Browse

You are looking at 51 - 60 of 11,689 items for :

  • Journal of Climate x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All
Suqi Peng
and
Qiang Wang

Abstract

Indian Ocean (IO) stratification has important effects on the air–sea interaction, ocean dynamics, and ecology. It is, therefore, of significance to investigate the changes in IO stratification. In this study, we use ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) to extract the nonlinear long-term trend in the upper IO stratification quantified by potential energy anomalies. The results show that the strengthening of the stratification is spatially and temporally nonuniform. Specifically, the trend of stratification intensified gradually before 1996, but accelerated rapidly after 1996. Temperature and salinity changes play a crucial role in the fast enhancement of stratification and its regional differences. Temperature variations dominate the stratification trend in ∼90% of the IO area, while the contributions of salinity changes are mainly in the southeast Indian Ocean (SEIO). Vertically, the rapid enhancement of stratification is caused by the trend of temperature and salt in the upper 400 m. We further perform temperature budget analysis and find that the warming trend in the upper 400 m south of the IO is mainly modulated by vertical advection and meridional advection, while the warming in the north of the IO is mainly induced by air–sea heat fluxes. Salinity budget analysis shows that ocean advection has played a primary role in modulating SEIO salinity over the past 20 years.

Restricted access
Ryan S. Williams
,
Gareth J. Marshall
,
Xavier Levine
,
Lise S. Graff
,
Dörthe Handorf
,
Nadine M. Johnston
,
Alexey Y. Karpechko
,
Andrew Orr
,
Willem Jan Van de Berg
,
René R. Wijngaard
, and
Priscilla A. Mooney

Abstract

A main source of regional climate change uncertainty is the large disparity across models in simulating the atmospheric circulation response to global warming. Using the latest suite of global climate models from the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), a storyline approach is adopted to derive physically plausible scenarios of Antarctic climate change for 2070–99, according to Shared Socioeconomic Pathway SSP5-8.5. These storylines correspond to differences in the simulated amount of seasonal sea ice loss and either (i) the delay in the summertime stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) breakdown or (ii) wintertime SPV strengthening, which together constitute robust drivers of the response pattern to future climate change. Such changes combined are known to exert a strong control over the Southern Hemisphere midlatitude jet stream, which we quantify as collectively explaining up to 70% of the variance in jet response in summer and 35% in winter. For summer, the expected strengthening and displacement of the tropospheric jet stream varies between a ∼1 and 2 m s−1 increase and ∼2°–4° poleward shift, respectively, across storylines. In both seasons, a larger strengthening of the jet is correlated with less Antarctic warming. By contrast, the response in precipitation is more consistent but still strongly attenuated by large-scale dynamics. We find that an increase in high-latitude precipitation around Antarctica is more pronounced for storylines characterized by a greater poleward jet shift, particularly in summer. Our results highlight the usefulness of the storyline approach in illustrating model uncertainty and understanding the processes that determine the spread in projected Antarctic regional climate response.

Significance Statement

Uncertainty in future climate predictions for the Antarctic is dominated by the unknown response of the large-scale (global) atmospheric circulation. In characterizing such uncertainty, plausible outcomes of climate response (storylines) are generated from the organization of model projections according to the amount of simulated seasonal sea ice loss and the delay in summertime breakdown/winter strengthening of the stratospheric westerly circulation (polar vortex). The intensity and location of the tropospheric jet stream is strongly dependent on both factors, which strongly influences the near-surface climate response over Antarctica. We find that the simulated amount that Antarctic air temperatures increase by in the future (to the end of the century) is intrinsically related to the projected intensification of the Southern Hemisphere tropospheric jet, varying by a factor of 2 or more across storylines for summer. Storylines with greater jet strengthening are associated with less Antarctic warming (reduced poleward advection of air masses from lower latitudes). Similar differences are found for changes in jet position, which we note has a much stronger control on mid- to high-latitude precipitation response. This includes both an enhanced wetting response around Antarctica and drying response farther equatorward, for storylines characterized by a greater poleward jet shift.

