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Tristan S. L’Ecuyer
,
H. K. Beaudoing
,
M. Rodell
,
W. Olson
,
B. Lin
,
S. Kato
,
C. A. Clayson
,
E. Wood
,
J. Sheffield
,
R. Adler
,
G. Huffman
,
M. Bosilovich
,
G. Gu
,
F. Robertson
,
P. R. Houser
,
D. Chambers
,
J. S. Famiglietti
,
E. Fetzer
,
W. T. Liu
,
X. Gao
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
E. Clark
,
D. P. Lettenmaier
, and
K. Hilburn

Abstract

New objectively balanced observation-based reconstructions of global and continental energy budgets and their seasonal variability are presented that span the golden decade of Earth-observing satellites at the start of the twenty-first century. In the absence of balance constraints, various combinations of modern flux datasets reveal that current estimates of net radiation into Earth’s surface exceed corresponding turbulent heat fluxes by 13–24 W m−2. The largest imbalances occur over oceanic regions where the component algorithms operate independent of closure constraints. Recent uncertainty assessments suggest that these imbalances fall within anticipated error bounds for each dataset, but the systematic nature of required adjustments across different regions confirm the existence of biases in the component fluxes. To reintroduce energy and water cycle closure information lost in the development of independent flux datasets, a variational method is introduced that explicitly accounts for the relative accuracies in all component fluxes. Applying the technique to a 10-yr record of satellite observations yields new energy budget estimates that simultaneously satisfy all energy and water cycle balance constraints. Globally, 180 W m−2 of atmospheric longwave cooling is balanced by 74 W m−2 of shortwave absorption and 106 W m−2 of latent and sensible heat release. At the surface, 106 W m−2 of downwelling radiation is balanced by turbulent heat transfer to within a residual heat flux into the oceans of 0.45 W m−2, consistent with recent observations of changes in ocean heat content. Annual mean energy budgets and their seasonal cycles for each of seven continents and nine ocean basins are also presented.

Full access
A. G. Slater
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
C. E. Desborough
,
A. J. Pitman
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
A. Robock
,
K. Ya Vinnikov
,
J. Entin
,
K. Mitchell
,
F. Chen
,
A. Boone
,
P. Etchevers
,
F. Habets
,
J. Noilhan
,
H. Braden
,
P. M. Cox
,
P. de Rosnay
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
Z-L. Yang
,
Y-J. Dai
,
Q. Zeng
,
Q. Duan
,
V. Koren
,
S. Schaake
,
N. Gedney
,
Ye M. Gusev
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Kim
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
T. G. Smirnova
,
D. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
, and
Y. Xue

Abstract

Twenty-one land surface schemes (LSSs) performed simulations forced by 18 yr of observed meteorological data from a grassland catchment at Valdai, Russia, as part of the Project for the Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes (PILPS) Phase 2(d). In this paper the authors examine the simulation of snow. In comparison with observations, the models are able to capture the broad features of the snow regime on both an intra- and interannual basis. However, weaknesses in the simulations exist, and early season ablation events are a significant source of model scatter. Over the 18-yr simulation, systematic differences between the models’ snow simulations are evident and reveal specific aspects of snow model parameterization and design as being responsible. Vapor exchange at the snow surface varies widely among the models, ranging from a large net loss to a small net source for the snow season. Snow albedo, fractional snow cover, and their interplay have a large effect on energy available for ablation, with differences among models most evident at low snow depths. The incorporation of the snowpack within an LSS structure affects the method by which snow accesses, as well as utilizes, available energy for ablation. The sensitivity of some models to longwave radiation, the dominant winter radiative flux, is partly due to a stability-induced feedback and the differing abilities of models to exchange turbulent energy with the atmosphere. Results presented in this paper suggest where weaknesses in macroscale snow modeling lie and where both theoretical and observational work should be focused to address these weaknesses.

