Substantial Reductions in Cloud Cover and Moisture Transport by Dynamic Plant Responses

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cumulus clouds make a significant contribution to the Earth's energy balance and hydrological cycle and are a major source of uncertainty in climate projections. Reducing uncertainty by expanding our understanding of the processes that drive cumulus convection is vital to the accurate identification of future global and regional climate impacts. Here we adopt an interdisciplinary approach that integrates interrelated scales from plant physiology to atmospheric turbulence. Our explicit simulations mimic the land-atmosphere approach implemented in current numerical weather prediction, and global climate models enable us to conclude that neglecting local plant dynamic responses leads to misrepresentations in the cloud cover and midtropospheric moisture convection of up to 21% and 56%, respectively. Our approach offers insights into the key role played by the active vegetation on atmospheric convective mixing that has recently been identified as the source of half of the variance in global warming projections (i.e., equilibrium climate sensitivity).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1870-1878
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

cloud cover
cumulus
moisture
climate
global climate
convection
interdisciplinary approach
plant physiology
climate effect
hydrological cycle
dynamic response
projection
cumulus clouds
regional climate
energy balance
global warming
climate modeling
climate models
turbulence
atmospheric turbulence

Keywords

  • cloud shading
  • heterogeneity
  • land-atmosphere interactions
  • LES
  • plant stomatal responses
  • wind

Cite this

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title = "Substantial Reductions in Cloud Cover and Moisture Transport by Dynamic Plant Responses",
abstract = "Cumulus clouds make a significant contribution to the Earth's energy balance and hydrological cycle and are a major source of uncertainty in climate projections. Reducing uncertainty by expanding our understanding of the processes that drive cumulus convection is vital to the accurate identification of future global and regional climate impacts. Here we adopt an interdisciplinary approach that integrates interrelated scales from plant physiology to atmospheric turbulence. Our explicit simulations mimic the land-atmosphere approach implemented in current numerical weather prediction, and global climate models enable us to conclude that neglecting local plant dynamic responses leads to misrepresentations in the cloud cover and midtropospheric moisture convection of up to 21{\%} and 56{\%}, respectively. Our approach offers insights into the key role played by the active vegetation on atmospheric convective mixing that has recently been identified as the source of half of the variance in global warming projections (i.e., equilibrium climate sensitivity).",
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Substantial Reductions in Cloud Cover and Moisture Transport by Dynamic Plant Responses. / Sikma, Martin; Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Jordi.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, No. 3, 16.02.2019, p. 1870-1878.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Substantial Reductions in Cloud Cover and Moisture Transport by Dynamic Plant Responses

AU - Sikma, Martin

AU - Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, Jordi

PY - 2019/2/16

Y1 - 2019/2/16

N2 - Cumulus clouds make a significant contribution to the Earth's energy balance and hydrological cycle and are a major source of uncertainty in climate projections. Reducing uncertainty by expanding our understanding of the processes that drive cumulus convection is vital to the accurate identification of future global and regional climate impacts. Here we adopt an interdisciplinary approach that integrates interrelated scales from plant physiology to atmospheric turbulence. Our explicit simulations mimic the land-atmosphere approach implemented in current numerical weather prediction, and global climate models enable us to conclude that neglecting local plant dynamic responses leads to misrepresentations in the cloud cover and midtropospheric moisture convection of up to 21% and 56%, respectively. Our approach offers insights into the key role played by the active vegetation on atmospheric convective mixing that has recently been identified as the source of half of the variance in global warming projections (i.e., equilibrium climate sensitivity).

AB - Cumulus clouds make a significant contribution to the Earth's energy balance and hydrological cycle and are a major source of uncertainty in climate projections. Reducing uncertainty by expanding our understanding of the processes that drive cumulus convection is vital to the accurate identification of future global and regional climate impacts. Here we adopt an interdisciplinary approach that integrates interrelated scales from plant physiology to atmospheric turbulence. Our explicit simulations mimic the land-atmosphere approach implemented in current numerical weather prediction, and global climate models enable us to conclude that neglecting local plant dynamic responses leads to misrepresentations in the cloud cover and midtropospheric moisture convection of up to 21% and 56%, respectively. Our approach offers insights into the key role played by the active vegetation on atmospheric convective mixing that has recently been identified as the source of half of the variance in global warming projections (i.e., equilibrium climate sensitivity).

KW - cloud shading

KW - heterogeneity

KW - land-atmosphere interactions

KW - LES

KW - plant stomatal responses

KW - wind

U2 - 10.1029/2018GL081236

DO - 10.1029/2018GL081236

M3 - Article

VL - 46

SP - 1870

EP - 1878

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

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