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Jiandong Li, Wei-Chyung Wang, Jiangyu Mao, Ziqian Wang, Gang Zeng, and Guoxing Chen

Abstract

Clouds strongly modulate regional radiation balance and their evolution is profoundly influenced by circulations. This study uses 2001–16 satellite and reanalysis data together with regional model simulations to investigate the spring shortwave cloud radiative effect (SWCRE) and the associated circulations over southeastern China (SEC). Strong SWCRE, up to −110 W m−2, persists throughout springtime in this region and its spring mean is the largest among the same latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. SWCRE exhibits pronounced subseasonal variation and is closely associated with persistent regional ascending motion and moisture convergence, which favor large amounts of cloud liquid water and resultant strong SWCRE. Around pentad 12 (late February), SWCRE abruptly increases and afterward remains stable between 22° and 32°N. The thermal and dynamic effects of Tibetan Plateau and westerly jet provide appropriate settings for the maintenance of ascending motion, while water vapor, as cloud water supply, stably comes from the southern flank of the Tibetan Plateau and South China Sea. During pentads 25–36 (early May to late June), SWCRE is further enhanced by the increased water vapor transport caused by the march of East Asian monsoon systems, particularly after the onset of the South China Sea monsoon. After pentad 36, these circulations quickly weaken and the SWCRE decreases accordingly. Individual years with spring strong and weak rainfall are chosen to highlight the importance of the strength of the ascending motion. The simulation broadly reproduced the observed results, although biases exist. Finally, the model biases in SWCRE–circulation associations are discussed.

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Liming Wang, Xuhui Lee, Wei Wang, Xufeng Wang, Zhongwang Wei, Congsheng Fu, Yunqiu Gao, Ling Lu, Weimin Song, Peixi Su, and Guanghui Lin

Abstract

Open-path eddy covariance systems are widely used for measuring the CO2 flux between land and atmosphere. A common problem is that they often yield negative fluxes or physiologically unreasonable CO2 uptake fluxes in the nongrowing season under cold conditions. In this study, a meta-analysis was performed on the eddy flux data from 64 FLUXNET sites and the relationship between the observed CO2 flux and the sensible heat flux was analyzed. In theory, these two fluxes should be independent of each other in cold conditions (air temperature lower than 0°C) when photosynthesis is suppressed. However, the results show that a significant and negative linear relationship existed between these two fluxes at 37 of the sites. The mean linear slope value is −0.008 ± 0.001 µmol m−2 s−1 per W m−2 among the 64 sites analyzed. The slope value was not significantly different among the three gas analyzer models (LI-7500, LI-7500A, IRGASON/EC150) used at these sites, indicating that self-heating may not be the only reason for the apparent wintertime net CO2 uptake. These results suggest a systematic bias toward larger carbon uptakes in the FLUXNET sites that deploy open-path eddy covariance systems.

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Wei-Chyung Wang, Wei Gong, Wen-Shung Kau, Cheng-Ta Chen, Huang-Hsiung Hsu, and Chia-Hsiu Tu

Abstract

Observations indicate that the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) exhibits distinctive characteristics of large cloud amounts with associated heavy and persistent rainfall, although short breaks for clear sky usually occur. Consequently, the effects of cloud–radiation interactions can play an important role in the general circulation of the atmosphere and, thus, the evolution of the EASM. In this note, as a first step toward studying the topic, the 5-yr (January 1985–December 1989) Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) dataset is used to show the spatial and temporal patterns of both shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) cloud radiative forcing (CRF) at the top of the atmosphere over east China, and to compare the observed features with Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project-II (AMIP-II) simulations with the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNYA) Community Climate Model 3 (CCM3) and the ECHAM4 general circulation models.

