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Hong Wang
,
Fubao Sun
, and
Wenbin Liu

Abstract

Precipitation extremes are expected to increase by 7% per degree of warming according to the Clausius–Clapeyron (CC) relation. However, this scaling behavior is inappropriate for high temperatures and short-duration precipitation extremes. Here, daily data from 702 stations during 1951–2014 and hourly data from 8 stations during 2000–15 are used to examine and explain this behavior in China. Both daily and hourly precipitation extremes exhibit an increase in temperature dependency at lower temperatures. The CC scaling transitions from positive to negative rates with temperatures greater than 25°C. Unlike the increase in daily data, which is similar to single-CC (1CC) scaling, the increase in hourly data resembles super-CC (2CC) scaling for temperatures greater than 13°C. Results show that the precipitation extremes are controlled by water vapor for a given temperature. At lower temperatures, precipitation extremes exhibit a positive linear dependence on daily actual vapor pressure whose value is almost equal to the saturated vapor pressure at a given temperature. At higher temperatures, actual vapor pressure has difficulty maintaining a consistent increasing rate because of the exponential increasing of the saturated vapor pressure. Higher temperatures result in larger vapor pressure deficits, which lead to sharp decreases in precipitation extremes. Similar scaling behaviors are obtained in 10 river basins over China, where the breaking point temperature increases from 17°C along the northwest inland area to 25°C along the southeast coast. These behaviors demonstrate that precipitation extremes are firmly linked to temperature when there is sufficient moisture at lower temperatures and limited by insufficient moisture at higher temperatures. Overall, precipitation extreme events require more attention in a warming climate.

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Run Wang
and
Hong-Li Ren

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events exhibit a diversity of amplitudes, spatial patterns, and life cycles, with the main ENSO periods concentrated in the 3–7-yr [low-frequency (LF)] and 2–3-yr [quasi-biennial (QB)] bands. In this study, the spatiotemporal diversity of ENSO is quantitatively examined by extracting the two ENSO modes, namely, the LF and QB components of ENSO, from the traditional Niño-3.4 index and connecting them with the spatial types of ENSO. El Niño events can be regrouped as the QB-dominated central-Pacific ENSO-like (QB-CP), LF-dominated eastern-Pacific ENSO-like (LF-EP), and LF-dominated mixing (LF-mixing) types. La Niña events with vague spatial patterns can also have the same categorization. The QB-CP and LF-EP El Niño types both have a high-amplitude QB component. Meanwhile, the former is less affected by its powerless LF component, but the latter is controlled by its strong LF component. Ocean dynamics of the two El Niño types are distinct from each other. The thermocline feedback dominates the growth of the two El Niño types and contributes to the phase transition of the LF-EP type, while the zonal advective feedback is of increasing importance in the QB-CP El Niño and mainly contributes to the phase transitions of the two El Niño types. Additionally, the LF-mixing type with ambiguous spatial features and complex life cycles is distinguished from the other two types. These results indicate that the two ENSO modes coexist in the tropical Pacific air–sea system, and their combination with changing amplitude is the key to explaining the spatiotemporal diversity of ENSO.

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Haixu Hong
,
Jianqi Sun
, and
Huijun Wang

Abstract

In this study, interannual and interdecadal variations in the extreme high-temperature event (EHE) frequency over northern Asia (NA) and the associated possible mechanisms are explored. On an interannual time scale, the first two empirical orthogonal function modes of the NA EHE frequency exhibit a meridional dipole pattern (EOF1) and diagonal tripolar pattern (EOF2), respectively. The higher NA EHE frequency is related to anomalous local highs, reduced mid- to low clouds, and more solar radiation. The warmer ground further heats the overlying atmosphere through longwave radiation and sensible heat. The warm temperature advection in the lower troposphere and the drier soil conditions also favor higher EHE frequency. Further analysis reveals that the EOF1 mode is related to the Polar–Eurasian teleconnection pattern (POL), while the EOF2 mode is associated with North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Pacific–Japan/East Asia–Pacific pattern (PJ/EAP). The fitted EHE frequency based on the atmospheric factors (POL, NAO, and PJ/EAP) can explain the interannual variation in the regionally averaged EHE frequency by 33.8%. Furthermore, three anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) patterns over the North Atlantic–Mediterranean Sea region and around the Maritime Continent are associated with the two EHE modes by intensifying the pronounced atmospheric teleconnections. Analysis on the simulation of five models in the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project experiment further confirms the impact of the pronounced SST patterns on the POL, NAO and PJ/EAP. In addition, NA EHE frequency experienced a significant interdecadal increase around the mid-1990s, which could be associated with the phase shift of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and long-term global warming trend.

