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Minghao Yang, Chongyin Li, Xiong Chen, Yanke Tan, Xin Li, Chao Zhang, and Guiwan Chen

Abstract

The reproducibility of climatology and the midwinter suppression of the cold-season North Pacific storm track (NPST) in historical runs of 18 CMIP6 models is evaluated against the NCEP reanalysis data. The results show that the position of the climatological peak area of 850-hPa meridional eddy heat flux (υT850) is well captured by these models. The spatial patterns of climatological υT850 are basically consistent with the NCEP reanalysis. Generally, NorESM2-LM and CESM2-WACCM present a relatively strong capability to reproduce the climatological amplitude of υT850 with lower RMSE than the other models. Compared with CMIP5 models, the intermodel spread of υT850 climatology among the CMIP6 models is smaller, and their multimodel ensemble is closer to the NCEP reanalysis. The geographical distribution in more than half of the selected models is farther south and east. For the subseasonal variability of υT850, nearly half of the models exhibit a double-peak structure. In contrast, the apparent midwinter suppression in the NPST represented by the 250-hPa filtered meridional wind variance (υυ250) is reproduced by all the selected models. In addition, the present study investigates the possible reasons for simulation biases regarding climatological NPST amplitude. It is found that a higher model horizontal resolution significantly intensifies the climatological υυ250. There is a significant in-phase relationship between climatological υυ250 and the intensity of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM). However, the climatological υT850 is not sensitive to the model grid spacing. Additionally, the climatological low-tropospheric atmospheric baroclinicity is uncorrelated with climatological υυ250. The stronger climatological baroclinic energy conversion is associated with the stronger climatological υT850.

Open access
Mengmeng Lu, Song Yang, Junbin Wang, Yuting Wu, and Xiaolong Jia

Abstract

The thermal effect of the entire Tibetan Plateau (TP) tends to strengthen the South Asian summer monsoon (SASM); however, how does this monsoon component respond to the thermal conditions of different TP domains? How do the thermal conditions of the entire TP influence other monsoons, including the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the Southeast Asian summer monsoon (SEASM)? These questions are addressed by conducting an experiment with the CESM, which is forced by reducing the surface albedo over the plateau by half, from a TP-averaged 0.20 to 0.10, from May to September, and similar experiments for different TP domains. Both observational and model results show that the entire TP heating intensifies the large-scale Asian monsoon, the SASM, and the EASM but surprisingly weakens the SEASM. It is also surprising that the TP heating exerts a stronger effect on the EASM than on the SASM. The southern TP (south of 35°N) does not show the strongest impact on the SASM in comparison with other TP domains, and it exerts the weakest impact on the EASM, which is most strongly influenced by the thermal effect of the eastern (east of 90°E) and northern TP. The western TP weakens the SEASM (as do the other domains), and it strengthens other monsoon components. The thermal conditions of the southern and eastern TP are accompanied by signals of tropical atmospheric response at relatively broader spatial scales, whereas those of the northern TP more apparently lead to a significant wave train extending eastward from the TP to western Eurasia over the higher latitudes.

Open access
Helene Asbjørnsen, Helen L. Johnson, and Marius Årthun

Abstract

The inflow across the Iceland–Scotland Ridge determines the amount of heat supplied to the Nordic seas from the subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA). Consequently, variable inflow properties and volume transport at the ridge influence marine ecosystems and sea ice extent farther north. Here, we identify the upstream pathways of the Nordic seas inflow and assess the mechanisms responsible for interannual inflow variability. Using an eddy-permitting ocean model hindcast and a Lagrangian analysis tool, numerical particles are released at the ridge during 1986–2015 and tracked backward in time. We find an inflow that is well mixed in terms of its properties, where 64% comes from the subtropics and 26% has a subpolar or Arctic origin. The local instantaneous response to the NAO is important for the overall transport of both subtropical and Arctic-origin waters at the ridge. In the years before reaching the ridge, the subtropical particles are influenced by atmospheric circulation anomalies in the gyre boundary region and over the SPNA, forcing shifts in the North Atlantic Current (NAC) and the Subpolar Front. An equatorward-shifted NAC and westward-shifted Subpolar Front correspond to a warmer, more saline inflow. Atmospheric circulation anomalies over the SPNA also affect the amount of Arctic-origin water rerouted from the Labrador Current toward the Nordic seas. A high transport of Arctic-origin water is associated with a colder, fresher inflow across the Iceland–Scotland Ridge. The results thus demonstrate the importance of gyre dynamics and wind forcing in affecting the Nordic seas inflow properties and volume transport.

