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Kexin Song
,
Ruifen Zhan
,
Yuqing Wang
,
Jiuwei Zhao
, and
Li Tao

Abstract

Rapid intensification (RI) of tropical cyclones (TCs), which refers to an explosive increase of TC intensity exceeding a certain threshold [e.g., 30 kt (1 kt ≈ 0.51 m s−1) in 24 h] within a short time period, poses a great challenge to both forecasting and disaster prevention efforts. Recent studies have documented a significant increase in the magnitude of TC RI (RIM; measured as the mean intensification rate of all TC RI records in a TC season) over the western North Pacific (WNP) since 1979, and have attributed it to the impacts of global warming. In this study, results from statistical analyses show that the TC RIM over the WNP during 1951–2021 exhibits significant interdecadal variability, which is found to be closely related to the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO). Further analyses indicate that the response of the local thermodynamic conditions to the AMO plays a dominant role in shaping this relationship. The positive AMO phase fosters a high TC RIM over the WNP by producing significant warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, which in turn enhances TC heat potential and the midtropospheric relative humidity in the main region of TC RI occurrence. Results from both data analyses and numerical model experiments demonstrate that the AMO modulates thermodynamic conditions over the WNP, such as SST and ocean heat content, by affecting local heat fluxes and the Ekman heat transport in the WNP via the modulation of Walker circulation from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

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Matthew T. Jenkins
,
Aiguo Dai
, and
Clara Deser

Abstract

The dynamic and thermodynamic mechanisms that link retreating sea ice to increased Arctic cloud amount and cloud water content are unclear. Using the fifth generation of the ECMWF Reanalysis (ERA5), the long-term changes between years 1950–79 and 1990–2019 in Arctic clouds are estimated along with their relationship to sea ice loss. A comparison of ERA5 to CERES satellite cloud fractions reveals that ERA5 simulates the seasonal cycle, variations, and changes of cloud fraction well over water surfaces during 2001–20. This suggests that ERA5 may reliably represent the cloud response to sea ice loss because melting sea ice exposes more water surfaces in the Arctic. Increases in ERA5 Arctic cloud fraction and water content are largest during October–March from ∼950 to 700 hPa over areas with significant (≥15%) sea ice loss. Further, regions with significant sea ice loss experience higher convective available potential energy (∼2–2.75 J kg−1), planetary boundary layer height (∼120–200 m), and near-surface specific humidity (∼0.25–0.40 g kg−1) and a greater reduction of the lower-tropospheric temperature inversion (∼3°–4°C) than regions with small (<15%) sea ice loss in autumn and winter. Areas with significant sea ice loss also show strengthened upward motion between 1000 and 700 hPa, enhanced horizontal convergence (divergence) of air, and decreased (increased) relative humidity from 1000 to 950 hPa (950–700 hPa) during the cold season. Analyses of moisture divergence, evaporation minus precipitation, and meridional moisture flux fields suggest that increased local surface water fluxes, rather than atmospheric motions, provide a key source of moisture for increased Arctic clouds over newly exposed water surfaces during October–March.

Significance Statement

Sea ice loss has been shown to be a primary contributor to Arctic warming. Despite the evidence linking large sea ice retreat to Arctic warming, some studies have suggested that enhanced downwelling longwave radiation associated with increased clouds and water vapor is the primary reason for Arctic amplification. However, it is unclear how sea ice loss is linked to changes in clouds and water vapor in the Arctic. Here, we investigate the relationship between Arctic sea ice loss and changes in clouds using the ERA5 dataset. Improved knowledge of the relationship between Arctic sea ice loss and changes in clouds will help further our understanding of the role of the cloud feedback in Arctic warming.

