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Ranjini Swaminathan, Robert J. Parker, Colin G. Jones, Richard P. Allan, Tristan Quaife, Douglas I. Kelley, Lee de Mora, and Jeremy Walton

Abstract

A key goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is to keep global mean temperature change at 2°C and if possible under 1.5°C by the end of the century. To investigate the likelihood of achieving this target, we calculate the year of exceedance of a given global warming threshold (GWT) temperature across 32 CMIP6 models for Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) and radiative forcing combinations included in the Tier 1 ScenarioMIP simulations. Threshold exceedance year calculations reveal that a majority of CMIP6 models project warming beyond 2°C by the end of the century under every scenario or pathway apart from the lowest emission scenarios considered, SSP1–1.9 and SSP1–2.6, which is largely a function of the ScenarioMIP experiment design. The U.K. Earth System Model (UKESM1) ScenarioMIP projections are analyzed in detail to assess the regional and seasonal variations in climate at different warming levels. The warming signal emerging by midcentury is identified as significant and distinct from internal climate variability in all scenarios considered and includes warming summers in the Mediterranean, drying in the Amazon, and heavier Indian monsoons. Arctic sea ice depletion results in prominent amplification of warming and tropical warming patterns emerge that are distinct from interannual variability. Climate changes projected for a 2°C warmer world are in almost all cases exacerbated with further global warming (e.g., to a 4°C warmer world).

Open access
Jorge López-Parages and Laurent Terray

Abstract

In this study, the ENSO teleconnection with the tropical North Atlantic (TNA) sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in boreal spring is analyzed in ocean–atmosphere coupled global circulation models. To assess the role played by horizontal resolution of models on this teleconnection, we used a multimodel dataset that is the first to combine models with both low and high resolution. The TNA response to ENSO projects onto the most significant SST mode of the tropical Atlantic at interannual time scales, the Atlantic meridional mode (AMM). Its evolution is primarily driven by the wind–evaporation–SST (WES) feedback, which in turn is based on the development of an initial SST gradient. This study examines and quantifies the relative contribution of a dynamic-related (upwelling) and a thermodynamic-related (evaporation) process in triggering this gradient in the case of the ENSO–TNA teleconnection. While no major contribution is found with the evaporation, a consistent contribution from the coastal upwelling off northwest Africa is identified. This contribution is enhanced in high-resolution models and highlights the close link between the upwelling in winter and the development of the AMM in spring. It is further shown that high-resolution models present a thinner and more realistic ocean mixed layer within the upwelling area, which enhances the effect of surface winds on upwelling and SSTs. As a consequence, high-resolution models are more sensitive than low-resolution models to surface wind errors, thereby they do not ensure improved reliability or predictability of the TNA SST response to ENSO.

Open access
Nadir Jeevanjee, Jacob T. Seeley, David Paynter, and Stephan Fueglistaler

Abstract

Clear-sky CO2 forcing is known to vary significantly over the globe, but the state dependence that controls this is not well understood. Here we extend the formalism of Wilson and Gea-Banacloche to obtain a quantitatively accurate analytical model for spatially varying instantaneous CO2 forcing, which depends only on surface temperature T s, stratospheric temperature, and column relative humidity (RH). This model shows that CO2 forcing can be considered a swap of surface emission for stratospheric emission, and thus depends primarily on surface–stratosphere temperature contrast. The strong meridional gradient in CO2 forcing is thus largely due to the strong meridional gradient in T s. In the tropics and midlatitudes, however, the presence of H2O modulates the forcing by replacing surface emission with RH-dependent atmospheric emission. This substantially reduces the forcing in the tropics, introduces forcing variations due to spatially varying RH, and sets an upper limit (with respect to T s variations) on CO2 forcing that is reached in the present-day tropics. In addition, we extend our analytical model to the instantaneous tropopause forcing, and find that this forcing depends on T s only, with no dependence on stratospheric temperature. We also analyze the τ = 1 approximation for the emission level and derive an exact formula for the emission level, which yields values closer to τ = 1/2 than to τ = 1.