The observations indicate that the net CRF provides a cooling effect to the atmosphere–surface climate system, dominated by the SW CRF cooling (albedo effect) with partial compensation from the LW CRF warming (greenhouse effect). The SW CRF shows a strong seasonal cycle, and its peak magnitude is particularly large, ∼110 W m−2, for south China and the Yangtze–Huai River valley (YHRV) during May and June, while the LW CRF is about 50 W m−2 for the same months with a weak dependence on the latitudes and seasons. These characteristics are in sharp contrast to the Northern Hemispheric zonal means of the same latitude bands and seasons, thus implying a unique role for cloud–radiation interaction in east China. Both model simulations show similar observed characteristics, although biases exist. For example, in May, the ECHAM4 underestimates the SW CRF while the SUNYA CCM3 simulates a significantly larger value, both attributed to the respective biases in the simulated total cloud cover. Model-to-observation comparisons of the association between total cloud cover and SW CRF, and between high cloud cover and LW CRF, are also presented and their differences are discussed. Finally, the SUNYA CCM3 biases in the CRF and its relevance to the model cloud biases are discussed in the context of model cold and dry biases in climate simulations.

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Yongwei Wang, Yaqi Gao, Hairun Qin, Jianping Huang, Cheng Liu, Cheng Hu, Wei Wang, Shoudong Liu, and Xuhui Lee

Abstract

Lake Taihu is a shallow lake located in the Yangtze River delta region in eastern China. Lake breezes and their interactions with urban heat islands are of great importance to air quality and weather forecasting. In this study, surface observations at a dense network and Wind Profile Radar measurements were utilized to characterize the lake breezes at Lake Taihu and assess the impact of geophysical factors on the development and intensity of the lake breezes. The lake breezes were characterized by a low occurrence frequency of 12%–17% (defined as the percentage of days with lake breezes in a given month), weak speed (annual mean ranging from 1.5 to 3.3 m s−1), late onset [average onset around 1110 local standard time (LST), with a range of 0900–1300 LST], short duration (annual mean 3.5 h), and low circulation depth (average depth of 400 m from 1200 to 1400 LST). The lake breezes were greatly suppressed when the geostrophic winds were higher than 4.1 m s−1. The low heat capacity of shallow water (mean depth 2.0 m) led to small temperature differences between the land and the lake, which was the main factor responsible for the low occurrence frequency along Lake Taihu. All of the characteristic parameters showed distinct seasonal variations. Increased frequencies, earlier onset times, and longer durations on the northern lakeshore were indicative of the impact of the urban heat island on the lake breezes.

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Wei-Chyung Wang, Qing-Yun Zhang, David R. Easterling, and Thomas R. Karl

Abstract

Two aspects of Beijing cloudiness are studied: its relationship to other climate parameters during the period 1951–1990 and the reconstruction of proxy values between 1875 and 1950. For the recent period, cloudiness varies with no apparent trend and is highly correlated with the total number of rain days (r=0.77) and total sunshine duration (r=0.72). Good correlation is also found with maximum surface air temperature, surface relative humidity, and total precipitation. While the correlation between cloudiness and solar radiation was large prior to 1976, the coefficient for the period 1976–1990 is much smaller. This decrease can be attributed to a negative trend in solar radiation, which is consistent with an observed decrease in visibility. Variations in Beijing cloudiness are closely related to those found over most of northern China, while little similarity is found with locations south of 35°N.

The large correlation between annual cloudiness and the total number of rain days between 1951 and 1990 was used in conjunction with the observed rain day record for the period 1875–1950 to construct a proxy cloudiness record for Beijing for the period 1875–1950. Comparisons between proxy cloudiness and available observations of surface air temperature and relative humidity reveal that the relationships are consistent with those found when observed cloudiness is compared with observed temperature and humidity data. On the century time scale, there is no clear trend in percent cloudiness. However, on the decadal time scale, there is a negative trend in cloudiness during the period 1880–1930 followed by a period of relatively constant values between 1940 and 1975.