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Wei Chen

Abstract

El Niño can be categorized into long and short decaying cases in terms of the lengths of decaying phases. We find that the difference between long and short decaying El Niño emerges as early as the decaying spring, rather than the decaying summer mentioned in previous studies. Observational evidence suggests that this difference corresponds to the different positions of the spring Aleutian low (AL). Further analysis using 15 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) model simulations suggests that the AL that extends southeastward into the northeastern subtropical Pacific contributes to the long decaying El Niño. The northeastern subtropical Pacific AL, with an anomalous southwesterly on the southeast edge, is associated with warming in situ, which further induces cyclonic circulation anomalies over the eastern tropical Pacific as Gill’s response. The anomalous westerly at the equator along the southern side of the cyclonic circulation anomalies is related to positive SST anomalies over the central and eastern tropical Pacific and therefore the persistence of El Niño in the decaying spring. On the other hand, the AL restricted to the North Pacific contributes to anticyclonic circulation anomalies over the central Pacific and favors the decline of El Niño through the seasonal footprint mechanism. Moreover, the models that reproduce many more long (short) decaying El Niño cases tend to simulate the AL southeastward extension (restriction over the North Pacific) during the El Niño decaying spring. The results imply that the AL position in the El Niño decaying spring could be a precursor to the length of El Niño decaying phase.

Significance Statement

El Niño events can be classified into long and short decaying cases with regard to the different lengths of decaying phases. We find that the difference between the two types of El Niño appears as early as the decaying spring, rather than the decaying summer noticed in previous studies. We highlight that this difference is due to the different positions of the spring Aleutian low (AL). Particularly, the AL that extends southeastward into the northeastern subtropical Pacific is associated with warming over the central and eastern tropical Pacific and contributes to the persistence of El Niño in the decaying spring. The results indicate that locations of the spring AL should be paid attention to when considering the decaying phase of El Niño.

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Brandi Newton
,
Diogo Sayanda
, and
Barrie Bonsal

Abstract

Most of the globe has experienced significant warming trends that have been attributed to anthropogenic climate change. However, these rates of warming are also influenced by short-term climate fluctuations driven by atmospheric circulation dynamics, resulting in inconsistent trend magnitudes in both time and space. This research evaluated winter (December–February) temperature trends over 1950–2020 at 91 climate stations across British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), and Saskatchewan (SK), Canada, and determined the components attributed to thermodynamic and dynamic (atmospheric circulation) factors. A synoptic climatological approach was used to classify atmospheric circulation patterns in the midtroposphere, relate those patterns to surface temperature, and evaluate changes in frequency. Moderate to high temperature increases over 71 years were found for most of the region, averaging 3.1°C in southern SK to 4.1°C in central-northern AB, and a maximum of 5.8°C in northern BC. Low to moderate increases were found for southern BC, averaging 1.2°C. Changes in atmospheric circulation accounted for 29% and 31% of observed temperature changes in central-northern BC and AB, respectively. Dynamic factors were a moderate driver in southern AB (18%) and central-northern SK (13%), and low in southern SK (5%). Negative dynamic contributions in southern BC (−6%), suggest that atmospheric circulation changes counteracted thermodynamically driven temperature changes. Results were consistent with trend analyses, indicating this method is well suited for trend detection and identification of thermodynamic and dynamic drivers. Results of this research improve our understanding of the magnitude of winter temperature changes critical for informing adaptation and climate-related policy decisions.

Significance Statement

Winter temperatures are strongly influenced by atmospheric circulation patterns, which move warm or cold air masses over large distances. We wanted to understand how changes in atmospheric circulation affect observed changes in winter temperatures in three provinces in western Canada. This also helps us to understand how much temperature change is due to anthropogenic (e.g., caused by greenhouse gases and land cover changes) and naturally occurring changes to Earth’s energy balance. Our results highlight the importance of understanding variability when selecting a time series for trend analyses or climate baselines for modeling studies. This study also helps to inform climate-related policies, decision-making, and adaptation strategies.