Open access
Xiuhua Zhu

Abstract

This work proposes a framework to examine interactions of climate modes that are identified as leading EOF modes; their coupling structure is unveiled through correlation analysis and helps in constructing a regression model, whose performance is compared across GCMs, thereby providing a quantitative overview of model performances in simulating mode interaction. As a demonstration surface temperature is analyzed for five CMIP5 preindustrial control (PiControl) simulations. Along with the seasonal land and ocean modes, four interannual modes are identified: the tropical mode (TM) associated with the Hadley circulation, the tropical Pacific mode (TPM) characterizing a zonal temperature contrast between the eastern tropical Pacific and the Atlantic/Indian Oceans, and two annular modes, the Arctic mode (AM) and Antarctic mode (AAM). All GCMs converge on the following points: 1) TM strongly couples with seasonal signals of the previous year; 2) TPM leads TM by 1 year, and thus a weaker zonal temperature contrast in the tropics contributes to warming in the entire tropical band 1 year later; and 3) AM weakly couples to TM at a 1-yr lead, suggesting that a colder North Pole may contribute to colder tropics. In addition, all GCMs do not support a linear coupling between AAM and TM. The above-learned coupling structure is incorporated to construct an optimum regression model that demonstrates considerable predictive power. The proposed approach may both serve as a useful tool for dynamical analysis and lend insight into GCM differences. Its merit is demonstrated by the finding that different representations of the mean seasonal cycle in GCMs may account for the GCM dependence of relative contributions of seasonal and interannual modes to TM variability.

Open access
Mathew Barlow, Andrew Hoell, and Laurie Agel

Abstract

The ability of six CMIP6 models to reproduce the observed cold season teleconnection between tropical Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and precipitation in Southwest Asia, the coastal Middle East (CME), and northern Pakistan and India (NPI) is examined. The 1979–2014 period is analyzed to maximize observations over both the tropical ocean and the regions. Nine historical simulations for the same period are examined for each model to account for the internal variability of the coupled system. The teleconnection is examined in terms of SSTs, precipitation, 200-hPa geopotential heights, and derived quantities. All the models capture some of the broadest features of the teleconnections, but there is a wide range in the ability of the models to reproduce the magnitude and details. The differences appear related to both the models’ ability to capture the details of the tropical variability, including the position and strength of the precipitation anomalies in the Indo-west Pacific, and the models’ ability to accurately propagate the tropically forced response into the region. The teleconnections to the CME and NPI regions on the eastern and western margins, respectively, of the strongest signal are very similar in structure and have similar results, except that the models’ ability to reproduce the strength and details of the teleconnection is even more limited, consistent with their marginal locations and known influence of other modes of variability. For all three areas, the wide range in model ability to capture the leading teleconnection suggests caution in interpreting climate regional projections.

Open access
Arianna M. Varuolo-Clarke, Jason E. Smerdon, A. Park Williams, and Richard Seager

Abstract

Southeastern South America (SESA; encompassing Paraguay, southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina) experienced a 27% increase in austral summer precipitation from 1902 to 2019, one of the largest observed trends in seasonal precipitation globally. Previous research identifies Atlantic multidecadal variability and anthropogenic forcing from stratospheric ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions as key factors contributing to the positive precipitation trends in SESA. We analyze multimodel ensemble simulations from phases 5 and 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) and find that not only do Earth system models simulate positive SESA precipitation trends that are much weaker over the historical interval, but some models persistently simulate negative SESA precipitation trends under historical forcings. Similarly, 16-member ensembles from two atmospheric models forced with observed historical sea surface temperatures never simulate precipitation trends that even reach the lower bound of the observed trend’s range of uncertainty. Moreover, while future twenty-first-century projections from CMIP6 yield positive ensemble mean precipitation trends over SESA that grow with increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the mean forced response never exceeds the observed historical trend. Preindustrial control runs from CMIP6 indicate that some models do occasionally simulate centennial-scale trends in SESA that fall within the observational range, but most models do not. Results point to significant uncertainties in the attribution of anthropogenically forced influences on the observed increases in precipitation over SESA while also suggesting that internal decadal-to-centennial variability of unknown origin and not present in state-of-the-art models may have also played a large role in generating the twentieth-to-twenty-first-century SESA precipitation trend.