Full access
T. H. Chen
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
P. C. D. Milly
,
A. J. Pitman
,
A. C. M. Beljaars
,
J. Polcher
,
F. Abramopoulos
,
A. Boone
,
S. Chang
,
F. Chen
,
Y. Dai
,
C. E. Desborough
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
L. Dümenil
,
M. Ek
,
J. R. Garratt
,
N. Gedney
,
Y. M. Gusev
,
J. Kim
,
R. Koster
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
K. Laval
,
J. Lean
,
D. Lettenmaier
,
X. Liang
,
J.-F. Mahfouf
,
H.-T. Mengelkamp
,
K. Mitchell
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Noilhan
,
A. Robock
,
C. Rosenzweig
,
J. Schaake
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
J.-P. Schulz
,
Y. Shao
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
D. L. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
,
E. F. Wood
,
Y. Xue
,
Z.-L. Yang
, and
Q. Zeng

Abstract

In the Project for Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes phase 2a experiment, meteorological data for the year 1987 from Cabauw, the Netherlands, were used as inputs to 23 land-surface flux schemes designed for use in climate and weather models. Schemes were evaluated by comparing their outputs with long-term measurements of surface sensible heat fluxes into the atmosphere and the ground, and of upward longwave radiation and total net radiative fluxes, and also comparing them with latent heat fluxes derived from a surface energy balance. Tuning of schemes by use of the observed flux data was not permitted. On an annual basis, the predicted surface radiative temperature exhibits a range of 2 K across schemes, consistent with the range of about 10 W m−2 in predicted surface net radiation. Most modeled values of monthly net radiation differ from the observations by less than the estimated maximum monthly observational error (±10 W m−2). However, modeled radiative surface temperature appears to have a systematic positive bias in most schemes; this might be explained by an error in assumed emissivity and by models’ neglect of canopy thermal heterogeneity. Annual means of sensible and latent heat fluxes, into which net radiation is partitioned, have ranges across schemes of30 W m−2 and 25 W m−2, respectively. Annual totals of evapotranspiration and runoff, into which the precipitation is partitioned, both have ranges of 315 mm. These ranges in annual heat and water fluxes were approximately halved upon exclusion of the three schemes that have no stomatal resistance under non-water-stressed conditions. Many schemes tend to underestimate latent heat flux and overestimate sensible heat flux in summer, with a reverse tendency in winter. For six schemes, root-mean-square deviations of predictions from monthly observations are less than the estimated upper bounds on observation errors (5 W m−2 for sensible heat flux and 10 W m−2 for latent heat flux). Actual runoff at the site is believed to be dominated by vertical drainage to groundwater, but several schemes produced significant amounts of runoff as overland flow or interflow. There is a range across schemes of 184 mm (40% of total pore volume) in the simulated annual mean root-zone soil moisture. Unfortunately, no measurements of soil moisture were available for model evaluation. A theoretical analysis suggested that differences in boundary conditions used in various schemes are not sufficient to explain the large variance in soil moisture. However, many of the extreme values of soil moisture could be explained in terms of the particulars of experimental setup or excessive evapotranspiration.

Full access
Weiqing Qu
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
A. J. Pitman
,
T. H. Chen
,
F. Abramopoulos
,
A. Boone
,
S. Chang
,
F. Chen
,
Y. Dai
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
L. Dümenil
,
M. Ek
,
N. Gedney
,
Y. M. Gusev
,
J. Kim
,
R. Koster
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
J. Lean
,
D. Lettenmaier
,
X. Liang
,
J.-F. Mahfouf
,
H.-T. Mengelkamp
,
K. Mitchell
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Noilhan
,
A. Robock
,
C. Rosenzweig
,
J. Schaake
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
J.-P. Schulz
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
D. L. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
,
E. F. Wood
,
Z.-L. Yang
, and
Q. Zeng

