Geophysical Research Letters

Modulation of radiative heating by the Madden-Julian Oscillation and convectively coupled Kelvin waves as observed by CloudSat



[1] The vertical distribution of radiative heating affects the moist static energy budget and potentially the maintenance and propagation of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This paper uses CloudSat data to examine the radiative heating climatology in the tropics and the vertical structure of its modulation by the MJO and convectively coupled Kelvin Waves (KWs). Composites of active regions of the MJO and KW both show positive radiative heating anomaly in the middle and lower troposphere and slightly negative radiative heating anomaly in upper troposphere. Such bottom-heavy profiles can help to strengthen the MJO while weaken the KWs. Another finding is that cloud condensate anomalies associated with the MJO are significantly more bottom-heavy than those of the KWs, while the radiative heating anomalies associated with the MJO are only very slightly more bottom-heavy.