• tropical warming;
  • highest SST;
  • moist convection

[1] A primary concern of CO2-induced warming is the associated rise of tropical (10S-10N) sea-surface temperatures (SSTs). GISS Model-E was used to produce two sets of simulations-one with the present-day and one with doubled CO2 in the atmosphere. The intrinsic usefulness of model guidance in the tropics was confirmed when the model simulated realistic convective coupling between SSTs and atmospheric soundings and that the simulated-data correlations between SSTs and 300 hPa moist-static energies were similar to the observed. Model predicted SST limits for (i) the onset of deep convection and (ii) maximum SST, increased in the doubled CO2 environment. Changes in cloud heights, cloud frequencies, and cloud mass-fractions showed that convective-cloud changes increased the SSTs, while warmer mixed-layer of the doubled CO2 contained ∼10% more water vapor; clearly that would be conducive to more intense storms and hurricanes.