Atmospheric convection as a continuous phase transition: further evidence.

Ole Peters and J. David Neelin, 2009:
International J. Modern Physics B, 23, 5453-5465.

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Abstract. We present further methods to investigate in how far atmospheric precipitation can be described as a continuous phase transition. Previous work has shown a scale-free range in the rainfall event size distribution and a suggestive power-law pickup in the rain rate above a critical level of instability. Here we examine an additional technique for estimating critical parameters, we investigate the rain rate pickup for an example of an extreme event, namely satellite observations of Hurricane Katrina, and develop an analysis of uctuations in the rain rate to estimate uncertainties in the tuning parameters relevant for the transition.

Citation. Peters, O. and J. D. Neelin, 2009: Atmospheric convection as a continuous phase transition: further evidence. International J. Modern Physics B, 23, 5453-5465. DOI: 10.1142/S0217979209063778

Acknowledgements. This work was supported under National Science Foundation ATM-0082529 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NA05-OAR4310007 and NA08OAR4310882. JDN acknowledges sabbatical support from the J. S. Guggenheim Foundation. OP would like to thank B. Stevens for hospitality at MPI- Hamburg, where part of this manuscript was prepared. TMI data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Earth Science Reason Discover Project. We thank K. Hales for assistance with data sets from a related project still in the publication process, C. Holloway for discussions and assistance with the Nauru data, and G. Pruessner for discussions regarding Sec. 3.