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Shihua Liu
,
Sihua Huang
,
Yanke Tan
,
Zhiping Wen
,
Xiaodan Chen
, and
Yuanyuan Guo

Abstract

Previous studies have pointed out that the tropical easterly jet (TEJ) core varies longitudinally or latitudinally. Whether there is a linkage between longitudinal and latitudinal variations of the TEJ core remains unclear. We found that, on the interannual time scale, the northward (southward) movement of the TEJ core is typically accompanied by a westward (eastward) shift, characterized by a noticeable northwest–southeast (NW–SE) displacement. This NW–SE shift is most evident in July. A locational index is defined to capture this shift by the difference of area-averaged 200-hPa zonal winds between the western Arabian Sea (AS) and the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula. Observations and numerical simulations demonstrated that the northwestward-shifted (southeastward-shifted) TEJ core is caused by the joint and individual influences from the enhanced (suppressed) convective activities over the eastern AS and suppressed (enhanced) convective activities over the northern Bay of Bengal–South China Sea (BOB–SCS). Enhanced (suppressed) convective activities over the eastern AS can induce upper-tropospheric divergence (convergence) and anticyclonic (cyclonic) circulations to the northwest of the convection, leading to anomalous easterly (westerly) over the western AS. The suppressed (enhanced) convective activities over the northern BOB–SCS can further facilitate the northwestward (southeastward) shift through inducing anomalous cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation centering at the BOB and the associated anomalous westerly (easterly) over the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula. The NW–SE shift of the TEJ core may have an implication for the change in the area of the intense rainfall in South Asia.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is to explore the linkage between the zonal and meridional variations of the core of the tropical easterly jet (TEJ) and its underlying mechanisms. We found that the TEJ core features a pronounced northwest–southeast shift and this phenomenon only occurs in July. Thus, we defined a locational index to depict this unique characteristic and reveal its relationship with the anomalous convective activities over the eastern Arabian Sea and the northern Bay of Bengal–South China Sea. These results may help improve our understanding of the characteristics and mechanisms of the variations of the TEJ core.

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Suqiong Hu
,
Wenjun Zhang
,
Masahiro Watanabe
,
Feng Jiang
,
Fei-Fei Jin
, and
Han-Ching Chen

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the dominant mode of interannual variability in the tropical Pacific, is well known to affect the extratropical climate via atmospheric teleconnections. Extratropical atmospheric variability may in turn influence the occurrence of ENSO events. The winter North Pacific Oscillation (NPO), as the secondary dominant mode of atmospheric variability over the North Pacific, has been recognized as a potential precursor for ENSO development. This study demonstrates that the preexisting winter NPO signal is primarily excited by sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the equatorial western–central Pacific. During ENSO years with a preceding winter NPO signal, which accounts for approximately 60% of ENSO events observed in 1979–2021, significant SST anomalies emerge in the equatorial western–central Pacific in the preceding autumn and winter. The concurrent presence of local convection anomalies can act as a catalyst for NPO-like atmospheric circulation anomalies. In contrast, during other ENSO years, significant SST anomalies are not observed in the equatorial western–central Pacific during the preceding winter, and correspondingly, the NPO signal is absent. Ensemble simulations using an atmospheric general circulation model driven by observed SST anomalies in the tropical western–central Pacific can well reproduce the interannual variability of observed NPO. Therefore, an alternative explanation for the observed NPO–ENSO relationship is that the preceding winter NPO is a companion to ENSO development, driven by the precursory SST signal in the equatorial western–central Pacific. Our results suggest that the lagged relationship between ENSO and the NPO involves a tropical–extratropical two-way coupling rather than a purely stochastic forcing of the extratropical atmosphere on ENSO.

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Qinlu Gu
,
Renguang Wu
, and
Sang-Wook Yeh

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) exhibits nonlinearity in its amplitude and impacts. This study investigates the dependence of summertime synoptic-scale disturbance (SSD) intensity over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) on the ENSO amplitude. A tendency of nonlinearity exists in the observed response of the TWNP SSD intensity to the amplitude of tropical central-eastern Pacific (CEP) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in boreal summer. Numerical experiments are conducted with an atmospheric general circulation model with linearly varying tropical CEP SST anomalies imposed to illustrate the nonlinearity exclusively induced by changes in the ENSO amplitude. A linear increase in the amplitude of El Niño–like SST anomalies results in a nonlinear enhancement of SSD intensity over the TWNP, manifested as the increase in SSD intensity at a rate larger than expected by linear response with an eastward shift. This is attributed to the nonlinear intensification of anomalous ascent over the TWNP induced by tropical convection response to positive tropical CEP SST anomalies and the nonlinear effect of anomalous convection on the synoptic-scale activity. In contrast, as La Niña–like SST anomalies increase linearly, the SSD intensity over the TWNP decreases at a rate slower than expected from a linear response and even reaches saturation with little longitudinal shift. Due to the thermodynamic control on the occurrence of deep convection in the tropics, enhanced negative SST anomalies do not induce additional changes in anomalous descent over the tropical CEP. Thus, the TWNP SSD intensity no longer decreases with further increase in tropical CEP cold SST anomalies.

