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Bin Wang

Abstract

In the tropical eastern central Pacific Ocean, the annual cycle in sea surface temperature (SST), surface winds and pressure, and clouds are alternatively dominated by an antisymmetric (with respect to the equator) monsoonal mode in February and August and a quasi-symmetric equatorial-coastal mode in May and November, both having a period of one year. The monsoonal mode is forced by the differential insulation between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The surface wind variation of the monsoonal mode tends to lead SST variation in late spring/fall. The equatorial-coastal mode originates from atmosphere–ocean interaction. Its development is characterized by contemporaneous intensification and spatial expansion (westward and poleward phase propagation).

The interaction between the forced monsoonal mode and the coupled equatorial-coastal mode plays a critical role in the annual cycle. From October to February, the decline of the southern winter regime of the monsoonal mode initiates and sustains the amplification of the equatorial-coastal mode, causing annual weakening of the cold tongue. From April to June, the enhancement of the poleward SST gradient associated with the decay of the equatorial-coastal mode initiates the eastern North Pacific summer monsoon. Atmosphere-ocean interaction is directly responsible for the annual weakening and reestablishment of the cold tongue, whereas the annual cycle in insulation regulates the interaction indirectly through the forced monsoonal mode.

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Bin Wang

Abstract

Annual distribution and phase propagation of tropical convection are delineated using harmonic and amplitude-phase characteristics analysis of climatological pentad mean outgoing longwave radiation and monthly frequencies of highly reflective cloud.

An annual eastward propagation of peak rainy season along the equator from the central Indian Ocean (60°E) to Arafura Sea (130°E) is revealed. This indicates a transition from the withdrawal of the Indian summer monsoon to the onset of the Australian summer monsoon. Significant bimodal variations are found around major summer monsoon regions. These variations originate from the interference of two adjacent regimes.

The convergence zones over the eastern North Pacific, the South Pacific, and the southwest Indian Ocean are identified as a marine monsoon regime that is characterized by a unimodal variation with a concentrated summer rainfall associated with the development of surface westerlies equatorward of a monsoon trough. Conversely, the central North Pacific and North Atlantic convergence zones between persistent northeast and southeast trades are classified as trade-wind convergence zones, which differ from the marine monsoon regime by their persistent rainy season and characteristic bimodal variation with peak rainy seasons occurring in late spring and fall.

The roles of the annual march of sea surface temperature in the phase propagation and formation of various climatic regimes of tropical convection are also discussed.

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Bin Wang

Abstract

The characteristics of the onset of the Pacific basin-wide warming have experienced notable changes since the late 1970s. The changes are caused by a concurrent change in the background state on which El Niño evolves.

For the most significant warm episodes before the late 1970s (1957, 1965, and 1972), the atmospheric anomalies in the onset phase (November to December of the year preceding the El Niño) were characterized by a giant anomalous cyclone over east Australia whose eastward movement brought anomalous westerlies into the western equatorial Pacific, causing development of the basin-wide warming. Meanwhile, the trades in the southeastern Pacific (20°S–0°, 125°–95°W) relaxed back to their weakest stage, resulting in a South American coastal warming, which led the central Pacific warming by about three seasons. Conversely, in the warm episodes after the late 1970s (1982, 1986–87, and 1991), the onset phase was characterized by an anomalous cyclone over the Philippine Sea whose intensification established anomalous westerlies in the western equatorial Pacific. Concurrently, the trades were enhanced in the southeastern Pacific, so that the coastal warming off Ecuador occurred after the central Pacific warming.

It is found that the atmospheric anomalies occurring in the onset phase are controlled by background SSTs that exhibit a significant secular variation. In the late 1970s, the tropical Pacific between 20°S and 20°N experienced an abrupt interdecadal warming, concurrent with a cooling in the extratropical North Pacific and South Pacific and a deepening of the Aleutian Low. The interdecadal change of the background state affected El Niño onset by altering the formation of the onset cyclone and equatorial westerly anomalies and through changing the trades in the southeast Pacific, which determine whether a South American coastal warming leads or follows the warming at the central equatorial Pacific.

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Bin Wang and Yan Wang

Abstract

Wavelet transforms (WLT) and waveform transforms (WFT) are effective tools that reveal temporal structure of nonstationary time series. The authors discuss principles and practical aspects of their geophysical applications. The WLT can display variance as a continuous function of time and frequency, but the frequency (time) locality reduces at the high (low) frequency bands. The WFT, on the other hand, provides a sharp view of the locality in both time and frequency, but presents variance by discrete base functions. The two techniques are complementary. The authors use both Morlet WLT and Gabor WFT to analyze temporal structure of the Southern Oscillation (50).

