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Zhang Yue, W. Zhou, and Tim Li

Abstract

The complex interaction between the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is further investigated in this study, with a focus on the impacts of the IOD on ENSO in the subsequent year [ENSO(+1)]. The interaction between the IOD and the concurrent ENSO [ENSO(0)] can be summarized as follows: ENSO(0) can trigger and enhance the IOD, while the IOD can enhance ENSO(0) and accelerate its demise. Regarding the impacts of IOD(0) on the subsequent ENSO(+1), it is revealed that the IOD can lead to anomalous SST cooling patterns over the equatorial Pacific after the winter following the IOD, indicating the formation of a La Niña–like pattern in the subsequent year. While the SST cooling tendency associated with a positive IOD is attributable primarily to net heat flux (thermodynamic processes) from autumn to the ensuing spring, after the ensuing spring the dominant contribution comes from oceanic processes (dynamic processes) instead. From autumn to the ensuing spring, the downward shortwave flux response contributes the most to SST cooling over the central and eastern Pacific, due to the cloud–radiation–SST feedback. From the ensuing winter to the ensuing summer, changes in latent heat flux (LHF) are important for SST cooling, indicating that the release of LHF from the ocean into the atmosphere increases due to strong evaporation and leads to SST cooling through the wind–evaporation–SST feedback. The wind stress response and thermocline shoaling verify that local Bjerknes feedback is crucial for the initiation of La Niña in the later stage.

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Huiqi Li, Xiaopeng Cui, and Da-Lin Zhang

Abstract

An isolated heavy-rain-producing thunderstorm was unexpectedly initiated in the afternoon of 9 August 2011 near the central urban area of the Beijing metropolitan region (BMR), which occurred at some distance from BMR’s northwestern mountains and two preexisting mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) to the west and north, respectively. An observational analysis shows the presence of unfavorable quasigeostrophic conditions but a favorable regional environment for the convective initiation (CI) of thunderstorms. A nested-grid cloud-resolving model simulation of the case with the finest 1.333-km resolution is performed to examine the CI of the thunderstorm and its subsequent growth. Results reveal that the growth of the mixed boundary layer, enhanced by the urban heat island (UHI) effects, accounts for the formation of a thin layer of clouds at the boundary layer top at the CI site and nearby locations as well as on the upslope sides of the mountains. It takes about 36 min for the latent-heating-driven updraft to penetrate through a 1-km “lid” layer above before the formation of the thunderstorm. However, this storm may not take place without sustained low-level convergence of a prevailing southerly flow with a northerly flow ahead of a cold outflow boundary associated with the northern MCS. The latter is driven by the latent heating of the shallow layer of clouds during the earlier CI stage and then a cold mesohigh underneath the northern MCS. This study indicates the important roles of the urban effects, mountain morphology, and convectively generated pressure perturbations in determining the CI location and timing of isolated thunderstorms during the summer months.

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Guoyu Ren, Hongbin Liu, Ziying Chu, Li Zhang, Xiang Li, Weijing Li, Yu Chen, Ge Gao, and Yan Zhang

Abstract

Middle and eastern routes of the South–North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP) of China, which are approximately located within the area 28°–42°N and 110°–122°E, are being constructed. This paper investigates the past climatic variations on various time scales using instrumental and proxy data. It is found that annual mean surface air temperature has increased significantly during the past 50–100 years, and winter and spring temperatures in the northern part of the region have undergone the most significant changes. A much more significant increase occurs for annual mean minimum temperature and extreme low temperature than for annual mean maximum temperature and extreme high temperature. No significant trend in annual precipitation is found for the region as a whole for the last 50 and 100 years, although obvious decadal and spatial variation is detectable. A seesaw pattern of annual and summer precipitation variability between the north and the south of the region is evident. Over the last 100 years, the Haihe River basin has witnessed a significant negative trend of annual precipitation, but no similar trend is detected for the Yangtze and Huaihe River basins. Pan evaporation has significantly decreased since the mid-1960s in the region in spite of the fact that the trend appears to have ended in the early 1990s. The negative trend of pan evaporation is very significant in the plain area between the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. There was a notable series of dry intervals lasting decades in the north of the region. The northern drought of the past 30 years is not the most severe in view of the past 500 years; however, the southern drought during the period from the 1960s to the 1980s may have been unprecedented. The dryness–wetness index (DWI) shows significant oscillations with periodicities of 9.5 and 20 years in the south and 10.5 and 25 years in the north. Longer periodicities in the DWI series include 160–170- and 70–80-yr oscillations in the north, and 100–150-yr oscillations in the south. The observed climate change could have implications for the construction and management of the SNWDP. The official approval and start of the hydro project was catalyzed by the severe multiyear drought of 1997–2003 in the north, and the operation and management of the project in the future will also be influenced by climate change—in particular by precipitation variability. This paper provides a preliminary discussion of the potential implications of observed climate change for the SNWDP.

