01 Dec 2021
01 Dec 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A complete view of the atmospheric hydrologic cycle

Dipanjan Dey1,2, Aitor Aldama Campino1, and Kristofer Döös1 Dipanjan Dey et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

Abstract. The global atmospheric water transport from the evaporation to the precipitation regions has been traced using Lagrangian trajectories. A matrix has been constructed by selecting various group of trajectories based on their surface starting(evaporation) and ending (precipitation) positions to show the connectivity of the atmospheric water transport within and between the three major ocean basins and the global landmass. The analysis reveals that a major portion of the evaporated water precipitates back into the same region, namely 67 % for the Indian, 64 % for the Atlantic, 85 % for the Pacific Ocean and 72 % for the global landmass. The evaporation from the subtropical regions of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is found to be the primary source of atmospheric water for precipitation over the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in the corresponding basins. The evaporated waters from the subtropical and western Indian Ocean were traced as the source for precipitation over the South Asian and Eastern African landmass, while Atlantic Ocean waters are responsible for rainfall over North Asia and Western Africa. Atlantic storm tracks were identified as the carrier of atmospheric water that precipitates over Europe, while the Pacific storm tracks were responsible for North American, eastern Asian and Australian precipitation. The bulk of South and Central American precipitation is found to have its source in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The recycling of evapotranspirated water from land is pronounced over the western coast of South America, Northeastern Asia, Canada and Greenland. The ocean-to-land and land-to-ocean water transport through the atmosphere was computed to be 2 × 109 kg/s and 1 × 109 kg/s, respectively. The difference between them (net ocean-to-land transport), i.e. 1 × 109 kg/s, is transported to land. This net transport is approximately the same as found in previous Eulerian estimates.

Dipanjan Dey et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-509', Andreas Link, 14 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Dipanjan Dey, 10 Mar 2022
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-509', Dominik Schumacher, 03 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Dipanjan Dey, 10 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Review', Ruud van der Ent, 08 Feb 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Dipanjan Dey, 10 Mar 2022

Dipanjan Dey et al.

Dipanjan Dey et al.


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Short summary
One of the most striking and robust features of climate change is the acceleration of the atmospheric water cycle branch. Earlier studies were able to provide a quantification of the global atmospheric water cycle but they missed a lot of detailed information. For instance, the global ocean-to-ocean, total ocean-to-land, total land-to-ocean and land-to-land water transport were not quantified previously. These shortcomings were overcome in the present study using a novel Lagrangian framework.