Open access
Ziqing Wang
and
Guanghua Chen

Abstract

This study classifies 407 developing disturbances (DEV) and 2309 nondeveloping disturbances (NONDEV) over the western North Pacific into five large-scale circulation patterns, namely the pre-existing cyclone (PC), easterly wave (EW), zonal wind convergence (CON), zonal wind shear line (SL), and mixed zonal wind convergence and shear line (CON-SL) patterns. The SL pattern has the highest TC yield percentage, followed by the CON-SL, while the EW is the least favorable pattern. The composite analysis shows that upper-level divergence, midlevel relative humidity, and surface heat flux (SHF) growth are crucial to the disturbance development in all the five patterns. Besides, large lower-level barotropic kinetic energy conversion and a well-developed primary circulation are good indicators for disturbance development in the PC, EW, and CON rather than in the SL and CON-SL patterns. Furthermore, for the PC, EW and CON patterns, the DEV features strong and rapidly growing SHF and mesoscale convective systems (MCS) closer to the disturbance center, which allows deep-layer warming and moistening, and drives a deep secondary circulation. Interestingly, due to an environment with high lower-level vorticity, the SL and CON-SL patterns typically foster a relatively mature primary circulation with strong SHF and MCS concentrated close to the center, especially for the NONDEV at the pre-genesis stage. However, a drier mid-to-upper-level environment for the NONDEV inhibits deep convection, which may explain its shallow secondary circulation and therefore poor potential to develop further.

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Li Liu
,
Wenjun Zhang
,
Chao Liu
, and
Feng Jiang

Abstract

The East Siberia–Beaufort Sea (EsCB) sea ice during boreal autumn has recently been reported to play important roles in the climate over Eurasia and North America. The EsCB sea ice exhibits remarkable year-to-year fluctuations in autumn (August–October), the season in which its minimum extent usually occurs. However, the physical driver of the autumn EsCB sea ice interannual variability remains unclear, impeding the seasonal prediction of local sea ice. Here we find that the autumn EsCB sea ice variability is largely driven by the preceding summer (May–July) dipolar atmospheric anomalies over the North Atlantic, resembling the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern. During the negative NAO-like phase, the circumpolar anticyclonic anomalies tend to transport the warm air from Greenland toward the EsCB region, which triggers rapid sea ice melt there. The associated EsCB sea ice anomalies can be maintained or even intensified by the local sea ice–albedo positive feedback until autumn. Therefore, the abnormal signals of Arctic sea ice tend to show significant persistence in summer and autumn. The influence of the summer NAO-like atmospheric circulation on the ensuing autumn EsCB sea ice can be realistically reproduced in the historical simulation of the E3SM-1-0 model, supporting our findings based on the observation. This lagged relationship provides a promising pathway for skillful seasonal prediction of the EsCB sea ice and its related climatic impacts.

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Jing Lei
,
Zhengguo Shi
,
Yingying Sha
,
Xinzhou Li
, and
Xiaoning Xie

Abstract

By using the Community Atmosphere Model version 4 (CAM4) coupled to a slab ocean model, the total responses of westerly jets (WJ) over Asia and North America during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), as well as the relative influences of different individual LGM forcing on the changes in WJ, are evaluated in this study. The results show that the seasonal variation of Northern Hemisphere WJ in LGM is characterized by distinct regional discrepancies. The WJ is intensified and shifts southward in North America, while it generally weakens and slightly displaces northward in central Asia. Over Japan, the WJ is enhanced and moves southward in summer but is attenuated and shifts northward in winter. The change of WJ has a close relationship with the midtroposphere temperature anomalies which result from the different external forcings. In summer, the ice sheet albedo plays a leading role in wind fields at mid-to-high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere by causing a zonal wave–like response of temperature. In winter, the ice sheet topography dominates the wind fields across North America to North Atlantic by inducing a northwest–southeast-oriented tripole temperature response. The effects of orbital parameters and greenhouse gases largely contribute to the alteration of upper wind fields over Asia and North Pacific by causing a dipole response of temperature.

