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Journal Articles Surveys in Geophysics Year : 2017

Convective Self-Aggregation in Numerical Simulations: A Review

Allison A. Wing
  • Function : Author
Kerry Emanuel
  • Function : Author
Christopher E. Holloway
  • Function : Author


Organized convection in the tropics occurs across a range of spatial and temporal scales and strongly influences cloud cover and humidity. One mode of organization found is "self-aggregation," in which moist convection spontaneously organizes into one or several isolated clusters despite spatially homogeneous boundary conditions and forcing. Self-aggregation is driven by interactions between clouds, moisture, radiation, surface fluxes, and circulation, and occurs in a wide variety of idealized simulations of radiative-convective equilibrium. Here we provide a review of convective self-aggregation in numerical simulations, including its character, causes, and effects. We describe the evolution of self-aggregation including its time and length scales and the physical mechanisms leading to its triggering and maintenance, and we also discuss possible links to climate and climate change.

Dates and versions

insu-03727042 , version 1 (19-07-2022)



Allison A. Wing, Kerry Emanuel, Christopher E. Holloway, Caroline Muller. Convective Self-Aggregation in Numerical Simulations: A Review. Surveys in Geophysics, 2017, 38, pp.1173-1197. ⟨10.1007/s10712-017-9408-4⟩. ⟨insu-03727042⟩
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