The climatological impacts of continental surface evaporation, rainout, and sub-cloud processes on δD of water vapor and precipitation in Europe


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Martin.Werner [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

All types of applications of stable water isotopes, e.g. for the reconstruction of paleotemperatures or for climate model validation, rely on a proper understanding of the mechanisms determining the isotopic composition of water vapor and precipitation. In this study, we use the isotope-enabled limited-area model COSMOiso to characterize the impacts of continental evapotranspiration, rainout, and subcloud processes on δD of European water vapor and precipitation. To this end, we first confirm a reliable implementation of the most important isotope fractionation processes in COSMOiso by comparing 5 years of modeled δD values with multi-platform δD observations from Europe (remote sensing observations of the δD of water vapor around 2.6 km a.g.l., in situ δD measurements in near-surface water vapor, and δD precipitation data from the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation). Based on six 15 year sensitivity simulations, we then quantify the climatological impacts of the different fractionation processes on the δD values. We find δD of European water vapor and precipitation to be most strongly controlled by rainout. Superimposed to this are the effect of subcloud processes, which especially affects δD in precipitation under warm conditions, and the effect of continental evapotranspiration, which exerts an important control over the δD of near-surface water vapor. In future studies, the validated COSMOiso model can be employed in a similar way for a comprehensive interpretation of European isotope records from climatologically different time periods.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
46757
DOI 10.1002/2017JD027260

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Christner, E. , Aemisegger, F. , Pfahl, S. , Werner, M. , Cauquoin, A. , Schneider, M. , Hase, F. , Barthlott, S. and Schädler, G. (2018): The climatological impacts of continental surface evaporation, rainout, and sub-cloud processes on δD of water vapor and precipitation in Europe , Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres . doi: 10.1002/2017JD027260


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