Open access
Samson Hagos, L. Ruby Leung, Oluwayemi Garuba, and Christina M. Patricola

Abstract

The frequency of North Pacific atmospheric rivers (ARs) affects water supply and flood risk over western North America. Thus, understanding factors that affect the variability of landfalling AR frequency is of scientific and societal importance. This study aims at identifying the sources of the moisture for North Pacific ARs and assessing how different modes of variability modulate these sources. To this end, the sources and variability of the background divergent component of the integrated moisture flux (DIVT) in ARs are identified using MERRA reanalysis. It is shown that in the boreal winter, this background DIVT in ARs is related to the outflow from the subsidence over the subtropics that transports moisture northward, while in summer it is related to the Asian monsoon and it transports moisture northwestward. This leads to a seasonal northwest–southeast movement of the AR frequency climatology. At the intraseasonal scale, propagation of the Madden–Julian oscillation introduces an anticlockwise rotation of the background DIVT, with northward transport in phases 1 and 2, westward in 3 and 4, southward in 5 and 6, and eastward in 7 and 8, making landfall over the west coast of North America most likely during the last two phases. Similarly, El Niño–Southern Oscillation variability also affects the frequency of ARs through modulation of the westerly background DIVT, favoring landfall over the U.S. West Coast during strong El Niño phases. It is shown that in general the likelihood of AR landfall over the western United States is correlated with the zonal background DIVT over northeastern Pacific.

Open access
Soichiro Hirano, Masashi Kohma, and Kaoru Sato

Abstract

The relation between interannual variability of stratospheric final warming (SFW) and tropospheric circulation in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) is explored using reanalysis data and a linear barotropic model. The analysis is focused on quasi-stationary waves with zonal wavenumber 1 (s = 1 QSWs; s is zonal wavenumber), which are the dominant component of the SH extratropical planetary waves. First, interannual variability of SFW is investigated in terms of amplitudes of stratospheric and tropospheric s = 1 QSWs, and wave transmission properties of the mean flow from the late austral winter to spring. Upward Eliassen–Palm flux due to s = 1 QSWs is larger from the stratosphere down to the middle troposphere in early-SFW years than late-SFW years. More favorable conditions for propagation of s = 1 stationary waves into the stratosphere are identified in early-SFW years. These results indicate that the amplification of tropospheric s = 1 QSWs and the favorable conditions for their propagation into the stratosphere lead to the amplification of stratospheric s = 1 QSWs and hence earlier SFWs. Next, numerical calculations using a linear barotropic model are performed to explore how tropospheric s = 1 QSWs at high latitudes amplifies in early-SFW years. By using tropical Rossby wave source and horizontal winds in the reanalysis data as a source and background field, respectively, differences in s = 1 steady responses between early- and late-SFWs are examined at high latitudes. It is suggested that the larger amplitudes of tropospheric s = 1 QSWs in early-SFW years are attributed to differences in wave propagation characteristics associated with structure of the midlatitude jets in austral spring.

Open access
Ruud Sperna Weiland, Karin van der Wiel, Frank Selten, and Dim Coumou

Abstract

Persistent hot–dry or cold–wet summer weather can have significant impacts on agriculture, health, and the environment. For northwestern Europe, these weather regimes are typically linked to, respectively, blocked or zonal jet stream states. The fundamental dynamics underlying these circulation states are still poorly understood. Edward Lorenz postulated that summer circulation may be either fully or almost intransitive, implying that part of the phase space (capturing circulation variability) cannot be reached within one specific summer. If true, this would have major implications for the predictability of summer weather and our understanding of the drivers of interannual variability of summer weather. Here, we test the two Lorenz hypotheses (i.e., fully or almost intransitive) for European summer circulation, capitalizing on a newly available very large ensemble (2000 years) of present-day climate data in the fully coupled global climate model EC-Earth. Using self-organizing maps, we quantify the phase space of summer circulation and the trajectories through phase space in unprecedented detail. We show that, based on Markov assumptions, the summer circulation is strongly dependent on its initial state in early summer with the atmospheric memory ranging from 28 days up to ~45 days. The memory is particularly long if the initial state is either a blocked or a zonal flow state. Furthermore, we identify two groups of summers that are characterized by distinctly different trajectories through phase space, and that prefer either a blocked or zonal circulation state, respectively. These results suggest that intransitivity is indeed a fundamental property of the atmosphere and an important driver of interannual variability.

Open access
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