Research Topic

Tropical climates: Observation and Modelling

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The Atlantic Ocean is flanked by two large tropical continents, which host major centers of atmospheric convection. If one chooses to define the meteorological “tropics" as those parts of the world where atmospheric processes differ significantly from those in higher latitudes, the dividing line between the ...

The Atlantic Ocean is flanked by two large tropical continents, which host major centers of atmospheric convection. If one chooses to define the meteorological “tropics" as those parts of the world where atmospheric processes differ significantly from those in higher latitudes, the dividing line between the “tropics" and the “extratropics" is roughly the dividing line between the easterly and westerly wind regimes. Of course, this line varies with longitude and it fluctuates with the season. Moreover, in reality, no part of the atmosphere exists in isolation and interactions between the tropics and extratropics are important.
The markedly non-uniform distribution of land and ocean areas in this region may be expected to have a large influence on the meteorology of the tropics. Between the Western Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, the tropical land area is composed of multitude of islands of various sizes.
As with all Earth climates, the most basic control is the energy balance. Within the tropics, although varying slightly with the seasons, intensity of solar radiation is high all year and there is very little variation in the length of the day from one part of the year to the next.
Given these characteristics, it is not surprising that rainfall rather than temperature determines the seasons and it is the amount and timing of rainfall that form the chief criterion for distinguishing the various climates. The largest portion of tropical environments has a marked seasonal regime of rainfall that governs the biological productivity of the system. The remaining areas are deserts, where rainfall is incidental throughout the year. It is, in fact, the seasonal moisture pattern that distinguishes the major tropical environments – the rain forest, the savannas, and the desert – from each other.
In this Research Topic we welcome contribution of original research articles, review articles, and methodological advances in tropical climate and variability.

Potential topics include:

- The Quasi-biennial Oscillation and tropical climate variations;
- Tropical influences: surface climate;
- Tropical influences: ozone and aerossol;
- Tropical influences: tropical cyclones;
- Interactions of the Tropical Oceans;
- A dipole mode in the tropical Oceans;
- Tropical Pacific/Atlantic/Indian Ocean interactions at multi-decadal time scales;
- Climate change and tropical glaciers: Past, present and future;
- Ocean circulation and climate during the past 12000 years;
- Holocene climate variability over tropics.


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