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Hainan Gong, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Renguang Wu, Gang Huang, and Debashis Nath

Abstract

This study investigates the reproducibility of the spatial structure and amplitude of the observed Pacific–Japan (PJ) pattern in the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) models. In particular, the role of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) and atmospheric mean flow in the diverse reproducibility of the PJ pattern among models is investigated. Based on the pattern correlation between simulated and observed PJ patterns, models are categorized into high and low correlation groups, referred to as HCG and LCG, respectively. The observed cold SSTAs in the western North Pacific (WNP) and equatorial central Pacific, organized convection and precipitation anomalies, and Rossby wave response are reproduced well in HCG models, whereas these features are not present in LCG models. The summer SSTAs are closely tied to the preceding El Niño–Southern Oscillation and its temporal evolution in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean in both observations and models, but the SSTAs in the Indian Ocean are weak in both HCG and LCG, implying a weak Indian Ocean capacitor effect. As a result, the reproducibility of the amplitude of the WNP center of the PJ pattern is mainly modulated by the SSTAs and local air–sea feedback over the WNP in the models. On the other hand, a model with stronger climatological southerly along the coast of East Asia tends to produce more realistic amplitude of the midlatitude center of the PJ pattern with clearer poleward wave-activity fluxes due to more efficient local barotropic energy conversion from the mean flow.

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Xuefeng Cui, Hans-F. Graf, Baerbel Langmann, Wen Chen, and Ronghui Huang

Abstract

The hydrological impact of forest removal on the southeast Tibetan Plateau during the second half of the last century is investigated in this study using an atmospheric general circulation model. The effects of deforestation are investigated by examining the differences between the forest replacement and control experiments. Model results demonstrate that deforestation of the southeast Tibetan Plateau would influence the local and the remote climate as well. It would lead to decreased transpiration and increased summer precipitation in the deforested area and a wetter and warmer climate on the Tibetan Plateau in summer. This may produce more runoff into the rivers originating from the Tibetan Plateau and worsen flooding disasters in the downstream areas. The numerical experiments also show that deforestation would remotely impact Asian climate, and even global climate, although the statistical significance is small. A strong drought is found at middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, where livelihoods and economics have suffered from recent droughts. Ecosystem research on the Tibetan Plateau is a relatively new topic and needs further interdisciplinary investigation.

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Xianglei Huang, Hui-Wen Chuang, Andrew Dessler, Xiuhong Chen, Kenneth Minschwaner, Yi Ming, and V. Ramaswamy

Abstract

Both observational analysis and GCM simulations indicate that the tropical Walker circulation is becoming weaker and may continue to weaken as a consequence of climate change. Here, the authors use a conceptual radiative–convective equilibrium (RCE) framework to interpret the weakening of the Walker circulation as simulated by the GFDL coupled GCM. Based on the modeled lapse rate and clear-sky cooling rate profiles, the RCE framework can directly compute the change of vertical velocity in the descending branch of the Walker circulation, which agrees with the counterpart simulated by the GFDL model. The results show that the vertical structure of clear-sky radiative cooling rate QR will change in response to the increased water vapor as the globe warms. The authors explain why the change of QR is positive in the uppermost part of the troposphere (<300 hPa) and is negative for the rest of the troposphere. As a result, both the change of clear-sky cooling rate and the change of tropospheric lapse rate contribute to the weakening of circulation. The vertical velocity changes due to the two factors are comparable to each other from the top of the planetary boundary layer to 600 hPa. From 600 to 300 hPa lapse rate changes are the dominant cause of the weakening circulation. Above 300 hPa, the change due to QR is opposite to the change due to lapse rate, which forces a slight increase in vertical velocity that is seen in the model simulation.