Significance Statement

Synoptic-scale disturbances (SSDs) over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) play an important role in weather and climate over East and Southeast Asia. Impacts of those SSDs are contingent on their intensity. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has substantial impacts on weather and climate worldwide, including the SSDs over the TWNP. ENSO displays a diversity in amplitude, spatial pattern, and temporal evolution. The present study investigates the response of the TWNP SSD intensity to varying ENSO amplitude during boreal summer and reveals a distinctive nonlinear response of the TWNP SSD intensity to the amplitude of El Niño and La Niña, which has important implication for understanding the impacts of ENSO on climate over the TWNP and Asia.

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Ye-Jun Jun
,
Seok-Woo Son
,
Hera Kim
,
Hyo-Seok Park
, and
Jin-Ho Yoon

Abstract

Concurrent with global warming, the Eurasian continent has experienced frequent cold winters in recent decades. Although still debatable, such Eurasian winter cooling, which was particularly pronounced in the late twentieth century, has been attributed to internal climate variability, the process of which remains elusive. By examining multimodel large ensemble simulations, this study explores the potential sources of internal climate variability responsible for the Eurasian winter cooling trend over 1987–2006. Model simulations show a large ensemble spread in the Eurasian winter temperature trend with an ensemble mean close to zero. A comparison of the ensemble members shows that a circulation pattern favorable for the Eurasian cooling is characterized by the anticyclonic and cyclonic enhancements of sea level pressure (SLP) trend in the subarctic and Aleutian regions, respectively. This dipolar SLP trend is closely related to the deep Arctic warming, the change in midlatitude snow cover, and the enhancement of atmospheric convection over the tropical western Pacific. This result suggests that the Eurasian winter cooling is likely associated not only to the changes in mid- to high-latitude conditions but also to the changes in tropical convection. The possible mechanism of the tropically induced Aleutian low deepening is also discussed.

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Clark Weaver
,
Dong L. Wu
,
P. K. Bhartia
,
Gordon Labow
,
David P. Haffner
,
Lauren Borgia
,
Laura McBride
, and
Ross Salawitch

Abstract

We construct a long-term record of top of atmosphere (TOA) shortwave (SW) albedo of clouds and aerosols from 340-nm radiances observed by NASA and NOAA satellite instruments from 1980 to 2013. We compare our SW cloud+aerosol albedo with simulated cloud albedo from both AMIP and historical CMIP6 simulations from 47 climate models. While most historical runs did not simulate our observed spatial pattern of the trends in albedo over the Pacific Ocean, four models qualitatively simulate our observed patterns. Those historical models and the AMIP models collectively estimate an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of ∼3.5°C, with an uncertainty from 2.7° to 5.1°C. Our ECS estimates are sensitive to the instrument calibration, which drives the wide range in ECS uncertainty. We use instrument calibrations that assume a neutral change in reflectivity over the Antarctic ice sheet. Our observations show increasing cloudiness over the eastern equatorial Pacific and off the coast of Peru as well as neutral cloud trends off the coast of Namibia and California. To produce our SW cloud+aerosol albedo, we first retrieve a black-sky cloud albedo (BCA) and empirically correct the sampling bias from diurnal variations. Then, we estimate the broadband proxy albedo using multiple nonlinear regression along with several years of CERES cloud albedo to obtain the regression coefficients. We validate our product against CERES data from the years not used in the regression. Zonal mean trends of our SW cloud+aerosol albedo show reasonable agreement with CERES as well as the Pathfinder Atmospheres–Extended (PATMOS-x) observational dataset.

Significance Statement

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the rise in global temperature over hundreds of years after a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Current state-of-the-art climate models forecast a wide range of equilibrium climate sensitivities (1.5°–6°C), due mainly to how clouds, aerosols, and sea surface temperatures are simulated within these models. Using data from NASA and NOAA satellite instruments from 1980 to 2013, we first construct a dataset that describes how much sunlight has been reflected by clouds over the 34 years and then we compare this data record to output from 47 climate models. Based on these comparisons, we conclude the best estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity is about 3.5°C, with an uncertainty range of 2.7°–5.1°C.

