Importance of depth and intensity of convection on the isotopic composition of water vapor as seen from IASI and TES δD observations
We use tropical observations of the water vapor isotopic composition, derived from IASI and TES spaceborne measurements, to show that the isotopic composition of water vapor in the free troposphere is sensitive to both the depth and the intensity of convection. We find that for any given precipitation intensity, vapor associated with deep convection is isotopically depleted relative to vapor associated with shallow convection. The intensity of precipitation also plays a role as for any given depth of convection, the relative enrichment of water vapor decreases as the intensity of precipitation increases. Shallow convection, via the uplifting of enriched boundary layer air into the free troposphere and the convective detrainment, enriches the free troposphere. In contrast, deep convection is associated with processes that deplete the water vapor in the free troposphere, such as rain re-evaporation. The results of this study allow for a better identification of the parameters controlling the isotopic composition of the free troposphere and indicate that the isotopic composition of water vapor can be used to evaluate the relative contributions of shallow and deep convection in global models.