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Journal Article
Collins, WD, Bucholtz A, Flatau P, Lubin D, Valero FPJ, Weaver CP, Pilewski P.  2000.  Determination of surface heating by convective cloud systems in the central equatorial Pacific from surface and satellite measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 105:14807-14821.   10.1029/2000jd900109   AbstractWebsite

The heating of the ocean surface by longwave radiation from convective clouds has been estimated using measurements from the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX). The ratio of the surface longwave cloud forcing to the cloud radiative forcing on the total atmospheric column is parameterized by the f factor. The f factor is a measure of the partitioning of the cloud radiative effect between the surface and the troposphere. Estimates of the f factor have been obtained by combining simultaneous observations from ship, aircraft, and satellite instruments. The cloud forcing near the ocean surface is determined from radiometers on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration P-3 aircraft and the R/V John Vickers. The longwave cloud forcing at the top of the atmosphere has been estimated from data obtained from the Japanese Geostationary Meteorological Satellite GMS 4. A new method for estimating longwave fluxes from satellite narrowband radiances is described. The method is based upon calibrating the satellite radiances against narrowband and broadband infrared measurements from the high-altitude NASA ER-2 aircraft. The average value of f derived from the surface and satellite observations of convective clouds is 0.15 +/- 0.02. The area-mean top-of-atmosphere longwave forcing by convective clouds in the region 10 degrees S-10 degrees N, 160 degrees E-160 degrees W is 40 W/m(2) during CEPEX. Those results indicate that the surface longwave forcing by convective clouds was approximately 5 W/m(2) in the central equatorial Pacific and that this forcing is the smallest radiative component of the surface energy budget.

Flatau, M, Flatau PJ, Phoebus P, Niller PP.  1997.  The feedback between equatorial convection and local radiative and evaporative processes: The implications for intraseasonal oscillations. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 54:2373-2386.   10.1175/1520-0469(1997)054<2373:tfbeca>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Existing theories of the Madden-Julian oscillation neglect the feedback between the modification of sea surface temperature by the convection and development of a convective cluster itself. The authors show that the convection-generated SST gradient plays an important role in cluster propagation and development. The relative importance of radiative and evaporative fluxes in SST regulation is also discussed. Various Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment and Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment observation platforms are used to estimate the effects of equatorial convection on SST changes during March 1993. The data include drifting buoys and TAO-buoy array measurements, combined with the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System analyzed surface wind fields and Geostationary Meteorological Satellite cloud-top temperatures. It is shown that during the equatorial convection episode SST is decreasing under and to the west of the convective heat source due to the large wind velocities and solar flux reduction. To the east of the source, in the convergence region of a Kelvin wave, low wind speeds and high insolation cause the SST to increase. The data are used to formulate an empirical relationship between wind speed and the 24-h SST change on the equator. Although formulated in terms of wind speed, this relationship implicitly includes radiative effects. This equation is then used in a global circulation model to examine the effect of SST feedback on the behavior of equatorial convection. A series of experiments is performed using an R15 general circulation model of the ''aquaplanet'' with a zonally symmetric SST distribution. In the case with fixed SSTs, equatorial wind fluctuations have the character of waves propagating around the globe with a phase speed of about 20 m s(-1). When the effect of SST modification is included, the fluctuations slow down and become more organized. In addition, a 40-60-day peak appears in the spectral analysis of equatorial precipitation.