Open access
Yuanyuan Song
,
Yuanlong Li
,
Aixue Hu
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Gaël Forget
,
Xiaodan Chen
,
Jing Duan
, and
Fan Wang

Abstract

As the major sink of anthropogenic heat, the Southern Ocean has shown quasi-symmetric, deep-reaching warming since the mid-twentieth century. In comparison, the shorter-term heat storage pattern of the Southern Ocean is more complex and has notable impacts on regional climate and marine ecosystems. By analyzing observational datasets and climate model simulations, this study reveals that the Southern Ocean exhibits prominent decadal (>8 years) variability extending to ∼700-m depth and is characterized by out-of-phase changes in the Pacific and Atlantic–Indian Ocean sectors. Changes in the Pacific sector are larger in magnitude than those in the Atlantic–Indian Ocean sectors and dominate the total heat storage of the Southern Ocean on decadal time scales. Instead of heat uptake through surface heat fluxes, these asymmetric variations arise primarily from wind-driven heat redistribution. Pacemaker and preindustrial simulations of the Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) suggest that these variations in Southern Ocean winds arise primarily from natural variability of the tropical Pacific, as represented by the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO). Through atmospheric teleconnection, the positive phase of the IPO gives rise to higher-than-normal sea level pressure and anticyclonic wind anomalies in the 50°–70°S band of the Pacific sector. These winds lead to warming of 0–700 m by driving the convergence of warm water. The opposite processes, involving cyclonic winds and upper-layer divergence, occur in the Atlantic–Indian Ocean sector. These findings aid our understanding of the time-varying heat storage of the Southern Ocean and provide useful implications on initialized decadal climate prediction.

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Haoyu Yang
,
Shaoqing Zhang
,
Jinzhuo Cai
,
Dong Wang
,
Xiong Deng
, and
Yang Gao

Abstract

Climate model simulations tend to drift away from the real world because of model errors induced by an incomplete understanding and implementation of dynamics and physics. Parameter estimation uses data assimilation methods to optimize model parameters, which minimizes model errors by incorporating observations into the model through state-parameter covariance. However, traditional parameter estimation schemes that simultaneously estimate multiple parameters using observations could fail to reduce model errors because of the low signal-to-noise ratio in the covariance. Here, based on the saturation time scales of model sensitivity that depend on different parameters and model components, we design a new multicycle parameter estimation scheme, where each cycle is determined by the saturation time scale of sensitivity of the model state associated with observations in each climate system component. The new scheme is evaluated using two low-order models. The results show that due to high signal-to-noise ratios sustained during the parameter estimation process, the new scheme consistently reduces model errors as the number of estimated parameters increases. The new scheme may improve comprehensive coupled climate models by optimizing multiple parameters with multisource observations, thereby addressing the multiscale nature of component motions in the Earth system.

Significance Statement

Parameter estimation is used to reduce model errors by optimizing the model parameter values with observational information, which is important for improving long-term predictions. In previous parameter estimation methods, multisource observations have not yet been sufficiently used because the quality and dimension size of the optimized parameters are limited. Here, based on the multiscale nature of component motion in the Earth system, we develop a new parameter estimation method that makes full use of multisource observations. The new method processes the parameters being estimated sequentially according to sensitivity magnitudes and saturation time scales so that the parameters can be continuously optimized. This new method has large application potential for weather and climate reanalyses and predictions.

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Michael Morris
,
Paul J. Kushner
,
G. W. K. Moore
, and
Oya Mercan

Abstract

The effect of anthropogenic climate change on extreme near-surface wind speeds is uncertain. Observed trends are weak and difficult to disentangle from internal variability, and model projections disagree on the sign and magnitude of trends. Standard coarse-resolution climate models represent the fine structures of relevant physical phenomena such as extratropical cyclones (ETCs), upper-level jet streaks, surface energy fluxes, and land surface variability less skillfully than their high-resolution counterparts. Here, we use simulations with the NCAR Community Earth System Model with both uniform (110 km) resolution and the variable-resolution configuration (VR-CESM-SONT, from 110 to 7 km) to study the effect of refined spatial resolution on projections of extreme strong and weak wind speeds in the Great Lakes region under end-of-century RCP8.5 forcing. The variable-resolution configuration projects strengthening of strong-wind events in the refined region with the opposite occurring in the uniform-resolution simulation. The two configurations provide consistent changes to synoptic-scale circulations associated with high-wind events. However, only the variable-resolution configuration projects weaker static stability, enhanced turbulent vertical mixing, and consequentially enhanced surface wind speeds because boundary layer dynamics are better captured in the refined region. Both models project increased frequency of extreme weak winds, though only VR-CESM-SONT resolves the cold-season inversions and summertime high temperatures associated with stagnant wind events. The identifiable mechanism of the changes to strong winds in VR-CESM-SONT provides confidence in its projections and demonstrates the value of enhanced spatial resolution for the study of extreme winds under climate change.