Open access
Bo Pang, Adam A. Scaife, Riyu Lu, and Rongcai Ren

Abstract

This study investigates the stratosphere–troposphere coupling associated with the Scandinavian (SCA) pattern in boreal winter. The results indicate that the SCA impacts stratospheric circulation but that its positive and negative phases have different effects. The positive phase of the SCA (SCA+) pattern is restricted to the troposphere, but the negative phase (SCA) extends to the upper stratosphere. The asymmetry between phases is also visible in the lead–lag evolution of the stratosphere and troposphere. Prominent stratospheric anomalies are found to be intensified following SCA+ events, but prior to SCA events. Further analysis reveals that the responses are associated with upward propagation of planetary waves, especially wavenumber 1, which is asymmetric between SCA phases. The wave amplitudes in the stratosphere, originating from the troposphere, are enhanced after the SCA+ events and before the SCA events. Furthermore, the anomalous planetary wave activity can be understood through its interference with climatological stationary waves. Constructive wave interference is accompanied by clear upward propagation in the SCA+ events, while destructive interference suppresses stratospheric waves in the SCA events. Our results also reveal that the SCA+ events are more likely to be followed by sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events, because of the deceleration of stratospheric westerlies following the SCA+ events.

Open access
Xiaojun Guo, Ning Zhao, Kazuyoshi Kikuchi, Tomoe Nasuno, Masuo Nakano, and H. Annamalai

Abstract

Recent works have revealed that the wintertime atmospheric river (AR) activity is closely related to the 30–60-day tropical intraseasonal variability, yet it remains unclear whether summertime AR activity is also significantly influenced by intraseasonal variability, often referred to as the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO). Diagnosing the 40-yr (1979–2018) ERA5 reanalysis dataset, the present study examines the climatological features of ARs over the Indo-Pacific region during June–October and its associations with the BSISO. Results suggest that the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) provides a favorable circulation background for the summertime AR activity, which conveys the moisture from the tropics to the midlatitude North Pacific along its periphery. Our analysis reveals that the BSISO has substantial impacts on the occurrence and distribution of ARs. More ARs are found over the western North Pacific (WNP) when the BSISO convective envelope propagates northward to the subtropical regions, while fewer ARs can be seen when convection is suppressed there. Specifically, in phases 7–8, the active BSISO convection over the Philippine Sea induces a low pressure anomaly and the corresponding anomalous cyclonic circulation, leading to the enhanced poleward moisture transport and more frequent AR activity over the WNP. Moreover, the WNP ARs tend to be longer and have larger sizes during these two phases. It is also found that more frequent occurrence of tropical cyclones in phases 7–8 can significantly enhance the moisture transport and AR occurrence over the WNP.

Open access
Shiori Sugimoto, Kenichi Ueno, Hatsuki Fujinami, Tomoe Nasuno, Tomonori Sato, and Hiroshi G. Takahashi

Abstract

A numerical experiment with a 2-km resolution was conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to investigate physical processes driving nocturnal precipitation over the Himalayas during the mature monsoon seasons between 2003 and 2010. The WRF Model simulations of increases in precipitation twice a day, one in the afternoon and another around midnight, over the Himalayan slopes, and of the single nocturnal peak over the Himalayan foothills were reasonably accurate. To understand the synoptic-scale moisture transport and its local-scale convergence generating the nocturnal precipitation, composite analyses were conducted using the reanalysis dataset and model outputs. In the synoptic scale, moisture transport associated with the westward propagation of low pressure systems was found when nocturnal precipitation dominated over the Himalayan slopes. In contrast, moisture was directly provided from the synoptic-scale monsoon westerlies for nocturnal precipitation over the foothills. The model outputs suggested that precipitation occurred on the mountain ridges in the Himalayas during the afternoon and expanded horizontally toward lower-elevation areas through the night. During the nighttime, the downslope wind was caused by radiative cooling at the surface and was intensified by evaporative cooling by hydrometeors in the near-surface layer. As a result, convergence between the downslope wind and the synoptic-scale flow promoted nocturnal precipitation over the Himalayas and to the south, as well as the moisture convergence by orography and/or synoptic-scale circulation patterns. The nocturnal precipitation over the Himalayas was not simulated well when we used the coarse topographic resolution and the smaller number of vertical layers.

Open access
Diego Pons, Ángel G. Muñoz, Ligia M. Meléndez, Mario Chocooj, Rosario Gómez, Xandre Chourio, and Carmen González Romero

Abstract

The provision of climate services has the potential to generate adaptive capacity and help coffee farmers become or remain profitable by integrating climate information in a risk-management framework. Yet, to achieve this goal, it is necessary to identify the local demand for climate information, the relationships between coffee yield and climate variables, and farmers’ perceptions and to examine the potential actions that can be realistically put in place by farmers at the local level. In this study, we assessed the climate information demands from coffee farmers and their perception on the climate impacts to coffee yield in the Samalá watershed in Guatemala. After co-identifying the related candidate climate predictors, we propose an objective, flexible forecast system for coffee yield that is based on precipitation. The system, known as NextGen, analyzes multiple historical climate drivers to identify candidate predictors and provides both deterministic and probabilistic forecasts for the target season. To illustrate the approach, a NextGen implementation is conducted in the Samalá watershed in southwestern Guatemala. The results suggest that accumulated June–August precipitation provides the highest predictive skill associated with coffee yield for this region. In addition to a formal cross-validated skill assessment, retrospective forecasts for the period 1989–2009 were compared with agriculturalists’ perception on the climate impacts to coffee yield at the farm level. We conclude with examples of how demand-based climate service provision in this location can inform adaptation strategies like optimum shade, pest control, and fertilization schemes months in advance. These potential adaptation strategies were validated by local agricultural technicians at the study site.