Open access
Chiung-Wen June Chang
,
Min-Hui Lo
,
Wan-Ling Tseng
,
Yu-Cian Tsai
, and
Jia-Yuh Yu

Abstract

Deforestation is a major issue affecting both regional and global hydroclimates. This study investigated the effect of deforestation in the Maritime Continent (MC) on tropical intraseasonal climate variability. Using a global climate model with credible Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) simulations, we examined the effect of deforestation over the MC region by replacing the forest canopy with grassland. The results revealed that under constant orographic and land–sea contrast forcing, the modification of the canopy over the MC altered the characteristics of the MJO. We noted the amplification of the MJO and increases in wet–dry fluctuation and the zonal extent. We analyzed more than 100 MJO cases by performing K-means clustering and determined that the continuous propagation of the MJO over the MC increased from 35% in the control experiment to 61% in the deforestation experiment. This phenomenon of less blocked MJO over the MC in the deforestation run was associated with more substantial precipitation, increased soil moisture, and a suppressed diurnal cycle in land convection. Furthermore, when the MJO convection was over the Indian Ocean (IO), we observed the enhancement of low-level moisture over the MC region in the deforestation experiment. Grassland surface forcing provides a thermodynamic source for triggering instability in the atmosphere, resulting in low-level moisture convergence. The MJO exhibited a stronger energy recharge–discharge cycle in the deforestation experiment than in the control experiment, and this difference between the experiments enlarged as the MJO progressed from the IO to MC.

Open access
Bowen Liu
,
Bolan Gan
,
Fan Jia
, and
Lixin Wu

Abstract

The North Pacific meridional mode (NPMM) peaking in boreal spring influences El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) properties in the ensuing winter. Whether the precursory impact of NPMM on the spatial diversity of ENSO has decadal variation remains unknown. Using long-term reanalysis datasets, we find that the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO) significantly modulates the NPMM forcing on two types of ENSO. During the positive IPO (+IPO) phase, a strengthened background Aleutian low and southward-shifted storm track, in comparison to the negative IPO (−IPO) phase, produce stronger basin-scale negative geopotential height tendency anomalies over the North Pacific through synoptic-scale eddy–mean flow interaction. Such strong background negative tendency facilitates an Aleutian low–like pressure monopole rather than a North Pacific Oscillation (NPO)-like pressure dipole in boreal spring, leading to a weak NPMM that cannot effectively promote development of either a central Pacific (CP) or an eastern Pacific (EP) ENSO. By contrast, the NPO-like dipole enhances in boreal spring during −IPO, corresponding to stronger and more frequently occurring NPMM events that induce a robust CP-ENSO-like response in boreal winter. Moreover, the −IPO-related tropical Pacific mean states and the associated positive feedbacks cause a strong decrease in mixed layer temperature variance in the equatorial eastern Pacific, but a slight increase in the central Pacific, thus further contributing to the enhanced correlation between NPMM and CP-ENSO. Therefore, −IPO has played a role in the stronger impact of NPMM on CP-ENSO since the 1990s, and the modulation effects of IPO should be considered in understanding the extratropical–tropical climatic connection and ENSO spatial diversity.

Open access
Baoqiang Xiang
,
Bin Wang
,
Guosen Chen
, and
Thomas L. Delworth

Abstract

Boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) is a primary source of predictability for summertime weather and climate on the subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) time scale. Using the GFDL SPEAR S2S prediction system, we evaluate the BSISO prediction skills based on 20-yr (2000–19) hindcast experiments with initializations from May to October. It is revealed that the overall BSISO prediction skill using all hindcasts reaches out to 22 days as measured by BSISO indices before the bivariate anomalous correlation coefficient (ACC) drops below 0.5. Results also show that the northeastward-propagating canonical BSISO (CB) event has a higher prediction skill than the northward dipole BSISO (DB) event (28 vs 23 days). This is attributed to CB’s more periodic nature, resulting in its longer persistence, while DB events are more episodic accompanied by a rapid demise after reaching maximum enhanced convection over the equatorial Indian Ocean. From a forecaster’s perspective, a precursory strong Kelvin wave component in the equatorial western Pacific signifies the subsequent development of a CB event, which is likely more predictable. Investigation of individual CB events shows a large interevent spread in terms of their prediction skills. For CB, the events with weaker and fluctuating amplitude during their lifetime have relatively lower prediction skills likely linked to their weaker convection–circulation coupling. Interestingly, the prediction skills of individual CB events tend to be relatively higher and less scattered during late summer (August–October) than those in early summer (May–July), suggestive of the seasonal modulation on the evolution and predictability of BSISO.

Significance Statement

The advance of subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) prediction largely depends on dynamical models’ ability to predict some major intrinsic modes in the climate system, including the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO). Using a newly developed S2S prediction system, we thoroughly evaluated its performance in predicting BSISO, and revealed the skill dependence on the BSISO propagation diversity. Here we provide physical explanations of what influences the BSISO predictions and identify different precursory signals for two types of BSISO, which have important implications for operational forecasts.