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Minghao Yang
,
Yi Li
,
Wei Dong
,
Weilai Shi
,
Peilong Yu
, and
Xiong Chen

Abstract

With a particular focus on the Siberian storm track, this study provides new insights into variations in the warm Arctic–cold Eurasia (WACE) temperature anomaly pattern by using reanalysis data. The results show that the Siberian storm track has a significant out-of-phase relationship with both the WACE pattern and Ural blocking on the interannual time scale. The strengthened WACE pattern can weaken the Siberian storm track through a suppression of the low-level atmospheric baroclinicity over midlatitude Eurasia. The weakened Siberian storm track can contribute to the WACE pattern through feedback forcing from synoptic-scale eddies, which can also create favorable conditions for the development of Ural blocking. Composite temporal evolution reveals that the strongest cold Arctic–warm Eurasia pattern is preceded by the peak of the Siberian storm track. The Ural cyclonic circulation reaches its maximum amplitude on the peak day of the Siberian storm track strength and continues to persist for one day with the maximum amplitude due to the feedback forcing resulting from the Siberian storm track. On the intraseasonal time scale, the occurrence of the Siberian storm track activity can serve as an early indication of the diminished Ural blocking and WACE pattern.

Significance Statement

Because of the high impacts of the warm Arctic–cold Eurasia (WACE) pattern on public safety, socioeconomic development, and the economy, it is crucial to enhance our understanding of variations in the WACE pattern. This paper specifically investigates the impact of internal atmospheric variability on the WACE pattern, focusing on a pronounced negative correlation between the Siberian storm track and the WACE pattern. Daily composites also reveal that Siberian storm track activities can promote a strong cold Arctic–warm Eurasia pattern by maintaining the strength of the quasi-stationary Ural cyclonic circulation. As such, paying close attention to Siberian storm track activities may hold the promise to improve the prediction of the strength of the WACE pattern.

Open access
Daeho Jin
,
Ryan J. Kramer
,
Lazaros Oreopoulos
, and
Dongmin Lee

Abstract

Twenty years of satellite-based cloud and radiation observations allow us to examine the observed cloud radiative effect (CRE) feedback (i.e., CRE change per unit change in global mean surface temperature). By employing a decomposition method to separate the contribution of “internal changes” and “relative-frequency-of-occurrence (RFO) changes” of distinct cloud regime (CR) groups, notable seasonal contrasts of CRE feedback characteristics emerge. Boreal winter CRE feedback is dominated by the positive shortwave CRE (SWCRE) feedback of oceanic low-thick clouds, due to their decreasing RFO as temperature rises. This signal is most likely due to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity. When ENSO signals are excluded, boreal winter CRE feedback becomes qualitatively similar to the boreal summer feedback, where several CR groups contribute to the total CRE feedback more evenly. Most CR groups’ CRE feedbacks largely come from changing RFO (e.g., the predominant transition from oceanic cumulus to broken clouds and more occurrences of higher convective clouds with warming temperature). At the same time, low-thick and broken clouds experience optical thinning and decreasing cloud fraction, and these features are more prominent in boreal summer than winter. Overall, the seasonally asymmetric patterns of CRE feedback, primarily due to ENSO, introduce complexity in assessments of CRE feedback.

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Hien X. Bui
,
Yi-Xian Li
,
Wenyu Zhou
, and
Peter van Rensch

Abstract

The impacts of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) changes on the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) are investigated using the large-ensemble simulation from the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2-LE) under the shared socioeconomic pathway (SSP370 scenario). Three SST change patterns are featured, distinguished by the zonal gradient of the change in the equatorial Pacific warming. MJO characteristics and its teleconnections responses are composited for the clusters, and their relationships to the zonal SST gradient changes are examined. Results show that the anomalously strong El Niño–like SST change pattern significantly intensifies the MJO amplitude and enhances its eastward extension compared to the anomalously weak El Niño–like SST change pattern. These changes in MJO amplitude are further interpreted through the α framework. We also found no statistically different extratropical geopotential height responses to MJO between the three SST warming patterns, possibly due to strong internal climate variability. Changes in Rossby wave source between clusters also show a weak relationship with the MJO teleconnections. Our results highlight the importance of Indo-Pacific zonal SST gradient changes on the changes of MJO but limited impacts on MJO teleconnections to the midlatitudes.

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