Friday, May 24, 2024


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in a Cloud Studying how convective aggregation affects water vapor levels within a cloud.

2 maps with colors to indication data.

The Editors’ Highlights provide brief overviews of recent articles selected by the editors of AGU’s journals.

Source: AGU Advances

Different types of convective clouds can be found, ranging from single cells to larger groups. According to recent simulations, the coming together of these clouds has a major impact on the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. This is significant for understanding climate as changes in humidity can affect the Earth’s energy balance.

In 2023, Galewsky et al. conducted a study that demonstrates how the organization of convective activity affects humidity in the atmosphere. This study was made possible by two important developments in the field: the ability to quantitatively measure cloud organization using observations and the availability of remote sensing data for analyzing water vapor isotopic composition. The study found that unaggregated convection with top-heavy ascent patterns results in more moisture and depletion of isotopes in the atmosphere compared to aggregated convection with bottom-heavy ascent patterns. These findings have the potential to aid in the interpretation of past climate records and the evaluation of numerical models of convective activity.

Reference: Galewsky, J., Schneider, M., Diekmann, C., Semie, A., Bony, S., Risi, C., et al. (2023). Impact of convective aggregation on water vapor isotopic composition. AGU Advances, 4, e2023AV000877.

—Sarah Kang, Editor, AGU Advances

Text © 2023. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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