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Xi Wang
,
Riyu Lu
, and
Xiaowei Hong

Abstract

This study identified that the Silk Road pattern (SRP), which is a teleconnection pattern along the Asian upper-tropospheric westerly jet, becomes significantly weakened in August after the mid-1990s. The SRP in August dominates the upper-tropospheric meridional wind variability over the Eurasian continent before the mid-1990s but does not afterward. Further results suggested that the summer North Atlantic Oscillation (SNAO) and the South Asian rainfall play a role in inducing this decadal weakening of SRP. Before the mid-1990s, the SNAO is stronger and its southern pole is located over northwestern Europe but is weakened and its southern pole shifts southwestward afterward, resulting in the decadal weakening of its contribution to the SRP. In addition, the relationship between the SRP and South Asian rainfall is substantially weakened after the mid-1990s, which also contributes to the weakening of SRP.

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Haixu Hong
,
Jianqi Sun
, and
Huijun Wang

Abstract

In this study, the synoptic atmospheric patterns responsible for regional extreme high-temperature events (REHEs) over northern Asia (NA) are investigated. First, a hybrid regionalization approach is applied to the daily maximum temperature (Tmax), and three subregions of NA can be identified: western NA, central NA, and southeastern NA. To better understand the mechanism for the NA REHE formation, the REHE-related synoptic circulation patterns over each subregion are further categorized into two types. These six synoptic circulation patterns influence the NA REHE occurrence through different radiation and advection processes. Generally, the radiation process dominates the NA REHE occurrence, while the horizontal temperature advection plays a more important role in the synoptic dipole patterns than in the monopole high patterns. The heatwaves associated with the six synoptic patterns can last more than 3.8 days, with a maximum of 2 weeks. From the forecasting perspective, six wave trains are explored as the precursors of these six synoptic circulation patterns, separately. The wave trains originate from the North Atlantic Ocean and Europe with at least a 3-day lead and then propagate eastward to NA, exerting influences on the pronounced six synoptic circulation patterns and consequently affecting the NA REHEs. In terms of long-term change, the REHEs over the three subregions show significant increasing trends over 1960–2018 and significant interdecadal increases around the mid-1990s, in which the contribution of each synoptic pattern–related REHE is different.

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Xu Yue
,
Huijun Wang
,
Hong Liao
, and
Dabang Jiang

Abstract

The climatic responses to the direct radiative effect of dust aerosol at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) are examined using a general circulation model with online simulation of dust. The predicted global dust emission at the LGM is 2.3 times as large as the present-day value, which is the combined effect of the expansion of dust sources and the favorable meteorological parameters (MPs; e.g., the strong surface wind and the low air humidity) under the LGM climate. Simulated global dust emission is 1966 Tg yr−1 with present-day dust sources and MPs, 2820 Tg yr−1 with LGM dust sources and current MPs, 2599 Tg yr−1 with present-day dust sources and LGM MPs, and 4579 Tg yr−1 with LGM sources and MPs. The simulated percentage increases of dust concentrations are the largest at high latitudes in both hemispheres, which are consistent with the deposition data from geological records. The LGM dust is estimated to exert global annual-mean shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiative forcing (RF) of −4.69 and +1.70 W m−2 at the surface, respectively, and −0.58 and +0.68 W m−2 at the top of the atmosphere, respectively. On a global- and annual-mean basis, surface air temperature (SAT) is predicted to be reduced by 0.18 K and precipitation is reduced by 0.06 mm day−1, as a result of the net (SW and LW) radiative effect of dust at the LGM. Two sensitivity studies are performed to identify the uncertainties in simulated climatic effect of LGM dust that arise from the assumed LW and/or SW absorption by dust: 1) in the absence of dust LW radiative effect, the LGM global- and annual-mean SAT is predicted to be further reduced by 0.19 K; and 2) when the single scattering albedo of the Saharan dust at 0.55 μm is increased from 0.89 to 0.98 in the LGM climate simulation, the LGM dust-induced annual- and global-mean surface cooling increases from 0.18 to 0.63 K even with both SW and LW radiative effects of dust. In these two sensitivity studies, the LGM dust is predicted to induce an average cooling of 0.42 and 0.72 K in SAT, respectively, over the tropical oceans.

