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Bing Ye
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
, and
Kenneth K-W. Lo

Abstract

Observed variations of convective available potential energy (CAPE) in the current climate provide one useful test of the performance of cumulus parameterizations used in general circulation models (GCMs). It is found that frequency distributions of tropical Pacific CAPE, as well as the dependence of CAPE on surface wet-bulb potential temperature (Θw) simulated by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies’s GCM, agree well with that observed during the Australian Monsoon Experiment period. CAPE variability in the current climate greatly overestimates climatic changes in basinwide CAPE in the tropical Pacific in response to a 2°C increase in sea surface temperature (SST) in the GCM because of the different physics involved. In the current climate, CAPE variations in space and time are dominated by regional changes in boundary layer temperature and moisture, which in turn are controlled by SST patterns and large-scale motions. Geographical thermodynamic structure variations in the middle and upper troposphere are smaller because of the canceling effects of adiabatic cooling and subsidence warming in the rising and sinking branches of the Walker and Hadley circulations. In a forced equilibrium global climate change, temperature change is fairly well constrained by the change in the moist adiabatic lapse rate and thus the upper troposphere warms to a greater extent than the surface. For this reason, climate change in CAPE is better predicted by assuming that relative humidity remains constant and that the temperature changes according to the moist adiabatic lapse rate change of a parcel with 80% relative humidity lifted from the surface. The moist adiabatic assumption is not symmetrically applicable to a warmer and colder climate: In a warmer regime moist convection determines the tropical temperature structure, but when the climate becomes colder the effect of moist convection diminishes and the large-scale dynamics and radiative processes become relatively important. Although a prediction based on the change in moist adiabat matches the GCM simulation of climate change averaged over the tropical Pacific basin, it does not match the simulation regionally because small changes in the general circulation change the local boundary layer relative humidity by 1%–2%. Thus, the prediction of regional climate change in CAPE is also dependent on subtle changes in the dynamics.

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Mike Bauer
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
, and
John R. Lanzante

Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated that the correlation between interannual variations of large-scale average temperature and water vapor is stronger and less height dependent in one GCM than in an objective analysis of radiosonde observations. To address this discrepancy, a GCM with a different approach to cumulus parameterization is used to explore the model dependence of this result, the effect of sampling biases, and the analysis scheme applied to the data.

It is found that the globally complete data from the two GCMs produce similar patterns of correlation despite their fundamentally different moist convection schemes. While this result concurs with earlier studies, it is also shown that this apparent model–observation discrepancy is significantly reduced (although not eliminated) by sampling the GCM in a manner more consistent with the observations, and especially if the objective analysis is not then applied to the sampled data. Furthermore, it is found that spatial averages of the local temperature–humidity correlations are much weaker, and show more height dependence, than correlations of the spatially averaged quantities for both model and observed data. The results of the previous studies are thus inconclusive and cannot therefore be interpreted to mean that GCMs greatly overestimate the water vapor feedback.

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Michael J. S. Belton
,
Gerald R. Smith
,
Gerald Schubert
, and
Anthony D. Del Genio

Abstract

We provide morphological and kinematic desc6ptions of the UV markings seen in the Mariner 10 imagery of Venus: the dark horizontal Y, bow-like waves, circumequatorial belts, subsolar disturbance, spiral streaks and bands, polar ring and polar region. The dark horizontal Y is interpreted as a westward-propagating planetary wave with zonal wavenumber 1 and period ∼4.2 days; it may he the superposition of a Rossby-Haurwitz wave dominant at mid-latitudes and a Kelvin wave dominant in equatorial regions. Bow-like waves may be true bow waves formed by the interaction of the rapid zonal flow with internal gravity waves of lower horizontal phase speeds generated by the subsolar disturbance. Circumequatorial belts are interpreted as internal gravity waves with horizontal wavelength ∼500 km and zonal extent ∼5000 km. They are essentially parallel to latitude circles and propagate southward at about 20 m s−1. Cellular features in the subsolar region undoubtedly imply convection there. The identificatiod of both bright- and dark-rimmed cells, with horizontal scales of about 200 and 500 km, respectively, implies a 15 km deep convective layer, based on an analogy with mesoscale convection in the terrestrial maritime atmosphere. The dark areas of the cells may be regions of downwelling. Variability in the location and intensity of the polar ring may be caused by a zonally propagating disturbance, perhaps related to the planetary wave producing the Y in lower latitudes. Circulation patterns and other atmospheric processes in the polar region may be rather different from elsewhere on the planet; only in the polar region are UV markings also visible in the orange.

