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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-577
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-577
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  21 Aug 2020

21 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Observed Trends of Clouds and Precipitation (1983–2009): Implications for Their Cause(s)

Xiang Zhong1, Shaw Chen Liu1, Run Liu1, Xinlu Wang1,2, Jiajia Mo1, and Yanzi Li1 Xiang Zhong et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 511486, China
  • 2Hangzhou AiMa Technologies, Hangzhou, 311121, China

Abstract. Satellite observations (ISCCP, 1983–2009) of linear trends in cloud cover are compared to those in global precipitation (GPCP pentad V2.2, 1983–2009), to investigate possible cause(s) of the linear trends in both cloud cover and precipitation. The spatial distributions of the linear trends of total cloud cover and precipitation are both characterized primarily by the widening of Hadley circulation and poleward shifts of the jet streams associated with global warming. Our studies suggest that global warming, AMO and PDO can explain 67 %, 49 % and 38 %, respectively, of the spatial variabilities of the linear trends in cloud cover. A linear combination of global warming and AMO can explain as much as 74 % and 79 %, respectively, of the spatial variabilities of linear trends in cloud cover and precipitation. Analysis of the cloud cover and precipitation data (1957–2005) from Chinese surface meteorological stations reveals a quantitative matching relationship between the reduction in light precipitation and the reduction of total cloud cover. Furthermore, our study suggests that the reduction of cloud cover in China is primarily driven by the moisture–convection–latent heat feedback cycle under increasing global temperature conditions, PDO plays a secondary role, and the contribution from AMO and Niño3.4 is insignificant, consistent with the global analysis.

Xiang Zhong et al.

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Short summary
The spatial distributions of the linear trends of total cloud cover and precipitation are both characterized by the widening of Hadley circulation and poleward shifts of the jet streams associated with global warming. Global warming, AMO and PDO can explain 67 %, 49 % and 38 % of the spatial variabilities of the linear trends in cloud cover, respectively. The reduction of total cloud cover in China is primarily driven by the moisture-convection-latent heat feedback cycle under global warming.
The spatial distributions of the linear trends of total cloud cover and precipitation are both...
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