Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2-281-2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2-281-2021
Research article
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29 Mar 2021
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 29 Mar 2021

How Rossby wave breaking modulates the water cycle in the North Atlantic trade wind region

Franziska Aemisegger, Raphaela Vogel, Pascal Graf, Fabienne Dahinden, Leonie Villiger, Friedhelm Jansen, Sandrine Bony, Bjorn Stevens, and Heini Wernli

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Cited articles

Aemisegger, F.: On the link between the North Atlantic storm track and precipitation deuterium excess in Reykjavik, Atmos. Sci. Lett., 19, e865, https://doi.org/10.1002/asl.865, 2018. 
Aemisegger, F. and Graf, P.: IsoTrades campaign dataset, hourly laser spectroscopic stable water vapour isotope measurements from 23 January to 18 February 2018 at the Barbados Cloud Observatory, Research Collection, ETH Zurich, Zurich, https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000439434, 2020. 
Aemisegger, F. and Sjolte, J.: A climatology of strong large-scale ocean evaporation events. Part II: Relevance for the deuterium excess signature of the evaporation flux, J. Climate, 31, 7313–7336, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0592.1, 2018. 
Aemisegger, F., Sturm, P., Graf, P., Sodemann, H., Pfahl, S., Knohl, A., and Wernli, H.: Measuring variations of δ18O and δ2H in atmospheric water vapour using two commercial laser-based spectrometers: an instrument characterisation study, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 1491–1511, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-5-1491-2012, 2012. 
Aemisegger, F., Pfahl, S., Sodemann, H., Lehner, I., Seneviratne, S. I., and Wernli, H.: Deuterium excess as a proxy for continental moisture recycling and plant transpiration, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 4029–4054, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-14-4029-2014, 2014. 
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The interaction of clouds in the trade wind region with the atmospheric flow is complex and at the heart of uncertainties associated with climate projections. In this study, a natural tracer of atmospheric circulation is used to establish a link between air originating from dry regions of the midlatitudes and the occurrence of specific cloud patterns. Two pathways involving transport within midlatitude weather systems are identified, by which air is brought into the trades within 5–10 d.