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Na LI, Ziniu XIAO, and Liang ZHAO

Abstract

Long-lived (≥6 days) heatwaves (HWs) have strong social impacts with serious health implications. Using homogenized historical daily temperatures from China and ECMWF reanalysis data, this study investigates its frequency between 1979 and 2018 and driving mechanisms. It is found that the occurrence of HWs is strongly associated with the joint actions of the South Asian high and the western North Pacific subtropical high, which can be described by a synergy index measured by the boundary distance between the two subtropical high-pressure systems. When the synergy index is positive, there are more long-lived HWs occurrence in the east of the Tibetan Plateau, the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the southern region in China, and vice versa. A Mann-Kendall test shows a significant interdecadal shift around 2004/2005 towards increased occurrence that is consistent with enhanced subtropical high systems. This study shows the important roles of large-scale dynamic systems in regional climate extremes and their future changes.

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Sebastian Scher, Stephen Jewson, and Gabriele Messori

Abstract

To extract the most information from an ensemble forecast, users would need to consider the possible impacts of every member in the ensemble. However, not all users have the resources to do this. Many may opt to consider only the ensemble mean and possibly some measure of spread around the mean. This provides little information about potential worst-case scenarios. We explore different methods to extract worst-case scenarios from an ensemble forecast, for a given definition of severity of impact: taking the worst member of the ensemble, calculating the mean of the N worst members, and two methods that use a statistical tool known as directional component analysis (DCA).We assess the advantages and disadvantages of the four methods in terms of whether they produce spatial worst-case scenarios that are not overly sensitive to the finite size and randomness of the ensemble or small changes in the chosen geographical domain. The methods are tested on synthetic data and on temperature forecasts from ECMWF. The mean of the N worst members is more robust than the worst member, while the DCA-based patterns are more robust than either. Furthermore, if the ensemble variability is well-described by the covariance matrix, the DCA patterns have the statistical property that they are just as severe as those from the other two methods, but more likely. We conclude that the DCA approach is a tool that could be routinely applied to extract worst-case scenarios from ensemble forecasts.

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Arnaud Le Boyer and Matthew H. Alford

Abstract

Energy for ocean turbulence is thought to be transferred from its presumed sources (namely, the mesoscale eddy field, near-inertial internal waves and internal tides) to the internal wave continuum, and through the continuum via resonant triad interactions to breaking scales. To test these ideas, the level and variability of the oceanic internal gravity wave continuum spectrum are examined by computing time-dependent rotary spectra from a global database of 2260 current meter records deployed on 1362 separate moorings. Time series of energy in the continuum and the three “source bands” (near-inertial, tidal and mesoscale) are computed, and their variability and covariability examined. Seasonal modulation of the continuum by factors of up to 5 is seen in the upper ocean, implicating wind-driven near-inertial waves as an important source. The time series of the continuum is found to correlate more strongly with the near-inertial peak than with the semi-diurnal or mesoscale. The use of moored internal-wave kinetic energy frequency spectra as an alternate input to the traditional shear or strain wavenumber spectra in the Gregg-Henyey-Polzin finescale parameterization is explored and compared to traditional strain-based estimates.

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Kyle Chudler and Steven A. Rutledge

Abstract

The Propagation of Intraseasonal Oscillations (PISTON) field campaign took place in the waters of the western tropical North Pacific during the late-summer and early-fall of 2018 and 2019. During both research cruises, the Colorado State University SEA-POL polarimetric C-Band weather radar obtained continuous 3D measurements of oceanic precipitation systems. This study provides an overview of the variability in convection observed during the PISTON cruises, and relates this variability to large-scale atmospheric conditions. Using an objective classification algorithm, precipitation features are identified and labeled by their size (isolated/sub-MCS/MCS) and degree of convective organization (nonlinear/linear). It is shown that although large mesoscale convective systems (MCS’s) occurred infrequently (present in 13% of radar scans), they contributed a disproportionately large portion (56%) of the total rain volume. Conversely, small isolated features were present in 91% of scans, yet these features contributed just 11% of the total rain volume, with the bulk of the rainfall owing to warm rain production. Convective rain rates and 30-dBZ echo top heights increased with feature size and degree of organization. MCS’s occurred more frequently in periods of low-level southwesterly winds, and when low-level wind shear was enhanced. By compositing radar and sounding data by phases of easterly waves (of which there were several in 2018), troughs are shown to be associated with increased precipitation and a higher relative frequency of MCS feature occurrence, while ridges are shown to be associated with decreased precipitation and a higher relative frequency of isolated convective features.

