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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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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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Michael R. Riches, Wei-Chyung Wang, Panqin Chen, Shiyan Tao, Shuguang Zhou, and Yihui Ding

This report summarizes the progress since 1991 of two agreements on “global and regional climate change” studies between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and two state agencies of the People's Republic of China. The first agreement is the DOE–Chinese Academy of Science joint project on the “Study of the Greenhouse Effect” and the second agreement is the DOE–China Meteorological Administration joint project on the “Study of Regional Climate.” While development of general circulation climate models and analysis of climate data over China continues, the joint research produced several unique Chinese climate datasets, including the reconstruction of 2000 years of historical climate, quality assured instrumental climate data, and an archive of methane emissions from rice fields in southern China.

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Shuo Ma, Wei Yan, Yunxian Huang, Jun Jiang, Shensen Hu, and Yingqiang Wang

Abstract

Many quantitative uses of the nighttime imagery provided by low-light sensors, such as the day–night band (DNB) on board the Suomi–National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP), have emerged recently. Owing to the low nighttime radiance, low-light calibration at night must be investigated in detail. Traditional vicarious calibration methods are based on some targets with nearly invariant surface properties under lunar illumination. However, the relatively stable light emissions may also be used to realize the radiometric calibration under low light. This paper presents a low-light calibration method based on bridge lights, and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) DNB data are used to assess the proposed method. A comparison of DNB high-gain-stage (HGS) radiances over a 2-yr period from August 2012 to July 2014 demonstrates that the predictions are consistent with the observations, and the agreement between the predictions and the observations is on the order of −2.9% with an uncertainty of 9.3% (1σ) for the Hangzhou Bay Bridge and −3.9% with an uncertainty of 7.2% (1σ) for the Donghai Bridge. Such a calibration method based on stable light emissions has a wide application prospect for the calibration of low-light sensors at night.

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Wei-Chyung Wang, William B. Rossow, Mao-Sung Yao, and Marilyn Wolfson

Abstract

We illustrate the potential complexity of the feedback between global mean cloud amount and global mean surface temperature when variations of the vertical cloud distribution are included by studying the behavior of a one-dimensional radiative–convective model with two types of cloud variation: 1) variable cloud cover with constant optical thickness and 2) variable optical thickness with constant cloud cover. The variable parameter is calculated assuming a correlation between cloud amount and precipitation or the vertical flux convergence of latent heat. Since the vertical latent heat flux is taken to be a fraction of the total heat flux, modeled by convective adjustment, we examine the sensitivity of the results to two different critical lapse rates, a constant 6.5 K km−1 lapse rate and a temperature-dependent, moist adiabatic lapse rate. The effects of the vertical structure of climate perturbations on the nature of the cloud feedback are examined using two cases: a 2% increase in the solar constant and a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. The model results show that changes in the vertical cloud distribution and mean cloud optical thickness can be as important to climate variations as are changes in the total cloud cover. Further the variety and complexity of the feedbacks exhibited even by this simple model suggest that proper determination of cloud feedbacks must include the effects of varying vertical distribution.

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Christopher A. Davis, David A. Ahijevych, Wei Wang, and William C. Skamarock

Abstract

An evaluation of medium-range forecasts of tropical cyclones (TCs) is performed, covering the eastern North Pacific basin during the period 1 August–3 November 2014. Real-time forecasts from the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) and operational forecasts from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) are evaluated. A new TC-verification method is introduced that treats TC tracks as objects. The method identifies matching pairs of forecast and observed tracks, missed and false alarm tracks, and derives statistics using a multicategory contingency table methodology. The formalism includes track, intensity, and genesis.

Two configurations of MPAS, a uniform 15-km mesh and a variable-resolution mesh transitioning from 60 km globally to 15 km over the eastern Pacific, are compared with each other and with the operational GFS. The two configurations of MPAS reveal highly similar forecast skill and biases through at least day 7. This result supports the effectiveness of TC prediction using variable resolution.

Both MPAS and the GFS suffer from biases in predictions of genesis at longer time ranges; MPAS produces too many storms whereas the GFS produces too few. MPAS better discriminates hurricanes than does the GFS, but the false alarms in MPAS lower overall forecast skill in the medium range relative to GFS. The biases in MPAS forecasts are traced to errors in the parameterization of shallow convection south of the equator and the resulting erroneous invigoration of the ITCZ over the eastern North Pacific.

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