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Anthony D. Del Genio
,
Mao-Sung Yao
,
William Kovari
, and
Kenneth K-W. Lo

Abstract

An efficient new prognostic cloud water parameterization designed for use in global climate models is described. The scheme allows for life cycle effects in stratiform clouds and permits cloud optical properties to be determined interactively. The parameterization contains representations of all important microphysical processes, including autoconversion, accretion, Bergeron–Findeisen diffusional growth, and cloud/rain water evaporation. Small-scale dynamical processes, including detrainment of convective condensate, cloud-top entrainment instability, and stability-dependent cloud physical thickness variations, are also taken into account. Cloud optical thickness is calculated from the predicted liquid/ice water path and a variable droplet effective radius estimated by assuming constant droplet number concentration. Microphysical and radiative properties are assumed to be different for liquid and ice clouds, and for liquid clouds over land and ocean.

The parameterization is validated in several simulations using the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM). Comparisons are made with a variety of datasets, including ERBE radiative fluxes and cloud forcing, ISCCP and surface-observed cloud properties, SSM/I liquid water path, and SAGE II thin cirrus cover. Validation is judged on the basis of the model's depiction of both the mean state; diurnal, seasonal, and interannual variability; and the temperature dependence of cloud properties. Relative to the diagnostic cloud scheme used in the previous GISS GCM, the prognostic parameterization strengthens the model's hydrologic cycle and general circulation, both directly and indirectly (via increased cumulus heating). Sea surface temperature (SST) perturbation experiments produce low climate sensitivity and slightly negative cloud feedback for globally uniform SST changes, but high sensitivity and positive cloud feedback when tropical Pacific SST gradients weaken with warming. Changes in the extent and optical thickness of tropical cumulus anvils appear to be the primary factor determining the sensitivity. This suggests that correct simulations of upward transport of convective condensate and of Walker circulation changes are of the highest priority for a realistic estimate of cloud feedback in actual greenhouse gas increase scenarios.

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Gregory S. Elsaesser
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
,
Jonathan H. Jiang
, and
Marcus van Lier-Walqui

Abstract

Partitioning of convective ice into precipitating and detrained condensate presents a challenge for GCMs since partitioning depends on the strength and microphysics of the convective updraft. It is an important issue because detrainment of ice from updrafts influences the development of stratiform anvils, impacts radiation, and can affect GCM climate sensitivity. Recent studies have shown that the CMIP5 configurations of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) GCM simulated upper-tropospheric ice water content (IWC) that exceeded an estimated upper bound by a factor of 2. Partly in response to this bias, a new GCM parameterization of convective cloud ice has been developed that incorporates new ice particle fall speeds and convective outflow particle size distributions (PSDs) from the NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA), NASA Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling (TC4), DOE ARM–NASA Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E), and DOE ARM Small Particles in Cirrus (SPARTICUS) field campaigns. The new parameterization assumes a normalized gamma PSD with two novel developments: no explicit assumption for particle habit in the calculation of mass distributions, and a formulation for translating ice particle fall speeds as a function of maximum diameter into fall speeds as a function of melted-equivalent diameter. Two parameters (particle volume– and projected area–weighted equivalent diameter) are diagnosed as a function of temperature and IWC in the convective plume, and these parameters constrain the shape and scale of the normalized gamma PSD. The diagnosed fall speeds and PSDs are combined with the GCM’s parameterized convective updraft vertical velocity to partition convective updraft condensate into precipitating and detrained components. A 5-yr prescribed sea surface temperature GCM simulation shows a 30%–50% decrease in upper-tropospheric deep convective IWC, bringing the tropical and global mean ice water path into closer agreement with CloudSat best estimates.

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Daehyun Kim
,
Min-Seop Ahn
,
In-Sik Kang
, and
Anthony D. Del Genio

Abstract

The role of the cloud–radiation interaction in the simulation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is investigated. A special focus is on the enhancement of column-integrated diabatic heating due to the greenhouse effects of clouds and moisture in the region of anomalous convection. The degree of this enhancement, the greenhouse enhancement factor (GEF), is measured at different precipitation anomaly regimes as the negative ratio of anomalous outgoing longwave radiation to anomalous precipitation.

Observations show that the GEF varies significantly with precipitation anomaly and with the MJO cycle. The greenhouse enhancement is greater in weak precipitation anomaly regimes and its effectiveness decreases monotonically with increasing precipitation anomaly. The GEF also amplifies locally when convection is strengthened in association with the MJO, especially in the weak precipitation anomaly regime (<5 mm day−1).

A robust statistical relationship is found among CMIP5 climate model simulations between the GEF and the MJO simulation fidelity. Models that simulate a stronger MJO also simulate a greater GEF, especially in the weak precipitation anomaly regime (<5 mm day−1). Models with a greater GEF in the strong precipitation anomaly regime (>30 mm day−1) represent a slightly slower MJO propagation speed. Many models that lack the MJO underestimate the GEF in general and in particular in the weak precipitation anomaly regime. The results herein highlight that the cloud–radiation interaction is a crucial process for climate models to correctly represent the MJO.