The principal period of the SO has experienced two rapid changes since 1872, one in the early 1910s and the other in the mid-1960s. The dominant period was 3–4 years in the earliest four decades (1872–1910), 5–7 years in the ensuing five decades (1911–1960. except the 1920s), and about 5 years in the last two decades (1970–1992). Ale SO also exhibits noticeable amplitude changes. It was most energetic during two periods. 1872–1892 and 1970–1992, but powerless during the 1920s, 1930s. and 1960s. The powerless period is dominated by quasi-biennial oscillation. Excessively strong cold phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle enhance annual variation of SST in the Equatorial eastern and central Pacific. The enhancement, however, appears to be modulated by an interdecadal variation.

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Bin Wang and Yuqing Wang

Abstract

A coupled atmosphere–ocean–coastline model driven by solar radiation is advanced to understand the essential physics determining the annual cycle of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)–equatorial cold tongue (ECT) complex and associated latitudinal climate asymmetry. With a thermocline depth similar to that of the western Pacific, the aquaplanet climate is latitudinal symmetric and stable. The presence of an oceanic eastern boundary supports an east–west asymmetric climate and an ECT due to unstable air–sea interaction and counter stabilization provided by zonal differential surface buoyancy flux. Formation of latitudinal climate asymmetry requires the presence of the ECT.

The antisymmetric solar forcing due to annual variation of the solar declination angle can convert a stable latitudinal symmetric climate into a bistable-state latitudinal asymmetric climate by changing trade winds, which in turn control annual variations of the ECT. The ECT then interacts with ITCZ, providing a self-maintenance mechanism for ITCZ to linger in one hemisphere, either the northern or southern, depending on initial conditions. The establishment of the bistable-state asymmetry requires a delicate balance between counter effects of the antisymmetric solar forcing and self-maintenance. Two factors are critical for the latter: (i) The annual variation of ECT follows the SST of the ITCZ-free hemisphere and the meridional SST gradients between the ECT and ITCZ sustain moisture convergence, which prolongs residence of the ITCZ in summer hemisphere. (ii) The latent heat released in the ITCZ produces remarkable asymmetry in Hadley circulation and trades between the two hemispheres, and the stronger evaporation cooling in the ITCZ-free hemisphere delays and weakens the warming and convection development in that hemisphere.

The annual cycle of insolation due to the earth–sun distance variation may convert the bistable-state asymmetry into a preferred latitudinal asymmetric climate. The earth’s present orbit (with a minimum distance in December solstices) favors ITCZ staying north of the equator by compelling the ECT into a delayed in-phase variation with the Southern Hemisphere SST. With annual-mean solar forcing a tilted eastern boundary can support a weak preferred latitudinal asymmetry. Inclusion of the annual variation of insolation can dramatically amplify the asymmetry in the mean climate through the self-maintenance mechanism.

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Hisayuki Kubota and Bin Wang

Abstract

The authors investigate the effects of tropical cyclones (TCs) on seasonal and interannual rainfall variability over the western North Pacific (WNP) by using rainfall data at 22 stations. The TC-induced rainfall at each station is estimated by using station data when a TC is located within the influential radius (1000 km) from the station. The spatial–temporal variability of the proportion of TC rainfall is examined primarily along the east–west island chain near 10°N (between 7° and 13°N) and the north–south island chain near 125°E (between 120° and 130°E).

Along 10°N the seasonality of total rainfall is mainly determined by non-TC rainfall that is influenced by the WNP monsoon trough. The proportion of the TC rain is relatively low. During the high TC season from July to December, TC rainfall accounts for 30% of the total rainfall in Guam, 15%–23% in Koror and Yap, and less than 10% at other stations. In contrast, along 125°E where the WNP subtropical high is located, the TC rainfall accounts for 50%–60% of the total rainfall between 18° and 26°N during the peak TC season from July to October. In Hualien of Taiwan, TC rainfall exceeds 60% of the total rainfall.

The interannual variability of the TC rainfall and total rainfall is primarily modulated by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Along 10°N, the ratio of TC rainfall versus total rainfall is higher than the climatology during developing and mature phases of El Niño (from March to the following January), whereas the ratio is below the climatology during the decaying phase of El Niño. The opposite is true for La Niña, except that the impact of La Niña is shorter in duration. Furthermore, in summer of El Niño developing years, the total seasonal rainfall increases primarily because of the increase of TC rainfall. In the ensuing autumn, an anticyclonic anomaly develops over the Philippine Sea and TC rainfall shifts eastward; as a result, the total rainfall over the Philippines and Taiwan decreases. The total rainfall to the east of 140°E, however, changes little, because the westward passage of TCs enhances TC rainfall, which offsets the decrease of non-TC rainfall. Along the meridional island chain between 120° and 130°E, the total rainfall anomaly is affected by ENSO starting from the autumn to the following spring, and the variation in TC rainfall dominates the total rainfall variation only in autumn (August–November) of ENSO years.

