Four Perspectives on Order From Chaos
What makes thunderstorms clump, even to the point of singularity, over uniform oceans? Three recent papers in JAMES address this question, and a new Commentary ties them together.
Here’s a problem that sounds simple enough: What happens to an Earth-like atmosphere over a uniform surface? Infrared radiation from water vapor and other greenhouse gases will cool and destabilize the atmosphere causing it to overturn. Heat released by condensing water breaks the symmetry between upward- and downward-moving air, resulting in narrow, intense updrafts and broad regions of gently descending air: the familiar puffy clouds or towering thunderstorms we call “convection.” more
-- Robert Pincus, Editor-in-Chief, JAMES,
- Article Category
Gregarious convection and radiative feedbacks in idealized worlds
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