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Moist energetics of tropical circulations and their coupling to precipitation and radiative feedbacks
(California Institute of Technology)
Aula Rasetti (Dip. di Fisica - Edificio G. Marconi)
Dip. di Fisica - Edificio G. Marconi
Important advances have been made in the past decade in our theoretical understanding of controls on tropical precipitation. An emerging frameworkemphasizes the atmospheric energy balance as more fundamental than the traditional surface energetic perspective to understanding how the zonally-averaged Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) responds to radiative and surface energy flux perturbations. In this talk, I will discuss how this energetic perspective also provides strong constraints on monsoon circulations and associated convergence zones, which, while zonally localized, project strongly on the solstitial Hadley circulation. Numerical experiments with increasing complexity allow to shed light into the fundamental workings of monsoons and call for a reassessment of their driving mechanisms.