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Guoyu Ren, Hongbin Liu, Ziying Chu, Li Zhang, Xiang Li, Weijing Li, Yu Chen, Ge Gao, and Yan Zhang
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Xiuzhong Li, Yijun He, Biao Zhang, and Chenqing Fan

Abstract

In this study, a rotating frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar is installed on an aircraft to retrieve the sea wave spectra. Because the aircraft attitude angles produce the incorrect antenna gain used in the radar equation, the incorrect normalized radar cross section (NRCS) of the sea surface will be acquired. To eliminate the effect of the angles, a three-dimensional matrix of the radar antenna gain is constructed by means of coordinate transformation and interpolation, based on a large set of configurations of the aircraft attitude angles (roll, pitch, etc.). With the application of the matrix, the NRCS of the sea surface is corrected and the calculating time is reduced. Then the sea surface mean square slope (MSS) is obtained from the echoes of the airborne wave spectrometer. Considering a weak periodicity of MSS due to low sea state, four images are presented to show the variation of the MSS after aircraft attitude angle correction. The results indicate that the accurate incidence angle of the antenna beam center is critical for retrieving the sea surface MSS, and that the magnitude of the MSS from three cycles of radar echoes can be changed by as much as 40% within 5° of the attitude angles. Furthermore, the MSS becomes more periodic and regular after correction.

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Zhengtai Zhang, Kaicun Wang, Deliang Chen, Jianping Li, and Robert Dickinson

Abstract

During 1973–2014, a reduction trend in the observed surface wind speed (10 m) in the Northern Hemisphere lands has been widely reported; this reduction is referred to as “global stilling.” The primary determining factors of global stilling include atmospheric circulation, turbulent friction, and surface friction when ignoring the vertical influencing factors. Most of the existing studies on the attribution of global stilling do not take changing surface friction into account. In addition, there are other changes in the climate system, such as aerosol loading, which could have an impact on atmospheric circulation, but are not included in the majority of current models either. Here, we developed a novel approach based on modeled winds calculated from sea level pressure observations and applied the method to approximately 4000 weather stations in the Northern Hemisphere lands from 1973 to 2014 to attribute the stilling in the three factors. In our methods, we neglected the vertical influencing factors on surface wind speed but took the aerosols’ changes on atmospheric circulation and gradual urbanization effect on surface wind speed into account. We found that atmospheric circulation has dictated the monthly variation in surface wind speed during the past four decades. However, the increased surface friction dominates the long-term declining trend of wind stilling. Our studies had uncertainties while neglecting the influence of vertical factors on surface wind stilling, despite most of the existing studies showing their effect was minor compared to the three factors explored in our study.

