Effects of cloud-radiative heating on atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) simulations of convectively coupled equatorial waves



[1] This study examines the effects of cloud-radiative heating on convectively coupled equatorial waves simulated by the Seoul National University (SNU) atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM). The strength of cloud-radiative heating is adjusted by modifying the autoconversion rate needed for cloud condensates to grow up to raindrops. The results show that increasing the autoconversion rate has little effect on the climatological mean precipitation, but it significantly reduces the time-mean clouds and radiative heating in the upper troposphere and enhances heating due to moist processes in the middle troposphere. These lead to cooling of time-mean upper troposphere temperature and drying of lower-troposphere moisture. Reduction of cloud-radiative heating enhances the prominence of Kelvin and n = 0 eastward inertial gravity (EIG) waves. It also tends to enhance significantly the variance of the Kelvin, equatorial Rossby (ER), mixed Rossby-gravity (MRG), and n = 1 westward inertial gravity (WIG) waves, but not the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) or n = 0 EIG wave. Reduction of cloud-radiative heating has little effect on the phase speed of the waves, which is associated with unchanged effective static stability caused by the near cancellation between reduced dry static stability and reduced diabatic heating. An important implication of this study is that when tuning GCM's top-of-the-atmosphere radiative fluxes to fit the observations, one needs to make sure that the enhancement factor of cloud-radiative heating at the intraseasonal timescale also fits with the observation so that the convectively coupled equatorial waves are not suppressed.