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Hainan Gong, Lin Wang, Wen Chen, Debashis Nath, Gang Huang, and Weichen Tao

Abstract

The influence of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the East Asian–western Pacific (EAWP) climate in boreal winter is investigated in the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) model results and then compared to that in the phase 3 (CMIP3) results. In particular, the role played by the differences among models in ENSO properties, including the amplitude and longitudinal extension of ENSO’s sea surface temperature (SST) pattern, is analyzed. Results show that an eastward shrinking of ENSO’s SST pattern leads to quite weak circulation and climatic responses over the EAWP regions in the models. On the contrary, a westward expansion of the SST pattern shifts the anomalous Walker circulation too far west. The resultant precipitation anomalies and lower-tropospheric atmospheric Rossby wave responses both extend unrealistically into the Indian Ocean, and the hemispheric asymmetry of the Rossby wave response is missing. All these features lead to unrealistic climatic impacts of ENSO over the EAWP regions. In contrast to the above two cases, a reasonable longitudinal extension of ENSO’s SST pattern corresponds to better ENSO teleconnections over the EAWP regions. Nevertheless, the atmospheric responses over the western Pacific are still located farther west than observed, implying a common bias of CMIP5 models. In this case, a larger amplitude of ENSO variability to some extent helps to reduce model biases and facilitate better climatic responses to ENSO in the EAWP regions. Compared with CMIP3 models, CMIP5 models perform better in representing ENSO’s impacts on the East Asian winter climate.

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Shu-Ya Chen, Cheng-Peng Shih, Ching-Yuang Huang, and Wen-Hsin Teng

Abstract

Conventional soundings are rather limited over the western North Pacific and can be largely compensated by GNSS radio occultation (RO) data. We utilize the GSI hybrid assimilation system to assimilate RO data and the multiresolution global model (MPAS) to investigate the RO data impact on prediction of Typhoon Nepartak that passed over southern Taiwan in 2016. In this study, the performances of assimilation with local RO refractivity and bending angle operators are compared for the assimilation analysis and typhoon forecast. Assimilations with both RO data have shown similar and comparable temperature and moisture increments after cycling assimilation and largely reduce the RMSEs of the forecast without RO data assimilation at later times. The forecast results at 60–15-km resolution show that RO data assimilation largely improves the typhoon track prediction compared to that without RO data assimilation, and assimilation with bending angle has better performances than assimilation with refractivity, in particular for wind forecast. The improvement in the forecasted track is mainly due to the improved simulation for the translation of the typhoon. Diagnostics of wavenumber-1 potential vorticity (PV) tendency budget indicates that the northwestward typhoon translation dominated by PV horizontal advection is slowed down by the southward tendency induced by the stronger differential diabatic heating south of the typhoon center for bending-angle assimilation. Simulations with the enhanced resolution of 3 km in the region of the storm track show further improvements in both typhoon track and intensity prediction with RO data assimilation. Positive RO impacts on track prediction are also illustrated for two other typhoons using the MPAS-GSI system.

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Xuelong Chen, Zhongbo Su, Yaoming Ma, Kun Yang, Jun Wen, and Yu Zhang

Abstract

Roughness height for heat transfer is a crucial parameter in the estimation of sensible heat flux. In this study, the performance of the Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) has been tested and evaluated for typical land surfaces on the Tibetan Plateau on the basis of time series of observations at four sites with bare soil, sparse canopy, dense canopy, and snow surface, respectively. Both under- and overestimation at low and high sensible heat fluxes by SEBS was discovered. Through sensitivity analyses, it was identified that these biases are related to the SEBS parameterization of bare soil’s excess resistance to heat transfer (kB −1, where k is the von Kármán constant and B −1 is the Stanton number). The kB −1 of bare soil in SEBS was replaced. The results show that the revised model performs better than the original model.

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Ying-Wen Chen, Tatsuya Seiki, Chihiro Kodama, Masaki Satoh, Akira T. Noda, and Yohei Yamada

Abstract

This study examines cloud responses to global warming using a global nonhydrostatic model with two different cloud microphysics schemes. The cloud microphysics schemes tested here are the single- and double-moment schemes with six water categories: these schemes are referred to as NSW6 and NDW6, respectively. Simulations of one year for NSW6 and one boreal summer for NDW6 are performed using the nonhydrostatic icosahedral atmospheric model with a mesh size of approximately 14 km. NSW6 and NDW6 exhibit similar changes in the visible cloud fraction under conditions of global warming. The longwave (LW) cloud radiative feedbacks in NSW6 and NDW6 are within the upper half of the phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5)–Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project 2 (CFMIP2) range. The LW cloud radiative feedbacks are mainly attributed to cirrus clouds, which prevail more in the tropics under global warming conditions. For NDW6, the LW cloud radiative feedbacks from cirrus clouds also extend to midlatitudes. The changes in cirrus clouds and their effects on LW cloud radiative forcing (LWCRF) are assessed based on changes in the effective radii of ice hydrometeors () and the cloud fraction. It was determined that an increase in has a nonnegligible impact on LWCRF compared with an increase in cloud fraction.

