1.6 Impact of Convectively Detrained Ice Crystals on the Tropical Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere

Monday, 7 January 2019: 9:45 AM
West 212A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Rei Ueyama, NASA, Moffett Field, CA; and E. J. Jensen, L. Pfister, and M. R. Schoeberl

The role of convectively detrained ice crystals on the humidity of the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) is investigated in simulations of cirrus (ice) clouds along parcel trajectories launched from the 378K potential temperature level in the tropics. The one-dimensional (vertical) cloud model tracks individual ice crystals through their lifecycle beginning with detrainment from convection, followed by deposition growth, sedimentation and sublimation. Convective influence of the parcels is diagnosed by tracing the trajectories through time-dependent fields of convective cloud-top height. Preliminary results indicate sensitivity of the detrained ice crystal lifecycle to atmospheric conditions downstream of convection. Specifically, cooling (high relative humidity) downstream of convection leads to deposition growth and sedimentation of detrained ice crystals, resulting in net dehydration of the UTLS. In contrast, warming (low relative humidity) downstream of convection leads to sublimation of detrained ice crystals and subsequent hydration. As such, the impact of detrained ice crystals on the humidity of the UTLS exhibits distinct spatial variability. Sensitivities to the convectively detrained ice crystal size and concentration are also examined.
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