Open access
Renzhi Jing, Ning Lin, Kerry Emanuel, Gabriel Vecchi, and Thomas R. Knutson

Abstract

In this study, we investigate the response of tropical cyclones (TCs) to climate change by using the Princeton environment-dependent probabilistic tropical cyclone (PepC) model and a statistical-deterministic method to downscale TCs using environmental conditions obtained from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) High-Resolution Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution (HiFLOR) model, under the representative concentration pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5) emissions scenario for the North Atlantic Ocean basin. The downscaled TCs for the historical climate (1986–2005) are compared with those in the middle (2016–35) and late twenty-first century (2081–2100). The downscaled TCs are also compared with TCs explicitly simulated in HiFLOR. We show that, while significantly more storms are detected in HiFLOR toward the end of the twenty-first century, the statistical-deterministic model projects a moderate increase in TC frequency and PepC projects almost no increase in TC frequency. The changes in storm frequency in all three datasets are not significant in the mid-twenty-first century. All three project that storms will become more intense and the fraction of major hurricanes and category-5 storms will significantly increase in the future climates. However, HiFLOR projects the largest increase in intensity, and PepC projects the least. The results indicate that HiFLOR’s TC projection is more sensitive to climate change effects and that statistical models are less sensitive. Nevertheless, in all three datasets, storm intensification and frequency increase lead to relatively small changes in TC threat as measured by the return level of landfall intensity under the projected climate condition.

Open access
Luigi Brogno, Francesco Barbano, Laura Sandra Leo, Harindra J. S. Fernando, and Silvana Di Sabatino

Abstract

In the realm of boundary layer flows in complex terrain, low-level jets (LLJs) have received considerable attention, although little literature is available for double-nosed LLJs that remain not well understood. To this end, we use the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations (MATERHORN) dataset to demonstrate that double-nosed LLJs developing within the planetary boundary layer (PBL) are common during stable nocturnal conditions and present two possible mechanisms responsible for their formation. It is observed that the onset of a double-nosed LLJ is associated with a temporary shape modification of an already-established LLJ. The characteristics of these double-nosed LLJs are described using a refined version of identification criteria proposed in the literature, and their formation is classified in terms of two driving mechanisms. The wind-driven mechanism encompasses cases where the two noses are associated with different air masses flowing one on top of the other. The wave-driven mechanism involves the vertical momentum transport by an inertial–gravity wave to generate the second nose. The wave-driven mechanism is corroborated by the analysis of nocturnal double-nosed LLJs, where inertial–gravity waves are generated close to the ground by a sudden flow perturbation.

Open access
Moran Erez and Ori Adam

Abstract

Energetic constraints on the time-dependent response of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) to volcanic eruptions are analyzed using the Community Earth System Model Last Millennium Ensemble project. The energetic constraints are found to vary during the first few years, governed by conjoined variations of the energy budgets of the stratosphere, troposphere, and oceans. Specifically, following eruptions, sulfate aerosols heat the stratosphere by longwave absorption and cool the surface by shortwave reflection, leading to contrasting energy transport anomalies in the stratosphere and troposphere, which are of comparable strength during the first year. Similar contrasting responses are also seen by the mean and eddy components of atmospheric energy transport (AET). Consequently, ocean energy transport (OET) dominates the anomalous total interhemispheric energy transport during the first year. However, wind-driven OET, generally assumed to constrain shifts of the ITCZ, has a negligible role in the transient ocean response. Consistent with theory, anomalous cross-equatorial tropospheric energy transport, dominated by the anomalous Hadley circulation, is strongly negatively correlated with ITCZ shifts. However, due to the strong anomalous stratospheric energy fluxes, the commonly used energy flux equator (derived from net AET) is a poor predictor of transient ITCZ shifts following eruptions. El Niño–like conditions typically appear during the second year after eruptions, and La Niña–like conditions appear after the third year. These variations modulate ITCZ shifts in a complex manner, via changes in surface conditions and in associated energy transport variations in the atmosphere and oceans.

Open access