Abstract

In the PILPS Phase 2a experiment, 23 land-surface schemes were compared in an off-line control experiment using observed meteorological data from Cabauw, the Netherlands. Two simple sensitivity experiments were also undertaken in which the observed surface air temperature was artificially increased or decreased by 2 K while all other factors remained as observed. On the annual timescale, all schemes show similar responses to these perturbations in latent, sensible heat flux, and other key variables. For the 2-K increase in temperature, surface temperatures and latent heat fluxes all increase while net radiation, sensible heat fluxes, and soil moistures all decrease. The results are reversed for a 2-K temperature decrease. The changes in sensible heat fluxes and, especially, the changes in the latent heat fluxes are not linearly related to the change of temperature. Theoretically, the nonlinear relationship between air temperature and the latent heat flux is evident and due to the convex relationship between air temperature and saturation vapor pressure. A simple test shows that, the effect of the change of air temperature on the atmospheric stratification aside, this nonlinear relationship is shown in the form that the increase of the latent heat flux for a 2-K temperature increase is larger than its decrease for a 2-K temperature decrease. However, the results from the Cabauw sensitivity experiments show that the increase of the latent heat flux in the +2-K experiment is smaller than the decrease of the latent heat flux in the −2-K experiment (we refer to this as the asymmetry). The analysis in this paper shows that this inconsistency between the theoretical relationship and the Cabauw sensitivity experiments results (or the asymmetry) is due to (i) the involvement of the β g formulation, which is a function of a series stress factors that limited the evaporation and whose values change in the ±2-K experiments, leading to strong modifications of the latent heat flux; (ii) the change of the drag coefficient induced by the changes in stratification due to the imposed air temperature changes (±2 K) in parameterizations of latent heat flux common in current land-surface schemes. Among all stress factors involved in the β g formulation, the soil moisture stress in the +2-K experiment induced by the increased evaporation is the main factor that contributes to the asymmetry.

Full access
V. Masson-Delmotte
,
S. Hou
,
A. Ekaykin
,
J. Jouzel
,
A. Aristarain
,
R. T. Bernardo
,
D. Bromwich
,
O. Cattani
,
M. Delmotte
,
S. Falourd
,
M. Frezzotti
,
H. Gallée
,
L. Genoni
,
E. Isaksson
,
A. Landais
,
M. M. Helsen
,
G. Hoffmann
,
J. Lopez
,
V. Morgan
,
H. Motoyama
,
D. Noone
,
H. Oerter
,
J. R. Petit
,
A. Royer
,
R. Uemura
,
G. A. Schmidt
,
E. Schlosser
,
J. C. Simões
,
E. J. Steig
,
B. Stenni
,
M. Stievenard
,
M. R. van den Broeke
,
R. S. W. van de Wal
,
W. J. van de Berg
,
F. Vimeux
, and
J. W. C. White

Abstract

A database of surface Antarctic snow isotopic composition is constructed using available measurements, with an estimate of data quality and local variability. Although more than 1000 locations are documented, the spatial coverage remains uneven with a majority of sites located in specific areas of East Antarctica. The database is used to analyze the spatial variations in snow isotopic composition with respect to geographical characteristics (elevation, distance to the coast) and climatic features (temperature, accumulation) and with a focus on deuterium excess. The capacity of theoretical isotopic, regional, and general circulation atmospheric models (including “isotopic” models) to reproduce the observed features and assess the role of moisture advection in spatial deuterium excess fluctuations is analyzed.

Full access
J. S. Reid
,
H. B. Maring
,
G. T. Narisma
,
S. van den Heever
,
L. Di Girolamo
,
R. Ferrare
,
P. Lawson
,
G. G. Mace
,
J. B. Simpas
,
S. Tanelli
,
L. Ziemba
,
B. van Diedenhoven
,
R. Bruintjes
,
A. Bucholtz
,
B. Cairns
,
M. O. Cambaliza
,
G. Chen
,
G. S. Diskin
,
J. H. Flynn
,
C. A. Hostetler
,
R. E. Holz
,
T. J. Lang
,
K. S. Schmidt
,
G. Smith
,
A. Sorooshian
,
E. J. Thompson
,
K. L. Thornhill
,
C. Trepte
,
J. Wang
,
S. Woods
,
S. Yoon
,
M. Alexandrov
,
S. Alvarez
,
C. G. Amiot
,
J. R. Bennett
,
M. Brooks
,
S. P. Burton
,
E. Cayanan
,
H. Chen
,
A. Collow
,
E. Crosbie
,
A. DaSilva
,
J. P. DiGangi
,
D. D. Flagg
,
S. W. Freeman
,
D. Fu
,
E. Fukada
,
M. R. A. Hilario
,
Y. Hong
,
S. M. Hristova-Veleva
,
R. Kuehn
,
R. S. Kowch
,
G. R. Leung
,
J. Loveridge
,
K. Meyer
,
R. M. Miller
,
M. J. Montes
,
J. N. Moum
,
A. Nenes
,
S. W. Nesbitt
,
M. Norgren
,
E. P. Nowottnick
,
R. M. Rauber
,
E. A. Reid
,
S. Rutledge
,
J. S. Schlosser
,
T. T. Sekiyama
,
M. A. Shook
,
G. A. Sokolowsky
,
S. A. Stamnes
,
T. Y. Tanaka
,
A. Wasilewski
,
P. Xian
,
Q. Xiao
,
Zhuocan Xu
, and
J. Zavaleta