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Yao Feng
,
Hong Wang
,
Wenbin Liu
, and
Fubao Sun

Abstract

Soil moisture (SM) during the vegetation growing season largely affects plant transpiration and photosynthesis, and further alters the land energy and water balance through its impact on the energy partition into latent and sensible heat fluxes. To highlight the impact of strong vegetation activity, we investigate global SM–climate interactions over the peak growing season (PGS) during 1982–2015 based on multisource datasets. Results suggest widespread positive SM–precipitation (P), SM–evapotranspiration (ET), and negative SM–temperature (T) interactions with non-negligible negative SM–P, SM–ET, and positive SM–T interactions over PGS. Relative to the influence of individual climate factors on SM, the compounding effect of climate factors strengthens SM–climate interactions. Simultaneously, variations of SM are dominated by precipitation from 50°N toward the south, by evapotranspiration from 50°N toward the north, and by temperature over the Sahara, western and central Asia, and the Tibetan Plateau. Importantly, the higher probability of concurrent SM wetness and climate extremes indicates the instant response of SM wetness to extreme climate. In contrast, the resistance of vegetation partially contributes to a consequent slower response of SM dryness to extreme climate. We highlight the significance of the compounding effects of climate factors in understanding SM–climate interaction in the context of strong vegetation activity, and the response of SM wetness and dryness to climate extremes.

Free access
Kai Wang
,
Hong Ye
,
Feng Chen
,
Yongzhu Xiong
, and
Cuiping Wang

Abstract

Based on the 1960–2009 meteorological data from 559 stations across China, the urbanization effect on the diurnal temperature range (DTR) was evaluated in this study. Different roles of urbanization were specially detected under solar dimming and solar brightening. During the solar dimming time, both urban and rural stations showed decreasing trends in maximum temperature (T max) because of decreased radiation, suggesting that the dimming effects are not only evident in urban areas but also in rural areas. However, minimum temperature (T min) increased more substantially in urban areas than in rural areas during the dimming period, resulting in a greater decrease in the DTR in the urban areas. When the radiation reversed from dimming to brightening, the change in the DTR became different. The T max increased faster in rural areas, suggesting that the brightening could be much stronger in rural areas than in urban areas. Similar trends of T min between urban and rural areas appeared during the brightening period. The urban DTR continued to show a decreasing trend because of the urbanization effect, while the rural DTR presented an increasing trend. The remarkable DTR difference in the urban and rural areas showed a significant urbanization effect in the solar brightening time.

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Biyin Xie
,
Yang Yang
,
Hailong Wang
,
Pinya Wang
, and
Hong Liao

Abstract

Fire emissions from the Maritime Continent (MC) over the western tropical Pacific are strongly influenced by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), posing various climate effects to the Earth system. In this study, we show that the historical biomass burning emissions of black carbon (BCbb) aerosol in the dry season from the MC are strengthened in El Niño years due to the dry conditions. The eastern Pacific type of El Niño exerts a stronger modulation in BCbb emissions over the MC region than the central Pacific type of El Niño. Based on simulations using the fully coupled Community Earth System Model (CESM), the impacts of increased BCbb emissions on ENSO variability and frequency are also investigated in this study. With BCbb emissions from the MC scaled up by a factor of 10, which enables the identification of climate response from the internal variability, the increased BCbb heats the local atmosphere and changes land–sea thermal contrast, which suppresses the westward transport of the eastern Pacific surface water. It leads to an increase in sea surface temperature in the eastern tropical Pacific, which further enhances ENSO variability and increases the frequency of extreme El Niño and La Niña events. This study highlights the potential role of BCbb emissions on extreme ENSO frequency, and this role may be increasingly important in the warming future with higher wildfire risks.

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Jinqing Zuo
,
Hong-Li Ren
,
Weijing Li
, and
Lei Wang

Abstract

Interdecadal variations in the relationship between the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and surface air temperature in China are investigated using observational and reanalysis data. Focus is on south-central China, in which temperature variability is strongly related to the NAO. It is revealed that the relationship shows clear interdecadal variations in midwinter during 1951–2015. A relatively weak in-phase relationship occurs before the early 1970s (P1), but a significant out-of-phase relationship dominates in the last two decades of the twentieth century (P2), though it is clearly weaker from the late 1990s onward. Observational evidence shows that such interdecadal variations are related mainly to variations in the spatial pattern and amplitude of the NAO. The northern center of the NAO shifted eastward over the second half of the twentieth century. In addition, the amplitude of the center strengthened from P1 to P2, resulting in a perturbation in the atmospheric circulation response pattern over Eurasian mid-to-high latitudes. During P2, the eastward shift and amplitude intensification of the NAO favored a north–south dipole structure in circulation anomalies over the Asian continent, which tended to produce cold temperature anomalies in south-central China during the positive NAO phase and warm anomalies during the negative phase. However, in the past two decades the northern center of the NAO has weakened and retreated westward. This was concurrent with a weakening relationship between the NAO and temperature anomalies in south-central China and northern Eurasia, indicating weaker downstream impacts of the NAO in midwinter.

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