Understanding convective dynamics from analyzing trace gas measurements: results from SEAC4RS field campaign and MOZAIC project

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Zhengzhao Johnny Luo, City College, New York, NY; and S. Pyo and N. Shah

Deep convective updrafts transport air parcels from near the PBL to the upper troposphere in only ~ 30 min. At this time scale, most insoluble trace gases (e.g., ozone, some VOCs) can be treated as conserved tracers. Consequently, trace gas measurements made inside and near convection can be utilized to study convective dynamics including lateral entrainment and mixing in the outflow. We will use measurements made from a recent NASA airborne field campaign, SEAC4RS to illustrate how such studies can be conducted. Also, we analyzed multiple years of MOZAIC data collected on board commercial aircraft to corroborate the findings from SEAC4RS. It will be shown that using trace gases to diagnose convective dynamics oftentimes has certain advantages over the traditional meteorological approach using, e.g., equivalent potential temperature.