Abstract

The NASA Cloud, Aerosol, and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex) employed the NASA P-3, Stratton Park Engineering Company (SPEC) Learjet 35, and a host of satellites and surface sensors to characterize the coupling of aerosol processes, cloud physics, and atmospheric radiation within the Maritime Continent’s complex southwest monsoonal environment. Conducted in the late summer of 2019 from Luzon, Philippines, in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research Propagation of Intraseasonal Tropical Oscillations (PISTON) experiment with its R/V Sally Ride stationed in the northwestern tropical Pacific, CAMP2Ex documented diverse biomass burning, industrial and natural aerosol populations, and their interactions with small to congestus convection. The 2019 season exhibited El Niño conditions and associated drought, high biomass burning emissions, and an early monsoon transition allowing for observation of pristine to massively polluted environments as they advected through intricate diurnal mesoscale and radiative environments into the monsoonal trough. CAMP2Ex’s preliminary results indicate 1) increasing aerosol loadings tend to invigorate congestus convection in height and increase liquid water paths; 2) lidar, polarimetry, and geostationary Advanced Himawari Imager remote sensing sensors have skill in quantifying diverse aerosol and cloud properties and their interaction; and 3) high-resolution remote sensing technologies are able to greatly improve our ability to evaluate the radiation budget in complex cloud systems. Through the development of innovative informatics technologies, CAMP2Ex provides a benchmark dataset of an environment of extremes for the study of aerosol, cloud, and radiation processes as well as a crucible for the design of future observing systems.

Open access
Jonathan D. Wille
,
Simon P. Alexander
,
Charles Amory
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Léonard Barthélemy
,
Dana M. Bergstrom
,
Alexis Berne
,
Hanin Binder
,
Juliette Blanchet
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Thomas J. Bracegirdle
,
Mathieu Casado
,
Taejin Choi
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Francis Codron
,
Rajashree Datta
,
Stefano Di Battista
,
Vincent Favier
,
Diana Francis
,
Alexander D. Fraser
,
Elise Fourré
,
René D. Garreaud
,
Christophe Genthon
,
Irina V. Gorodetskaya
,
Sergi González-Herrero
,
Victoria J. Heinrich
,
Guillaume Hubert
,
Hanna Joos
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
John C. King
,
Christoph Kittel
,
Amaelle Landais
,
Matthew Lazzara
,
Gregory H. Leonard
,
Jan L. Lieser
,
Michelle Maclennan
,
David Mikolajczyk
,
Peter Neff
,
Inès Ollivier
,
Ghislain Picard
,
Benjamin Pohl
,
F. Martin Ralph
,
Penny Rowe
,
Elisabeth Schlosser
,
Christine A. Shields
,
Inga J. Smith
,
Michael Sprenger
,
Luke Trusel
,
Danielle Udy
,
Tessa Vance
,
Étienne Vignon
,
Catherine Walker
,
Nander Wever
, and
Xun Zou

Abstract

Between 15 and 19 March 2022, East Antarctica experienced an exceptional heat wave with widespread 30°–40°C temperature anomalies across the ice sheet. This record-shattering event saw numerous monthly temperature records being broken including a new all-time temperature record of −9.4°C on 18 March at Concordia Station despite March typically being a transition month to the Antarctic coreless winter. The driver for these temperature extremes was an intense atmospheric river advecting subtropical/midlatitude heat and moisture deep into the Antarctic interior. The scope of the temperature records spurred a large, diverse collaborative effort to study the heat wave’s meteorological drivers, impacts, and historical climate context. Here we focus on describing those temperature records along with the intricate meteorological drivers that led to the most intense atmospheric river observed over East Antarctica. These efforts describe the Rossby wave activity forced from intense tropical convection over the Indian Ocean. This led to an atmospheric river and warm conveyor belt intensification near the coastline, which reinforced atmospheric blocking deep into East Antarctica. The resulting moisture flux and upper-level warm-air advection eroded the typical surface temperature inversions over the ice sheet. At the peak of the heat wave, an area of 3.3 million km2 in East Antarctica exceeded previous March monthly temperature records. Despite a temperature anomaly return time of about 100 years, a closer recurrence of such an event is possible under future climate projections. In Part II we describe the various impacts this extreme event had on the East Antarctic cryosphere.