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Junye Chen
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
,
Barbara E. Carlson
, and
Michael G. Bosilovich

Abstract

The dominant interannual El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and the short length of climate observation records make it difficult to study long-term climate variations in the spatiotemporal domain. Based on the fact that the ENSO signal spreads to remote regions and induces delayed climate variation through atmospheric teleconnections, an ENSO-removal method is developed through which the ENSO signal can be approximately removed at the grid box level from the spatiotemporal field of a climate parameter. After this signal is removed, long-term climate variations are isolated at mid- and low latitudes in the climate parameter fields from observed and reanalysis datasets. This paper addresses the long-term global warming trend (GW); a companion paper concentrates on Pacific pan-decadal variability (PDV).

The warming that occurs in the Pacific basin (approximately 0.4 K in the twentieth century) is much weaker than in surrounding regions and the other two ocean basins (approximately 0.8 K). The modest warming in the Pacific basin is likely due to its dynamic nature on the interannual and decadal time scales and/or the leakage of upper ocean water through the Indonesian Throughflow.

Based on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) and the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-40), a comprehensive atmospheric structure associated with the GW trend is given. Significant discrepancies exist between the two datasets, especially in the tightly coupled dynamics and water vapor fields. The dynamics fields based on NCEP–NCAR, which show a change in the Walker Circulation, are consistent with the GW change in the surface temperature field. However, intensification in the Hadley Circulation is associated with GW trend in ERA-40 instead.

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Junye Chen
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
,
Barbara E. Carlson
, and
Michael G. Bosilovich

Abstract

The spatiotemporal structure of Pacific pan-decadal variability (PDV) is isolated in global long-term surface temperature (ST) datasets and reanalysis atmospheric parameter fields from which El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effects have been removed. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and combined EOF analysis of the resulting time series identify PDV as one of two primary modes of long-term variability, the other being a global warming (GW) trend, which is addressed in a companion paper (Part I).

In this study, it is shown that one of several PDV interdecadal regime shifts occurred during the 1990s. This significant change in the Pacific basin is comparable but antiphase to the well-known 1976 climate regime shift and is consistent with the observed changes in biosystems and ocean circulation. A comprehensive picture of PDV as manifested in the troposphere and at the surface is described. In general, the PDV spatial patterns in different parameter fields share some similarities with the patterns associated with ENSO, but important differences exist. First, the PDV circulation pattern is shifted westward by about 20° and is less zonally extended than that for ENSO. The westward shift of the PDV wave train produces a different North American teleconnection pattern that is more west–east oriented. The lack of a strong PDV surface temperature (ST) signal in the west equatorial Pacific and the relatively strong ST signal in the subtropical regions are consistent with an atmospheric overturning circulation response that differs from the one associated with ENSO. The analysis also suggests that PDV is a combination of decadal and/or interdecadal oscillations interacting through teleconnections.

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Yue Zheng
,
Kiran Alapaty
,
Jerold A. Herwehe
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
, and
Dev Niyogi

Abstract

Efforts to improve the prediction accuracy of high-resolution (1–10 km) surface precipitation distribution and variability are of vital importance to local aspects of air pollution, wet deposition, and regional climate. However, precipitation biases and errors can occur at these spatial scales due to uncertainties in initial meteorological conditions and/or grid-scale cloud microphysics schemes. In particular, it is still unclear to what extent a subgrid-scale convection scheme could be modified to bring in scale awareness for improving high-resolution short-term precipitation forecasts in the WRF Model. To address these issues, the authors introduced scale-aware parameterized cloud dynamics for high-resolution forecasts by making several changes to the Kain–Fritsch (KF) convective parameterization scheme in the WRF Model. These changes include subgrid-scale cloud–radiation interactions, a dynamic adjustment time scale, impacts of cloud updraft mass fluxes on grid-scale vertical velocity, and lifting condensation level–based entrainment methodology that includes scale dependency.

A series of 48-h retrospective forecasts using a combination of three treatments of convection (KF, updated KF, and the use of no cumulus parameterization), two cloud microphysics schemes, and two types of initial condition datasets were performed over the U.S. southern Great Plains on 9- and 3-km grid spacings during the summers of 2002 and 2010. Results indicate that 1) the source of initial conditions plays a key role in high-resolution precipitation forecasting, and 2) the authors’ updated KF scheme greatly alleviates the excessive precipitation at 9-km grid spacing and improves results at 3-km grid spacing as well. Overall, the study found that the updated KF scheme incorporated into a high-resolution model does provide better forecasts for precipitation location and intensity.

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David A. Randall
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
,
Leo J. Donner
,
William D. Collins
, and
Stephen A. Klein
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