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FengJiao Chen, ShaoXue Sheng, ZhengQing Bao, HuaYang Wen, LianSheng Hua, Ngarukiyimana Jean Paul, and YunFei Fu

Abstract

Utilizing the cloud parameters derived from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Visible and Infrared Scanner and the near-surface rainfall detected by the TRMM Precipitation Radar, the differences of cloud parameters for precipitating clouds (PCs) and nonprecipitating clouds (NPCs) are examined in tropical cyclones (TCs) during daytime from June to September 1998–2010. A precipitation delineation scheme that is based on cloud parameter thresholds is proposed and validated using the independent TC datasets in 2011 and observational datasets from Terra/MODIS. Statistical analysis of these results shows that the differences in the effective radius of cloud particles R e are small for PCs and NPCs, while thick clouds with large cloud optical thickness (COT) and liquid water path (LWP) can be considered as candidates for PCs. The probability of precipitation increases rapidly as the LWP and COT increase, reaching ~90%, whereas the probability of precipitation reaches a peak value of only 30% as R e increases. The combined threshold of a brightness temperature at 10.8 μm (BT4) of 270 K and an LWP of 750 g m−2 shows the best performance for precipitation discrimination at the pixel levels, with the probability of detection (POD) reaching 68.2% and false-alarm ratio (FAR) reaching 31.54%. From MODIS observations, the composite scheme utilizing BT4 and LWP also proves to be a good index, with POD reaching 77.39% and FAR reaching 24.2%. The results from this study demonstrate a potential application of real-time precipitation monitoring in TCs utilizing cloud parameters from visible and infrared measurements on board geostationary weather satellites.

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Hao Huang, Guifu Zhang, Kun Zhao, Su Liu, Long Wen, Gang Chen, and Zhengwei Yang

Abstract

Drop size distribution (DSD) is a fundamental parameter in rain microphysics. Retrieving DSDs from polarimetric radar measurements extends the capabilities of rain microphysics research and quantitative precipitation estimation. In this study, issues in rain DSD retrieval were studied with simulated and measured data. It was found that a three-parameter gamma distribution model was not suitable for directly retrieving DSD from polarimetric radar measurements. A statistical constraint, such as the shape–slope relation used in the constrained-gamma (C-G) distribution model, helped to reduce the uncertainties and errors in the retrieval. The inclusion of specific differential phase (K DP) measurements resulted in more accurate DSD retrieval and rain physical parameter estimation if the measurement errors were properly characterized in the error minimization analysis (EMA), which was verified using two real precipitation events. The study demonstrated the potential of using full polarimetric radar measurements to improve rain DSD retrieval.

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Junpeng Wen, Ji Chen, Wenshi Lin, Baolin Jiang, Suishan Xu, and Jing Lan

Abstract

This study investigated heavy frontal rainfall that occurred on 13–14 October 2011 over the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in China. The frontal rainstorm was simulated using the WRF-ARW Model (version 3.3), which included its urban canopy model. Although the model-simulated convection occurred 2 h early and the second precipitation peak was underestimated, the model represented the formation, development, and extinction of the frontal rainfall and captured the distribution of the peak value. In addition, the averaged value of 49.7 W m−2 was taken as the anthropogenic heat flux (AHF) of the PRD, and two land-use datasets were adopted: one for 1992 and the other for 2011. The simulation revealed that AHF and urban land-use change (ULUC) increased the total rainfall over the PRD by 6.3% and 7.4% and increased the maximum hourly rainfall intensity by 24.6% and 21.2%, respectively. Furthermore, to elucidate the mechanism of AHF and ULUC influence, the rainstorm structure, low-level jet (LLJ), and CAPE of the rainfall event were analyzed. It was found that AHF and ULUC enhanced two strong southward LLJs located over the urban areas, which carried abundant water vapor to the PRD and generated additional upper-level CAPE. This not only sustained steady ascent of the air, but it also created conditions favorable for downward motion, resulting in large persistent convective clouds and heavy frontal rainfall.

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