Open access
Yuanlong Li, Weiqing Han, Fan Wang, Lei Zhang, and Jing Duan

Abstract

Multi-time-scale variabilities of the Indian Ocean (IO) temperature over 0–700 m are revisited from the perspective of vertical structure. Analysis of historical data for 1955–2018 identifies two dominant types of vertical structures that account for respectively 70.5% and 21.2% of the total variance on interannual-to-interdecadal time scales with the linear trend and seasonal cycle removed. The leading type manifests as vertically coherent warming/cooling with the maximal amplitude at ~100 m and exhibits evident interdecadal variations. The second type shows a vertical dipole structure between the surface (0–60 m) and subsurface (60–400 m) layers and interannual-to-decadal fluctuations. Ocean model experiments were performed to gain insights into underlying processes. The vertically coherent, basinwide warming/cooling of the IO on an interdecadal time scale is caused by changes of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) controlled by Pacific climate and anomalous surface heat fluxes partly originating from external forcing. Enhanced changes in the subtropical southern IO arise from positive air–sea feedback among sea surface temperature, winds, turbulent heat flux, cloud cover, and shortwave radiation. Regarding dipole-type variability, the basinwide surface warming is induced by surface heat flux forcing, and the subsurface cooling occurs only in the eastern IO. The cooling in the southeast IO is generated by the weakened ITF, whereas that in the northeast IO is caused by equatorial easterly winds through upwelling oceanic waves. Both El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and IO dipole (IOD) events are favorable for the generation of such vertical dipole anomalies.

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Ke Li, Zhexuan Zhang, Greg Chini, and Glenn Flierl

Abstract

Comparably little is known about the impact of down-front-propagating surface waves on the stability of submesoscale lateral fronts in the ocean surface mixed layer. In this investigation, the stability of lateral fronts in gradient–wind balance to two-dimensional (down-front invariant) disturbances is analyzed using the stratified, rotating Craik–Leibovich (CL) equations. Through the action of the CL vortex force, the surface waves fundamentally alter the superinertial, two-dimensional linear stability of these fronts, with the classical symmetric instability mode being replaced by a hybrid Langmuir circulation/symmetric mode. The hybrid mode is shown to exhibit much larger growth rates than the pure symmetric mode, to exist in a regime in which the vertical Richardson number is greater than 1, and to accomplish significant cross-isopycnal transport. Nonhydrostatic numerical simulations reveal that the nonlinear evolution of this hybrid instability mode can lead to rapid, that is, superinertial, vertical restratification of the mixed layer. Paradoxically, Langmuir circulation—generally viewed as a prominent vertical mixing mechanism in the upper ocean—may thus play a role in mixed layer restratification.

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Jun Li, Chian-Yi Liu, Peng Zhang, and Timothy J. Schmit

Abstract

Advanced infrared (IR) sounders such as the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) provide atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles with high vertical resolution and high accuracy in preconvection environments. The derived atmospheric stability indices such as convective available potential energy (CAPE) and lifted index (LI) from advanced IR soundings can provide critical information 1 ~ 6 h before the development of severe convective storms. Three convective storms are selected for the evaluation of applying AIRS full spatial resolution soundings and the derived products on providing warning information in the preconvection environments. In the first case, the AIRS full spatial resolution soundings revealed local extremely high atmospheric instability 3 h ahead of the convection on the leading edge of a frontal system, while the second case demonstrates that the extremely high atmospheric instability is associated with the local development of severe thunderstorm in the following hours. The third case is a local severe storm that occurred on 7–8 August 2010 in Zhou Qu, China, which caused more than 1400 deaths and left another 300 or more people missing. The AIRS full spatial resolution LI product shows the atmospheric instability 3.5 h before the storm genesis. The CAPE and LI from AIRS full spatial resolution and operational AIRS/AMSU soundings along with Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Sounder derived product image (DPI) products were analyzed and compared. Case studies show that full spatial resolution AIRS retrievals provide more useful warning information in the preconvection environments for determining favorable locations for convective initiation (CI) than do the coarser spatial resolution operational soundings and lower spectral resolution GOES Sounder retrievals.

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Zhengqiu Zhang, Xiuji Zhou, Weiliang Li, and Michael Sparrow

Abstract

In this paper a scheme is presented for calculating the land surface energy budget based on the first law of thermodynamics. It takes into account the effects of water multiphase changes and hydrologic process. The enthalpy expression for a heterogeneous land surface is deduced, during which latent heats are assumed to be functions of temperature. Also, a solution is derived for calculating ground temperatures during the water phase transition and the hydrologic process. This study results in a more conservative estimate of the ground energy in comparison with many other land surface schemes.

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