The results from this study suggest that in the tropical WNP and subtropical East Asian monsoon regions (east of 120°E), the seasonal and interannual variations of rainfall are controlled by changes in nonlocal circulations. These changes outside the monsoon domain may substantially affect summer monsoon rainfall by changing TC genesis and tracks.

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Bin Wang and Yoshiyuki Kajikawa
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GARY GRUNSEICH and BIN WANG

Abstract

Prediction of the arctic annual sea ice minimum extent and melting patterns draws interest from numerous industries and government agencies but has been an ongoing challenge for forecasters and climate scientists using statistical and dynamical models. Using the dominant independent modes of interannual sea ice concentration (SIC) variability during September–October, a new approach combining statistical analysis with physically derived links to natural climate variability sources is used to predict each mode and the total anomaly pattern. Sea ice patterns associated with each mode are predominantly shaped by the wind-driven advective convergence, forced by circulation anomalies associated with local and remote forms of naturally occurring climate variability. The impacts of the Arctic Oscillation, beginning from the preceding winter, control the leading mode of SIC variability during the annual minimum. In the three final months of the melting period, the broad impacts of the Indian and East Asian summer monsoons produce unique SIC impacts along the arctic periphery, displayed as the second and third modes, respectively. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) largely shapes the fourth SIC mode patterns through influencing variability early in the melting period. Using physically meaningful and statistically significant predictors, physical–empirical (P–E) models are developed for each SIC mode. Some predictors directly account for the circulation patterns driving anomalous sea ice, while the monsoon-related predictors convey early season sources of monsoonal variability, which subsequently influences the Arctic. The combined SIC predictions of the P–E models exhibit great skill in matching the observed magnitude and temporal variability along the arctic margins during the annual minimum.

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Gary Grunseich and Bin Wang

Abstract

The fluctuation of Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) has been associated with changes in ocean circulation, ecology, and Northern Hemisphere climate. Prediction of sea ice melting patterns is of great societal interest, but such prediction remains difficult because the factors controlling year-to-year sea ice variability remain unresolved. Distinct monsoon–Arctic teleconnections modulate summer Arctic SIC largely by changing wind-forced sea ice transport. East Asian monsoon rainfall produces a northward-propagating meridional Rossby wave train extending into the Siberian Arctic. The Indian summer monsoon excites an eastward-propagating circumglobal teleconnection along the subtropical jet, reaching the North Atlantic before bifurcating into the Arctic. The remote Asian monsoon variations induce a dominant dipole sea ice melt pattern in which the North Atlantic–European Arctic contrasts with the Siberian–North American Arctic. The monsoon-related sea ice variations are complementary and comparable in magnitude to locally forced Arctic Oscillation variability. The monsoon–Arctic link will improve seasonal prediction of summer Arctic sea ice and possibly explain long-term sea ice trends associated with the projected increase in Asian monsoon rainfall over the next century.

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Guosen Chen and Bin Wang

Abstract

The skeleton model is one of the theoretical models for understanding the essence of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). The heating parameterization scheme in the skeleton model assumes that precipitation tendency is in phase and proportional to the low-level moisture anomaly. The authors show that the observed MJO precipitation tendency is not in phase with the low-level moisture anomaly. The consequence of the wave activity envelope (WAE) scheme is reexamined by using a general MJO theoretical framework in which trio-interaction among convective heating, moisture, and wave–boundary layer (BL) dynamics are included and various simplified convective schemes can be accommodated. Without the BL dynamics, the general model framework can be reduced to the original skeleton model. The authors show that the original skeleton model yields a neutral mode that exhibits a “quadrupole” horizontal structure and a quadrature relationship between precipitation and low-level moisture; both are inconsistent with observations. With the BL dynamics and damping included, the model can produce a growing mode with improved horizontal structure and precipitation–moisture relationship, but deficiencies remain because of the WAE scheme. The authors further demonstrate that the general model with the simplified Betts–Miller scheme and BL dynamics can produce a realistic horizontal structure (coupled Kelvin–Rossby wave structure) and precipitation–moisture relationship (i.e., the BL moisture convergence leads precipitation, and column-integrated moisture coincides with precipitation).

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