Significance Statement

In March 2022, a heat wave and atmospheric river caused some of the highest temperature anomalies ever observed globally and captured the attention of the Antarctic science community. Using our diverse collective expertise, we explored the causes of the event and have placed it within a historical climate context. One key takeaway is that Antarctic climate extremes are highly sensitive to perturbations in the midlatitudes and subtropics. This heat wave redefined our expectations of the Antarctic climate. Despite the rare chance of occurrence based on past climate, a future temperature extreme event of similar magnitude is possible, especially given anthropogenic climate change.

Open access
Jonathan D. Wille
,
Simon P. Alexander
,
Charles Amory
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Léonard Barthélemy
,
Dana M. Bergstrom
,
Alexis Berne
,
Hanin Binder
,
Juliette Blanchet
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Thomas J. Bracegirdle
,
Mathieu Casado
,
Taejin Choi
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Francis Codron
,
Rajashree Datta
,
Stefano Di Battista
,
Vincent Favier
,
Diana Francis
,
Alexander D. Fraser
,
Elise Fourré
,
René D. Garreaud
,
Christophe Genthon
,
Irina V. Gorodetskaya
,
Sergi González-Herrero
,
Victoria J. Heinrich
,
Guillaume Hubert
,
Hanna Joos
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
John C. King
,
Christoph Kittel
,
Amaelle Landais
,
Matthew Lazzara
,
Gregory H. Leonard
,
Jan L. Lieser
,
Michelle Maclennan
,
David Mikolajczyk
,
Peter Neff
,
Inès Ollivier
,
Ghislain Picard
,
Benjamin Pohl
,
F. Martin Ralph
,
Penny Rowe
,
Elisabeth Schlosser
,
Christine A. Shields
,
Inga J. Smith
,
Michael Sprenger
,
Luke Trusel
,
Danielle Udy
,
Tessa Vance
,
Étienne Vignon
,
Catherine Walker
,
Nander Wever
, and
Xun Zou

Abstract

Between 15 and 19 March 2022, East Antarctica experienced an exceptional heat wave with widespread 30°–40°C temperature anomalies across the ice sheet. In Part I, we assessed the meteorological drivers that generated an intense atmospheric river (AR) that caused these record-shattering temperature anomalies. Here, we continue our large collaborative study by analyzing the widespread and diverse impacts driven by the AR landfall. These impacts included widespread rain and surface melt that was recorded along coastal areas, but this was outweighed by widespread high snowfall accumulations resulting in a largely positive surface mass balance contribution to the East Antarctic region. An analysis of the surface energy budget indicated that widespread downward longwave radiation anomalies caused by large cloud-liquid water contents along with some scattered solar radiation produced intense surface warming. Isotope measurements of the moisture were highly elevated, likely imprinting a strong signal for past climate reconstructions. The AR event attenuated cosmic ray measurements at Concordia, something previously never observed. Last, an extratropical cyclone west of the AR landfall likely triggered the final collapse of the critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf while further reducing an already record low sea ice extent.

Significance Statement

Using our diverse collective expertise, we explored the impacts from the March 2022 heat wave and atmospheric river across East Antarctica. One key takeaway is that the Antarctic cryosphere is highly sensitive to meteorological extremes originating from the midlatitudes and subtropics. Despite the large positive temperature anomalies driven from strong downward longwave radiation, this event led to huge amounts of snowfall across the Antarctic interior desert. The isotopes in this snow of warm airmass origin will likely be detectable in future ice cores and potentially distort past climate reconstructions. Even measurements of space activity were affected. Also, the swells generated from this storm helped to trigger the final collapse of an already critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf while further degrading sea ice coverage.

Open access