Significance Statement

In this study, we compare climate change projections of high and low extreme wind speeds in the Great Lakes region between a standard coarse-resolution simulation and a high-resolution simulation performed using the same climate model. The fine-resolution simulation projects strengthening high wind speeds, opposite to the coarse-resolution simulation. Both project increasing frequency of extreme weak winds, but the human-health-related impacts of stagnant winds are only captured at fine resolution. The changes in the coarse-resolution simulation are explained by changes to large-scale circulation, while the fine-resolution changes are linked to local processes the coarse model does not resolve. This helps explain the diverging projections of strong winds and gives greater credibility to the fine-resolution simulation.

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Qiuping Ren
,
Young-Oh Kwon
,
Jiayan Yang
,
Rui Xin Huang
,
Yuanlong Li
, and
Fan Wang

Abstract

The storage of anthropogenic heat in oceans is geographically inhomogeneous, leading to differential warming rates among major ocean basins with notable regional climate impacts. Our analyses of observation-based datasets show that the average warming rate of 0–2000-m Atlantic Ocean since 1960 is nearly threefold stronger than that of the Indo-Pacific Oceans. This feature is robustly captured by historical simulations of phase 6 of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and is projected to persist into the future. In CMIP6 simulations, the ocean heat uptake through surface heat fluxes plays a central role in shaping the interbasin warming contrasts. In addition to the slowdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation as stressed in some existing studies, alterations of atmospheric conditions under greenhouse warming are also essential for the increased surface heat flux into the North Atlantic. Specifically, the reduced anthropogenic aerosol concentration in the North Atlantic since the 1980s has been favorable for the enhanced Atlantic Ocean heat uptake in CMIP6 models. Another previously overlooked factor is the geographic shape of the Atlantic Ocean which is relatively wide in midlatitudes and narrow in low latitudes, in contrast to that of the Indo-Pacific Oceans. Combined with the poleward migration of atmospheric circulations, which leads to the meridional pattern of surface heat uptake with broadly enhanced heat uptake in midlatitude oceans due to reduced surface wind speed and cloud cover, the geographic shape effect renders a higher basin-average heat uptake in the Atlantic.

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Elena Saggioro
,
Theodore G. Shepherd
, and
Jeff Knight

Abstract

Skillful prediction of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) eddy-driven jet is crucial for representation of mid-to-high-latitude SH climate variability. In the austral spring-to-summer months, the jet and the stratospheric polar vortex variabilities are strongly coupled. Since the vortex is more predictable and influenced by long-lead drivers 1 month or more ahead, the stratosphere is considered a promising pathway for improving forecasts in the region on subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) time scales. However, a quantification of this predictability has been lacking, as most modeling studies address only one of the several interacting drivers at a time, while statistical analyses quantify association but not skill. This methodological gap is addressed through a knowledge-driven probabilistic causal network approach, quantified with seasonal ensemble hindcast data. The approach enables to quantify the jet’s long-range predictability arising from known late-winter drivers, namely, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), upward wave activity flux, and polar night jet oscillation, mediated by the vortex variability in spring. Network-based predictions confirm the vortex as determinant for skillful jet predictions, both for the jet’s poleward shift in late spring and its equatorward shift in early summer. ENSO, IOD, late-winter wave activity flux, and polar night jet oscillation only provide moderate prediction skill to the vortex. This points to early spring submonthly variability as important for determining the vortex state leading up to its breakdown, creating a predictability bottleneck for the jet. The method developed here offers a new avenue to quantify the predictability provided by multiple, interacting drivers on S2S time scales.

Significance Statement

Predictions of the Southern Hemisphere midlatitude jet stream are crucial for skillful forecasts of the austral mid-to-high latitudes. Several oceanic and atmospheric phenomena could, if better represented in models, improve spring-to-summer jet predictions on subseasonal to seasonal time scales. However, the combined potential skill arising from the inclusion of such phenomena has not been quantified. This study does so by using a probabilistic causal network model, representing the connections between those drivers and the jet with conditional probabilities, trained on large sets of model data. The stratospheric polar vortex is confirmed as crucial predictor of jet variability but is itself hard to predict a month in advance due to submonthly variability, creating a predictability bottleneck for the jet.

Open access