Effects of Sea Surface Temperature

  • Xiaofan Li
  • Shouting Gao
Part of the Springer Atmospheric Sciences book series (SPRINGERATMO)


SST affects surface rainfall and associated cloud microphysical processes mainly through the change in surface evaporation flux (e.g., Lau et al. 1993, 1994; Wu and Moncrieff 1999; Cui and Li 2006). Lau et al. (1993) studied rainfall responses to SST in the presence of same large-scale forcing in the deep convective regime and found 22% increase of convective precipitation and 13% increase of surface evaporation rate when imposed SST increases from 28°C to 30°C. Costa et al. (2001) studied sensitivity of precipitation to SST with cloud-resolving model simulations that are imposed with the forcing derived from TOGA COARE data, and revealed 6.4% increase of precipitation with 2°C increase of SST, which is associated with 17.8% increase of convective precipitation and 19.0% decrease of stratiform precipitation. Wu and Moncrieff (1999) from their SST sensitivity simulations found 3.3% increase of time mean precipitation when time mean SST increases from 27.4°C to 29.4°C and 5.8% increase of precipitation when the SST increases from 29.4°C to 31.4°C. Cui and Li (2006) analyzed the quasi-equilibrium simulation data (Gao et al. 2007) from the model that is imposed with zero large-scale vertical velocity and found that the increase of SST from 29°C to 31°C causes 19% increase of surface rain rate. In this chapter, sensitivity of time-mean surface rainfall and diurnal variation of rainfall to SST is discussed through the analysis of equilibrium model simulation data based on Zhou and Li (2009, 2011).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and ResearchCamp SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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