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Xiaodan Yang, Yajuan Song, Meng Wei, Yuhuan Xue, and Zhenya Song

Abstract

In this paper, the different effects of the eastern equatorial Pacific (EP) and central equatorial Pacific (CP) Ocean El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events on interannual variation in the diurnal sea surface temperature (SST) are explored in both the Niño-3 and Niño-4 regions. In the Niño-3 region, the diurnal SST anomaly (DSSTA) is negative during both EP and CP El Niño events and becomes positive during both EP and CP La Niña events. However, the DSSTA in the Niño-4 region is positive in El Niño years and negative in La Niña years, which is opposite to that in the Niño-3 region. Further analysis indicates that the incident shortwave radiation (SWR), wind stress (WS), and upward latent heat flux (LHF) are the main factors causing the different interannual variations in the DSST. In the Niño-3 region, decreased SWR and increased LHF lead to a negative DSSTA in EP El Niño years, and enhanced WS and increased LHF cause a negative DSSTA in CP El Niño years. Conversely, in that same region, increased SWR and decreased LHF lead to a positive DSSTA in EP La Niña years, and reduced WS and decreased LHF cause a positive DSSTA in CP La Niña years. In the Niño-4 region, the reduced trade wind plays a key role in producing the positive DSSTA, whereas the decreased SWR has an opposite effect that reduces the range of the DSSTA during both EP and CP El Niño events, and conversely the enhanced trade wind plays a key role in producing the negative DSSTA, whereas the increased SWR has an opposite effect that increases the range of the DSSTA during both EP and CP La Niña events.

Open access
Biqi Liu, Guixing Chen, Wenxin Zeng, Lanqiang Bai, and Huiling Qin

Abstract

Monsoon southerlies can be particularly active for days and produce substantial rainfall over East Asia. These multiday episodes of southerly monsoon surge may exhibit distinct diurnal variations due to regional forcings under given large-scale conditions. This study categorizes the southerly surges into two types with different wind diurnal variations to clarify their influence on rainfall over East Asia. In the summers of 1998–2019, there are 63 episodes of southerly surges with large wind diurnal cycles and 55 episodes with small diurnal cycles. The first type of southerly surges usually occurs with anomalous low-level warming over southeastern China related to the westward extension of the western Pacific subtropical high. The second type of southerly surges instead occurs with anomalous cooling due to the deepened midlatitude trough. They thus represent the different mechanisms downscaling from large-scale conditions to regional diurnal forcings. After the onset of the first type, the intensified monsoon southerlies at night lead to the northward displacement of large-scale ascent and northward water vapor transport with warm moist energy. The monsoon rainband tends to move to the north of 35°N with a robust response in precipitation systems, especially in the meso-α-scale rain events from midnight to morning. As a comparison, the rainband stays at 30°–35°N after the onset of the second type when the strengthened large-scale ascent and water vapor convergence are located relatively south. These differences between the two types of southerly monsoon surges highlight that the multiday large-scale conditions interact with subdaily regional forcings and greatly regulate the detailed evolution of summer rainband over East Asia.

Open access
Rui Shi, Xinyu Guo, Ju Chen, LiLi Zeng, Bo Wu, and Dongxiao Wang

Abstract

The responses of surface wind stress to the mesoscale sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies associated with the SST front in the northern South China Sea (NSCS) are studied using satellite observations and reanalysis data. Both satellite and reanalysis data explicitly show the linear relationships between the spatial-high-pass filtered wind stress perturbation derivatives and the underlying SST gradient field. However, the noise in the linear relationships is much smaller in the reanalysis data than in the satellite observations. This result is rarely reported in other frontal areas. The wavelet analysis shows that the satellite scatterometer observed numerous high wavenumber perturbations within 100 km in the NSCS, but these perturbations were absent in the reanalysis data. The linear relationship between the perturbation SST gradient and derivative wind stress fields is not significant at this scale, which enhances the noise in the linear relationship. The spatial bandpass-filtered perturbation between 100 and 300 km can give reasonable estimates of the coupling coefficients between the wind stress divergence and downwind SST gradient (α d) and between the wind stress curl and crosswind SST gradient (α c) in the NSCS, with values of 1.33 × 10−2 and 0.95 × 10−2 N m−2 °C−1, respectively.

Open access
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
Anaïs Bretones, Kerim H. Nisancioglu, Mari F. Jensen, Ailin Brakstad, and Shuting Yang

Abstract

While a rapid sea ice retreat in the Arctic has become ubiquitous, the potential weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in response to global warming is still under debate. As deep mixing occurs in the open ocean close to the sea ice edge, the strength and vertical extent of the AMOC is likely to respond to ongoing and future sea ice retreat. Here, we investigate the link between changes in Arctic sea ice cover and AMOC strength in a long simulation with the EC-Earth–Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) climate model under the emission scenario RCP8.5. The extended duration of the experiment (years 1850–2300) captures the disappearance of summer sea ice in 2060 and the removal of winter sea ice in 2165. By introducing a new metric, the Arctic meridional overturning circulation (ArMOC), we document changes beyond the Greenland–Scotland ridge and into the central Arctic. We find an ArMOC strengthening as the areas of deep mixing move north, following the retreating winter sea ice edge into the Nansen Basin. At the same time, mixing in the Labrador and Greenland Seas reduces and the AMOC weakens. As the winter sea ice edge retreats farther into the regions with high surface freshwater content in the central Arctic Basin, the mixing becomes shallower and the ArMOC weakens. Our results suggest that the location of deep-water formation plays a decisive role in the structure and strength of the ArMOC; however, the intermittent strengthening of the ArMOC and convection north of the Greenland–Scotland ridge cannot compensate for the progressive weakening of the AMOC.

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
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