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Botao Zhou, Zunya Wang, Bo Sun, and Xin Hao

Abstract

Analyses of observation data from 1961 to 2014 by using the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) method indicate that the primary mode (a monosign pattern) of heavy snowfall over northern China in winter shows evident variations from a negative polarity to a positive polarity in the mid-1990s. Associated with this decadal change, the southward displacement of the polar front jet stream and northward shift of the subtropical jet stream in the upper troposphere are apparent. Accordingly, a negative height anomaly dominates the region from Lake Balkhash to Lake Baikal and a positive height anomaly occupies the midlatitudes of the North Pacific in the middle troposphere. Such anomalous patterns in the middle and high troposphere correspond approximately to the northern mode of the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and may favor the interaction of cold air with moist airflows over northern China, which helps increase local heavy snowfall. Further investigation shows that the shift in the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) from a cold phase to a warm phase in the 1990s may also play a role, through its linkage to the above atmospheric circulations with the aid of a downstream propagation of wave train that emanates from the Atlantic Ocean.

Open access
Zhaosheng Wang, Mei Huang, Rong Wang, Shaoqiang Wang, Xiaodong Liu, Xiaoning Xie, Zhengjia Liu, He Gong, and Man Hao

Abstract

Vertically integrated atmospheric water vapor (VIWV) over the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) indirectly affects terrestrial vegetation growth (TVG) patterns through atmospheric water vapor transmission. However, their linkages and mechanisms are poorly understood. This study intends to understand the contributions of VIWVIPWP to TVG and the mechanisms by which VIWVIPWP impacts TVG. Combining monthly SST, VIWV, and NDVI data from 1982 to 2015, the linkage between VIWVIPWP and NDVI is investigated during April–June (AMJ). A strong correlation between VIWVIPWP and NDVI suggests that VIWVIPWP is an important factor affecting TVG. A composite analysis of VIWVIPWP anomalies and their relation to NDVI patterns shows that VIWVIPWP positively influences the NDVI of 68.1% of global green land during high-VIWVIPWP years but negatively influences 74.7% in low years. Corresponding to these results, during high-VIWVIPWP years, the warm and humid terrestrial climate conditions improved TVG by 9% and 2% in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively, but cold and dry conditions inhibited TVG for both hemispheres during the low years. Additionally, strong spatial correlations between VIWVIPWP and precipitation imply that VIWVIPWP affects the spatial–temporal pattern of precipitation. There is a stronger interaction between the Pacific north–south ridge and the two land troughs during high-VIWVIPWP years than during low-VIWVIPWP years. The zonally averaged wind at 850 hPa and VIWV results indicate that, during high-VIWVIPWP years, the enhanced wind from the ocean brings more atmospheric water vapor to land, increasing the probability of precipitation and resulting in moist climate conditions that promote AMJ vegetation growth. In brief, VIWVIPWP indirectly induces vegetation growth by affecting the distributions of terrestrial VIWV and precipitation.

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Lan Cuo, Yongxin Zhang, Qingchun Wang, Leilei Zhang, Bingrong Zhou, Zhenchun Hao, and Fengge Su

Abstract

Gridded daily precipitation, temperature minima and maxima, and wind speed are generated for the northern Tibetan Plateau (NTP) for 1957–2009 using observations from 81 surface stations. Evaluation reveals reasonable quality and suitability of the gridded data for climate and hydrology analysis. The Mann–Kendall trends of various climate elements of the gridded data show that NTP has in general experienced annually increasing temperature and decreasing wind speed but spatially varied precipitation changes. The northwest (northeast) NTP became dryer (wetter), while there were insignificant changes in precipitation in the south. Snowfall has decreased along high mountain ranges during the wet and warm season. Averaged over the entire NTP, snowfall, temperature minima and maxima, and wind speed experienced statistically significant linear trends at rates of −0.52 mm yr−1 (water equivalent), +0.04°C yr−1, +0.03°C yr−1, and −0.01 m s−1 yr−1, respectively. Correlation between precipitation/wind speed and climate indices characterizing large-scale weather systems for four subregions in NTP reveals that changes in precipitation and wind speed in winter can be attributed to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the East Asian westerly jet (WJ), and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (wind speed only). In summer, the changes in precipitation and wind are only weakly related to these indices. It is speculated that in addition to the NAO, AO, ENSO, WJ, and the East and South Asian summer monsoons, local weather systems also play important roles.

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Longhui Li, Yingping Wang, Vivek K. Arora, Derek Eamus, Hao Shi, Jing Li, Lei Cheng, James Cleverly, T. Hajima, Duoying Ji, C. Jones, M. Kawamiya, Weiping Li, J. Tjiputra, A. Wiltshire, Lu Zhang, and Qiang Yu

Abstract

Water and carbon fluxes simulated by 12 Earth system models (ESMs) that participated in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) over several recent decades were evaluated using three functional constraints that are derived from both model simulations, or four global datasets, and 736 site-year measurements. Three functional constraints are ecosystem water-use efficiency (WUE), light-use efficiency (LUE), and the partitioning of precipitation P into evapotranspiration (ET) and runoff based on the Budyko framework. Although values of these three constraints varied significantly with time scale and should be quite conservative if being averaged over multiple decades, the results showed that both WUE and LUE simulated by the ensemble mean of 12 ESMs were generally lower than the site measurements. Simulations by the ESMs were generally consistent with the broad pattern of energy-controlled ET under wet conditions and soil water-controlled ET under dry conditions, as described by the Budyko framework. However, the value of the parameter in the Budyko framework ω, obtained from fitting the Budyko curve to the ensemble model simulation (1.74), was larger than the best-fit value of ω to the observed data (1.28). Globally, the ensemble mean of multiple models, although performing better than any individual model simulations, still underestimated the observed WUE and LUE, and overestimated the ratio of ET to P, as a result of overestimation in ET and underestimation in gross primary production (GPP). The results suggest that future model development should focus on improving the algorithms of the partitioning of precipitation into ecosystem ET and runoff, and the coupling of water and carbon cycles for different land-use types.

Open access