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Shaohua Chen, Haikun Zhao, Philp J. Klotzbach, Graciela B. Raga, Jian Cao, and Chao Wang

Abstract

This study analyzes decadal modulation of trans-basin variability (TBV) on extended boreal summer (May-October) tropical cyclone frequency (TCF) over the western North Pacific (WNP), central-eastern North Pacific (CENP) and North Atlantic (NATL) basins. There are distinct decadal regimes (P1:1979-1997, P2:1998-2008, and P3:2009-2019) with changes in the interannual relationship between TBV and TCF over these three basins. During P1 and P3, there is a significant inter-annual TBV-TCF relationship over the CENP and NATL, but these relationships become insignificant during P2. Changes in the interannual TBV-TCF relationship over the WNP are opposite to those over the CENP and NATL basins, with significant relationship during P2 but insignificant relationship during P1 and P3. Changes in all three basins coincide with decadal changes in large-scale parameters associated with TBV. Consistent basin-wide changes in lower-tropospheric vorticity (vertical wind shear) associated with TBV appear to be largely responsible for changes in total TCF over the NATL (CENP) during P1 and P3. In contrast, a dipole pattern in lower-tropospheric vorticity and vertical wind shear anomalies associated with TBV over the NATL and CENP basins occurs during P2, leading to an insignificant interannual TBV-TCF relationship over the NATL and CENP basins. Over the WNP, a basin-wide consistent distribution of lower-tropospheric vorticity associated with TBV is consistent with changes in total TCF during P2, while a dipole correlation pattern between TBV-associated factors and TCF during P1 and P3 leads to a weak correlation between TBV and WNP TCF. These three distinct observed decadal regimes may be associated with interactions between ENSO and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on decadal timescales.

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Mustafa Hakkı Aydoğdu, Mehmet Reşit Sevinç, and Mehmet Cançelik

Abstract

In Şanlıurfa, Turkey, agriculture is the most important source of income. This study aimed to determine Şanlıurfa farmers’ willingness to pay for drought adaptation policies and the factors affecting their willingness. The data were obtained from face-to-face surveys with farmers, selected using a simple random sampling method. According to the results, 50.26% perceive a risk of drought, and 35.86% are willing to pay for adaptation policies. Among those willing to pay, the average amount was 22.63 $/ha (1$=5.676 Turkish Lira), while the average for all participants was 13.55 $/ha. This adds up to a total of 14.363 million $/year for Şanlıurfa. This amount is 1.47% of the annual average income of the participants and is thus within their ability to pay. Age, amount of land farmed, education level, experience, and income were factors affecting willingness to pay. Many respondents, however, were unaware of drought adaptation policies. Because there is concern that drought risk is increasing, awareness needs to be increased, for example through extension services. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind, and the results may be useful for creating and applying drought adaptation policies in both Turkey and other regions with similar socio-economic characteristics.

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Eric Bembenek, Timothy M. Merlis, and David N. Straub

Abstract

A large fraction of tropical cyclones (TCs) are generated near the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), and barotropic instability of the related wind shear has been shown to be an important generation mechanism. The latitudinal position of the ITCZ shifts seasonally and may shift poleward in response to global warming. Aquaplanet GCM simulations have shown TC-generation frequency to vary with position of the ITCZ. These results, and that moisture plays an essential role in the dynamics, motivate the present study on the growth rates of barotropic instability in ITCZ-like zonal wind profiles. Base-state zonal wind profiles are generated by applying a prescribed forcing (representing zonally-averaged latent heat release in the ITCZ) to a shallow-water model. Shifting the latitudinal position of the forcing alters these profiles, with a poleward shift leading to enhanced barotropic instability. Next, an examination of how latent release impacts the barotropic breakdown of these profiles is considered. To do this, moisture is explicitly represented using a tracer variable. Upon supersaturation, precipitation occurs and the related latent heat release is parameterized as a mass transfer out of the dynamically active layer. Whether moisture serves to enhance or reduce barotropic growth rates is found to depend on how saturation humidity is represented. In particular, taking it to be constant or a function of the layer thickness (related to temperature) leads to a reduction, whereas taking it to be a specified function of latitude leads to an enhancement. Simple arguments are given to support the idea that moisture effects should lead to a reduction in the moist shallow water model and that a poleward shift of the ITCZ should lead to an enhancement of barotropic instability.

