Fu, Syukuro Manabe, Celeste M. Johanson

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104 Scopus citations


IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) GCMs (General Circulation Models) predict a tropical tropospheric warming that increases with height, reaches its maximum at ∼200 hPa, and decreases to zero near the tropical tropopause. This study examines the GCM-predicted maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere using satellite MSU (microwave sounding unit)-derived deep-layer temperatures in the tropical upper-and lower-middle troposphere for 1979-2010. While satellite MSU/AMSU observations generally support GCM results with tropical deep-layer tropospheric warming faster than surface, it is evident that the AR4 GCMs exaggerate the increase in static stability between tropical middle and upper troposphere during the last three decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15704
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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