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Patrick T. Brown
,
Wenhong Li
,
Jonathan H. Jiang
, and
Hui Su

Abstract

Unforced global mean surface air temperature ( ) is stable in the long term primarily because warm anomalies are associated with enhanced outgoing longwave radiation ( ) to space and thus a negative net radiative energy flux ( , positive downward) at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). However, it is shown here that, with the exception of high latitudinal and specific continental regions, warm unforced surface air temperature anomalies at the local spatial scale [T(θ, ϕ), where (θ, ϕ) = (latitude, longitude)] tend to be associated with anomalously positive N(θ, ϕ). It is revealed that this occurs mainly because warm T(θ, ϕ) anomalies are accompanied by anomalously low surface albedo near sea ice margins and over high altitudes, low cloud albedo over much of the middle and low latitudes, and a large water vapor greenhouse effect over the deep Indo-Pacific.

It is shown here that the negative versus relationship arises because warm anomalies are associated with large divergence of atmospheric energy transport over the tropical Pacific [where the N(θ, ϕ) versus T(θ, ϕ) relationship tends to be positive] and convergence of atmospheric energy transport at high latitudes [where the N(θ, ϕ) versus T(θ, ϕ) relationship tends to be negative]. Additionally, the characteristic surface temperature pattern contains anomalously cool regions where a positive local N(θ, ϕ) versus T(θ, ϕ) relationship helps induce negative . Finally, large-scale atmospheric circulation changes play a critical role in the production of the negative versus relationship as they drive cloud reduction and atmospheric drying over large portions of the tropics and subtropics, which allows for greatly enhanced .

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Robinson I. Negrón Juárez
,
Wenhong Li
,
Rong Fu
,
Katia Fernandes
, and
Andrea de Oliveira Cardoso

Abstract

Six rainfall datasets are compared over the Amazon basin, Northeast Brazil, and the Congo basin. These datasets include three gauge-only precipitation products from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC), and Brazilian Weather Forecast and Climate Studies Center (CLMNLS), and three combined gauge and satellite precipitation datasets from the CPC Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP), Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) product. The pattern of the annual precipitation is consistently represented by these data, despite the differences in methods and periods of averaging. Quantitatively, the differences in annual precipitation among these datasets are 5% more than the Amazon domain (0°–15°S, 50°–70°W), 22% more than Northeast Brazil (5°–10°S, 35°–45°W), and 11% more than the Congo domain (5°N–10°S, 15°–30°E). Over the Amazon domain the rainfall variation is well correlated between CPC, TRMM, GPCP, and GPCC (r2 > 0.9) except for the northwestern Amazon, whereas CMAP and CLMNLS were different from these four datasets. Over the Congo basin, the coefficient of determination between these rainfall datasets is generally below 0.7. The empirical orthogonal functions analysis suggests large discrepancies in interannual and decadal variations of rainfall among these datasets, especially for the Congo basin and for the South American region after 1998. In general, CMAP, GPCC, TRMM, and GPCP significantly agree over the tropical areas in South America.

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Chi Zhang
,
Qiuhong Tang
,
Deliang Chen
,
Ruud J. van der Ent
,
Xingcai Liu
,
Wenhong Li
, and
Gebremedhin Gebremeskel Haile

Abstract

Precipitation on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) showed different spatial changes during 1979–2016, with an increasing trend over the northern Tibetan Plateau (NTP) and a slightly negative trend over the southern Tibetan Plateau (STP). The changes in precipitation moisture sources over the NTP and STP are investigated using the improved Water Accounting Model with an atmospheric reanalysis as well as observational precipitation and evaporation data. The results show the region in the northwest (region NW), ranging from the TP to Europe dominated by the westerlies, provides 38.9% of precipitation moisture for the NTP, and the region in the southeast (region SE), ranging from the TP to the Indian Ocean and Indochina dominated by the Asian monsoons, provides 51.4% of precipitation moisture for the STP. For the precipitation increase over the NTP, the SE and TP are the main contributors, contributing around 35.8% and 51.7% of the increase, respectively. The contributions from the SE and TP to the STP are, however, minor and insignificant. Meanwhile, the NW shows a negative trend of −4.2 ± 2.9 mm yr−1 decade−1 (significant at the 0.01 level), which contributes to the negative precipitation trend over the STP. Results during the wet season indicate that moisture sources from the areas dominated by the Asian monsoons have contributed more precipitated moisture for the NTP, but not for the STP. Further analysis reveals that precipitated moisture originating from the Indian subcontinent has increased for the NTP while it has decreased for the STP during 1979–2016.

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Donald Wuebbles
,
Gerald Meehl
,
Katharine Hayhoe
,
Thomas R. Karl
,
Kenneth Kunkel
,
Benjamin Santer
,
Michael Wehner
,
Brian Colle
,
Erich M. Fischer
,
Rong Fu
,
Alex Goodman
,
Emily Janssen
,
Viatcheslav Kharin
,
Huikyo Lee
,
Wenhong Li
,
Lindsey N. Long
,
Seth C. Olsen
,
Zaitao Pan
,
Anji Seth
,
Justin Sheffield
, and
Liqiang Sun

This is the fourth in a series of four articles on historical and projected climate extremes in the United States. Here, we examine the results of historical and future climate model experiments from the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) based on work presented at the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Workshop on CMIP5 Climate Model Analyses held in March 2012. Our analyses assess the ability of CMIP5 models to capture observed trends, and we also evaluate the projected future changes in extreme events over the contiguous Unites States. Consistent with the previous articles, here we focus on model-simulated historical trends and projections for temperature extremes, heavy precipitation, large-scale drivers of precipitation variability and drought, and extratropical storms. Comparing new CMIP5 model results with earlier CMIP3 simulations shows that in general CMIP5 simulations give similar patterns and magnitudes of future temperature and precipitation extremes in the United States relative to the projections from the earlier phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3) models. Specifically, projections presented here show significant changes in hot and cold temperature extremes, heavy precipitation, droughts, atmospheric patterns such as the North American monsoon and the North Atlantic subtropical high that affect interannual precipitation, and in extratropical storms over the twenty-first century. Most of these trends are consistent with, although in some cases (such as heavy precipitation) underestimate, observed trends.

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