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Emilien Jolly, Fabio D’Andrea, Gwendal Rivière, and Sebastien Fromang

Abstract

The changes of midlatitude Rossby waves and cold extreme temperature events (cold spells) during warm Arctic winters are analysed using a dry three-level quasi-geostrophic model on the sphere. Two long-term simulations are compared: the first run has the observed wintertime climatology, while the second run includes the composite of the global anomalies associated with the six hottest Arctic winters. A spectral analysis shows a large increase in wave amplitude for near-zero and westward phase speeds and a more moderate decrease for high eastward phase speeds. The increase in low-frequency variability (periods greater than a week) associated with the power shift to slower waves is largely responsible for an increase in mid-latitude long-lasting cold spells. In mid-latitude regions, in presence of a mean warming, that increase in low-frequency variance compensates the increase of the mean temperature, resulting at places in a frequency of cold spells that remains by and large unaltered. In presence of mean cooling, both the increase in variance and the decrease in the mean temperature participate in an increased frequency of cold spells. Sensitivity experiments show that the power shift to slower waves is mainly due to the tropical anomalies that developed during those particular winters and less importantly to changes in the background flow at higher latitudes associated with the Arctic Amplification pattern.

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Ming-Dah Chou, Kyu-Tae Lee, Il-Sung Zo, Wei-Liang Lee, Chein-Jung Shiu, and Joon-Bum Jee

Abstract

A new k-distribution scheme without the assumption of the correlation between the absorption coefficients at different pressures is developed for solar heating due to water vapor and CO2. Grouping of spectral points is based on the observation that radiation at spectral points with a large absorption coefficient is quickly absorbed to heat the stratosphere, and the heating below is attributable to the absorption of the solar radiation at the remaining spectral points. By grouping the spectral points with a large absorption coefficient at low pressures, the range of the absorption coefficient of the remaining spectral points is narrowed, and the k-distribution approximation can be accurately applied to compute solar heating in both the stratosphere and troposphere. Grouping of the spectral points is based on the absorption coefficient at a couple of reference pressures where heating is significant. With a total number of 52 spectral groups in the water vapor and CO2 bands, fluxes and heating rates were calculated for various solar zenith angles in some typical and sampled atmospheres in diverse climatic regimes and seasons. The maximum heating rate difference between the k-distribution and line-by-line calculations is < 0.09 K day-1 for water vapor, and < 0.2 K day-1 for CO2. The difference in the surface radiation is ~ 1.4 W m-2 for water vapor and 0.6 W m-2 for CO2, while it could increase to 2.6 W m-2 due to overlapping absorption. These results can be improved by increasing the number of spectral groups at the expense of computational economy.

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Yi Jin, Xuebin Zhang, John A. Church, and Xianwen Bao

Abstract

Projections of future sea-level changes are usually based on global climate models (GCMs). However, the changes in shallow coastal regions, like the marginal seas near China, cannot be fully resolved in GCMs. To improve regional sea-level simulations, a high-resolution (~8 km) regional ocean model is set up for the marginal seas near China for both the historical (1994-2015) and future (2079-2100) periods under representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. The historical ocean simulations are evaluated at different spatiotemporal scales, and the model is then integrated for the future period, driven by projected monthly climatological climate change signals from 8 GCMs individually via both surface and open boundary conditions. The downscaled ocean changes derived by comparing historical and future experiments reveal greater spatial details than those from GCMs, e.g., a low dynamic sea level (DSL) centre of -0.15 m in the middle of the South China Sea (SCS). As a novel test, the downscaled results driven by the ensemble mean forcings are almost identical with the ensemble average results from individually downscaled cases. Forcing of the DSL change and increased cyclonic circulation in the SCS are dominated by the climate change signals from the Pacific, while the DSL change in the East China marginal seas is caused by both local atmosphere forcing and signals from the Pacific. The method of downscaling developed in this study is a useful modelling protocol for adaptation and mitigation planning for future oceanic climate changes.

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