Source: AGU Advances
Convective clouds exist in a variety of forms, from individual cells to larger aggregated systems. Recent modeling studies indicate that the aggregation of convective clouds has a significant influence on atmospheric water vapor. This feature has important implications for climate because humidity variations can modulate the Earth’s radiation budget.
Galewsky et al.  provide observational evidence of how convective aggregation impacts atmospheric humidity. The study was feasible due to two crucial advancements in the field: the capability to quantitatively measure cloud organization from observations and the accessibility of remote sensing measurements for water vapor isotopic composition. Unaggregated convection with top-heavy ascent profiles is shown to moisten and isotopically deplete the atmosphere more than aggregated convection with bottom-heavy ascent profiles. The results have the potential to help interpret paleoclimate archives and evaluate numerical simulations of convection.
Citation: Galewsky, J., Schneider, M., Diekmann, C., Semie, A., Bony, S., Risi, C., et al. (2023). The influence of convective aggregation on the stable isotopic composition of water vapor. AGU Advances, 4, e2023AV000877. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023AV000877
—Sarah Kang, Editor, AGU Advances