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Shou-Jun Chen, Ying-Hwa Kuo, Wei Wang, Zu-Yu Tao, and Bo Cui

Abstract

On 12–13 June 1991, a series of convective rainstorms (defined as mesoscale precipitation systems with rainfall rates exceeding 10 mm h−1) developed successively along the Mei-Yu front. During this event, new rainstorms formed to the east of preceding storms at an interval of approximately 300–400 km. The successive development and eastward propagation of these rainstorms produced heavy rainfall over the Jiang-Huai Basin in eastern China, with a maximum 24-h accumulation of 234 mm. This study presents the results of a numerical simulation of this heavy rainfall event using the Penn State–NCAR Mesoscale Model Version 5 (MM5) with a horizontal resolution of 54 km.

Despite the relatively coarse horizontal resolution, the MM5, using a moist physics package comprising an explicit scheme and the Grell cumulus parameterization, simulated the successive development of the rainstorms. The simulated rainstorms compared favorably with the observed systems in terms of size and intensity. An additional sensitivity experiment showed that latent heat release is crucial for the development of the rainstorms, the mesoscale low-level jet, the mesolow, the rapid spinup of vorticity, and the Mei-Yu frontogenesis. Without latent heat release, the maximum vertical motion associated with the rainstorm is reduced from 70 to 6 cm s−1.

Additional model sensitivity experiments using the Kain–Fritsch cumulus parameterization with grid sizes of 54 and 18 km produced results very similar to the 54-km control experiment with the Grell scheme. This suggests that the simulation of Mei-Yu rainstorms, the mesoscale low-level jet, and the mesolow is not highly sensitive to convective parameterization and grid resolution. In all the full-physics experiments, the model rainfall was dominated by the resolvable-scale precipitation. This is attributed to the high relative humidity and low convective available potential energy environment in the vicinity of the Mei-Yu front.

The modeling results suggest that there is strong interaction and positive feedback between the convective rainstorms embedded within the Mei-Yu front and the Mei-Yu front itself. The front provides a favorable environment for such rainstorms to develop, and the rainstorms intensify the Mei-Yu front.

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Hans R. Schneider, Malcolm K. W. Ko, Nien Dak Sze, Guang-Yu Shi, and Wei-Chyung Wang

Abstract

The effect of eddy diffusion in an interactive two-dimensional model of the stratosphere is reexamined. The model consists of a primitive equation dynamics module, a simplified HOx ozone model and a full radiative transfer scheme. The diabatic/residual circulation in the model stratosphere is maintained by the following processes: 1) nonlocal forcing resulting from dissipation in the parameterized model troposphere and frictional drag at mesospheric levels, 2) mechanical damping within the stratosphere itself, and 3) potential vorticity flux due to large scale waves. The net effect of each process is discussed in terms of the efficiency of the induced circulation in transporting ozone from the equatorial lower stratosphere to high latitude regions. The same eddy diffusion coefficients are used to parameterize the flux of quasi-geostrophic potential vorticity and diffusion in the tracer transport equation. It is shown that the ozone distributions generated with the interactive two-dimensional model are very sensitive to the choice of values for the friction and the eddy diffusion coefficients. The strength of the circulation increases with the mechanical damping and Kyy. At the same time, larger diffusion in the tracer transport equation reduces the equator to pole transport (Holton 1986). Depending on the amount of friction assumed in the stratosphere, increasing eddy diffusion can lead to an increase as well as a decrease in the net transport. It is shown that reasonable latitudinal gradients of ozone can be obtained by using small values for the mechanical damping [≈1/(100 days)] and Kyy (order 104 m2 s−1) for the mid- and high-latitude stratosphere.