Open access
Mark R. England
and
Nicole Feldl

Abstract

A fundamental divide exists between previous studies that conclude that polar amplification does not occur without sea ice and studies that find that polar amplification is an inherent feature of the atmosphere independent of sea ice. We hypothesize that a representation of climatological ocean heat transport is key for simulating polar amplification in ice-free climates. To investigate this, we run a suite of targeted experiments in the slab ocean aquaplanet configuration of CESM2-CAM6 with different profiles of prescribed ocean heat transport, which are invariant under CO2 quadrupling. In simulations without climatological ocean heat transport, polar amplification does not occur. In contrast, in simulations with climatological ocean heat transport, robust polar amplification occurs in all seasons. What is causing this dependence of polar amplification on ocean heat transport? Energy-balance model theory is incapable of explaining our results and in fact would predict that introducing ocean heat transport leads to less polar amplification. We instead demonstrate that shortwave cloud radiative feedbacks can explain the divergent polar climate responses simulated by CESM2-CAM6. Targeted cloud locking experiments in the zero ocean heat transport simulations are able to reproduce the polar amplification of the climatological ocean heat transport simulations, solely by prescribing high-latitude cloud radiative feedbacks. We conclude that polar amplification in ice-free climates is underpinned by ocean–atmosphere coupling, through a less negative high latitude shortwave cloud radiative feedback that facilitates enhanced polar warming. In addition to reconciling previous disparities, these results have important implications for interpreting past equable climates and climate projections under high-emissions scenarios.

Significance Statement

Polar amplification is a robust feature of climate change in the modern-day climate. However, previous climate modeling studies fundamentally do not agree on whether polar amplification occurs in ice-free climates. In this study, we find in a state-of-the-art climate model that, if ocean heat transport is neglected, the response to an increase in CO2 is not polar amplified, whereas robust polar amplification occurs if ocean heat transport is included. Using targeted model experiments, we diagnose cloud radiative effects as the driver of this divergent behavior. We conclude that polar amplification is a robust feature of the atmosphere–ocean system. Our results have important implications for interpreting past warm climates and future projections under high-emissions scenarios.

Open access
Alex J. Cannon

Abstract

Canadian climate service providers offer projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) to help inform climate change mitigation and adaptation decisions. CMIP6 includes several “hot” climate models whose sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcings exceeds the likely range inferred from multiple lines of evidence. Global warming estimates assessed in the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were reduced by applying observational constraints on the historical rate of warming to the CMIP6 ensemble. This study assesses whether globally constrained CMIP6 projections for Canada are appreciably different from unconstrained projections. Two constraints are considered: one that removes models whose transient climate response lies outside the AR6 assessed range (TCRlikely), and the other that weights models to match the assessed distribution of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECSall). Both constraints lead to appreciably cooler and drier projections than the unconstrained ensemble, with the strongest reductions seen in the upper end of the ensemble range, high-emissions scenario, end-of-century time period, and northern regions of Canada. In this case, constrained projections of annual mean temperature are 2°–3°C cooler than the unconstrained projections, whereas projections of annual total precipitation are typically 20%–40% drier. Appreciable differences are also detected in the ensemble median of temperature extreme indices. Based on these results, it is recommended that a constrained ensemble be considered for regional projections to avoid the “hot model” problem. Alternatively, projections can be communicated conditional on a specified level of global warming, with global constraints then used to inform the timing of the warming level exceedance.

Open access
Carrie Lewis-Merritt
,
Justin P. Stachnik
,
Margaret A. Hollis
,
Elinor R. Martin
, and
Rachel R. McCrary

Abstract

Tropical easterly waves (TEWs) play a critical role in regulating convection and precipitation across the global tropics. TEWs act as seed disturbances for tropical cyclogenesis, serve as an essential component in monsoon precipitation, and produce large amounts of rainfall and diabatic heating that can strongly affect the large-scale circulation. To help improve our knowledge of a more elusive type of tropical wave, we use satellite and reanalysis estimates of the diabatic heating associated with TEWs that are identified by a tracking algorithm based on low-level curvature vorticity. This study uses the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) version 6 convective–stratiform heating (CSH) and spectral latent heating (SLH) orbital products to create a global climatology (1998–2015) of TEW diabatic heating. TEW-specific composites for the satellite-observed vertical structure of diabatic heating are compared to similar terms from MERRA-2 across a variety of tropical regions. There are striking differences between the reanalysis and satellite heating with MERRA-2 having much stronger background heating, especially at low levels. Both the satellite-observed and reanalysis heating profiles show stronger midlevel heating associated with TEWs relative to the unconditional background. Similar patterns of mid- and bottom-heaviness emerge in two-dimensional composites of TEW latent heating as stronger heating rates and percent contributions to the background are generally higher at 500 hPa than at 850 hPa. Although TEWs only represent a few percent of the background heating across the global tropics, they comprise 30%–50% of the heating in the prominent TEW tracks over the northeastern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Restricted access
Rui Jin
,
Hui Yu
,
Zhiwei Wu
,
Johnny C. L. Chan
,
Ming Ying
, and
Peng Zhang

