Atmospheric Convection, Weather, and Climate
Friday February 24, 2017
|Presenter:||David J. Raymond, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology|
|Series:||Physics and Astronomy Colloquium|
Atmospheric moist convection differs from other types of convection in fundamental ways, the most important of which is the production of precipitation. Though the ascending branch of a convective cell is typically a few kilometers in diameter, the existence of rainfall causes the descending branch of the circulation to be spread over thousands of kilometers. This is unlike most other convection, in which the descending current has roughly the same dimensions as the ascending current. Atmospheric moist convection is therefore inherently multi-scale, which causes immense problems in the representation of such convection in global weather and climate models. Nevertheless, the fundamental role of convection as a large-scale energy transfer mechanism in the atmosphere is clear.
In tropical regions, atmospheric circulations are dominated by convection, which makes the tropics an excellent laboratory for studying this phenomenon. Recent modeling and field observations of tropical convection have led to new insights into the behavior of large-scale tropical disturbances including tropical cyclones, in which convection plays a crucial role.
How convection changes under the influence of global warming is of great importance to the atmosphere as a whole. I will discuss current ideas on this subject.
|Location:||Room 125, Dane Smith Hall|
Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 3:45 pm, in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.