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Chunpeng Wang, Zhengzhao Johnny Luo, Xiuhong Chen, Xiping Zeng, Wei-Kuo Tao, and Xianglei Huang

Abstract

Cloud-top temperature (CTT) is an important parameter for convective clouds and is usually different from the 11-μm brightness temperature due to non-blackbody effects. This paper presents an algorithm for estimating convective CTT by using simultaneous passive [Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)] and active [CloudSat + Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO)] measurements of clouds to correct for the non-blackbody effect. To do this, a weighting function of the MODIS 11-μm band is explicitly calculated by feeding cloud hydrometer profiles from CloudSat and CALIPSO retrievals and temperature and humidity profiles based on ECMWF analyses into a radiation transfer model. Among 16 837 tropical deep convective clouds observed by CloudSat in 2008, the averaged effective emission level (EEL) of the 11-μm channel is located at optical depth ~0.72, with a standard deviation of 0.3. The distance between the EEL and cloud-top height determined by CloudSat is shown to be related to a parameter called cloud-top fuzziness (CTF), defined as the vertical separation between −30 and 10 dBZ of CloudSat radar reflectivity. On the basis of these findings a relationship is then developed between the CTF and the difference between MODIS 11-μm brightness temperature and physical CTT, the latter being the non-blackbody correction of CTT. Correction of the non-blackbody effect of CTT is applied to analyze convective cloud-top buoyancy. With this correction, about 70% of the convective cores observed by CloudSat in the height range of 6–10 km have positive buoyancy near cloud top, meaning clouds are still growing vertically, although their final fate cannot be determined by snapshot observations.

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Tae-Kwon Wee, Ying-Hwa Kuo, Dong-Kyou Lee, Zhiquan Liu, Wei Wang, and Shu-Ya Chen

Abstract

The authors have discovered two sizeable biases in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model: a negative bias in geopotential and a warm bias in temperature, appearing both in the initial condition and the forecast. The biases increase with height and thus manifest themselves at the upper part of the model domain. Both biases stem from a common root, which is that vertical structures of specific volume and potential temperature are convex functions. The geopotential bias is caused by the particular discrete hydrostatic equation used in WRF and is proportional to the square of the thickness of model layers. For the vertical levels used in this study, the bias far exceeds the gross 1-day forecast bias combining all other sources. The bias is fixed by revising the discrete hydrostatic equation. WRF interpolates potential temperature from the grids of an external dataset to the WRF grids in generating the initial condition. Associated with the Exner function, this leads to the marked bias in temperature. By interpolating temperature to the WRF grids and then computing potential temperature, the bias is removed. The bias corrections developed in this study are expected to reduce the disparity between the forecast and observations, and eventually to improve the quality of analysis and forecast in the subsequent data assimilation. The bias corrections might be especially beneficial to assimilating height-based observations (e.g., radio occultation data).

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Jianqiong Zhan, Wenyuan Chang, Wei Li, Yanming Wang, Liqi Chen, and Jinpei Yan

Abstract

Fujian Province in southeastern coastal China is a relatively clean region with low emissions, as its high altitude isolates it from the rest of the country. However, the region experienced haze episodes on 3–14 December 2013. The authors performed simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) to examine the impacts of meteorological conditions, aerosol radiative feedbacks (ARFs; including aerosol direct and nearly first indirect effect), and internal and external emissions reduction scenarios on particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) concentrations. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time the WRF-Chem model has been used to study air quality in this region. The model reasonably reproduced the meteorological conditions and PM2.5 concentrations. The analysis demonstrated that the highest-PM2.5 event was associated with a cold surge that promoted the impingement of northern pollutants on the region, and PM2.5 concentrations were sensitive to the emissions from the Yangtze River delta (16.6%) and the North China Plain (12.1%). This suggests that efforts toward coastal air quality improvement require regional cooperation to reduce emissions. Noticeably, ARFs were unlikely to increase PM2.5 concentrations in the coastal region, which was in contrast to the case in northern China. ARFs induced strong clean wind anomalies in the coastal region and also lowered the inland planetary boundary layer, which enhanced the blocking of northern pollutants crossing the high terrain in the north of Fujian Province. This indicates that ARFs tend to weaken the haze intensity in the southeastern coastal region.

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