Abstract

This study examines the East Asia and western North Pacific (WNP) monsoon circulation patterns for strong and weak WNP tropical cyclone (TC) numbers in summer. It suggested that years with more intense TCs are coupled with the tropical monsoon circulations, including the northward cross-equatorial airflow and the extending tropical monsoon trough toward the central-eastern WNP. However, a higher frequency of weak TCs can be largely attributed to the mutual interactions among the tropical monsoon trough west of 140°E, the westward South Asia high, and the high pressure anomaly in Northeast Asia (NEA). Then the potential influence of the NEA extratropical system is focused on. The resultant local negative potential vorticity (PV) anomaly is carried southeastward by the prevailing flow. It stimulates a descending flow around 30°N, which favors the westward retreat of the South Asian high and the decreased zonal vertical wind shear around 20°N. The associated lower-level outflow converges in the tropical WNP and reinforces the ascending motion around 10°–20°N. Meanwhile, the warm air column in NEA also contributes to anomalous easterlies in a band around 30°N, intensifying the lower-level cyclonic vorticity in the northwestern WNP. Consequently, the ascending motion, cyclonic vorticity, and the weakened zonal vertical wind shear in northwestern WNP promote the WTC formation. A set of physically based empirical models is developed using various physically based predictors to reconstruct the number of intense and weak TCs. Cross-validated hindcasts suggest that the NEA extratropical circulation can serve as an additional source of predictability for the weak TC variability.

Significance Statement

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are a highly destructive type of natural disaster that have garnered widespread attention. By comparison with intense TCs (ITCs), weak TCs (WTCs) are much more numerous and often form closer to the coastal regions of East Asia, whose mechanism has not been fully understood. In this study, we suggest that more ITCs are controlled by tropical monsoon circulations, while the WTC variability is closely coupled with both tropical and extratropical monsoon systems. In addition to the tropical monsoon trough west of 140°E and the westward South Asian high, the Northeast Asian circulation can regulate the WTC number by changing the lower-level vorticity, vertical motion, and vertical wind shear in the WTC genesis-prone region, which can be applied to improve the seasonal prediction skill of WTCs.

Restricted access
Shengzhe Chen
,
Jiping Liu
,
Mirong Song
,
Jun Inoue
, and
Yifan Ding

Abstract

The Arctic has experienced rapid changes in recent decades. For the first time, we intercompare five snow mass budget processes over Arctic sea ice simulated by 22 models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) using new diagnostics that have not been available for previous CMIPs. Our analysis suggests that snowfall accumulation (melt) is the dominant process contributing to nearly 100% (70.4% ± 10.1%) of the annual snow growth (loss). Snow mass change through sea ice dynamics, snow–ice conversion, and sublimation contribute 10.9% ± 4.9%, 9.7% ± 5.9%, and 9.0% ± 7.7% to the total snow mass loss. The seasonal cycle of various snow processes simulated by most of the CMIP6 models generally follows similar variations. There is reduced snowfall accumulation, melt, and sea ice dynamics during 1993–2014. However, substantial temporal and spatial discrepancies are noteworthy between the CMIP6 models. There is a large spread of snowfall accumulation and snowmelt in summer and fall, snow–ice conversion from autumn to spring, sublimation in late spring and summer, and snow mass change due to sea ice dynamics from winter to midspring. About half the models show decreasing trends of snowfall accumulation during 1993–2014, with no trends in others. Divergent trends in snow–ice conversion and sublimation occur in the Greenland and Barents Seas. The discrepancies are attributed equally to internal variability and model structural differences. Future projections that remove the identified outlier models suggest a significant reduction in snowfall accumulation, snowmelt, and snow mass change due to sea ice dynamics in the Arctic Ocean from 2015 to 2099. Snow–ice conversion and sublimation are also projected to be reduced but with less confidence.

Restricted access