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  • Author or Editor: M. C. Wu x
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M. C. Wu
and
Johnny C. L. Chan

Abstract

The upper-level features associated with the two kinds of winter monsoon surges over south China are studied: the easterly surge (ES) and the northerly surge (NS). The study is similar to that used by Wu and Chan, except that a broader region (0°–60°N, 70°–160°E) is considered.

The outbreak of an NS is associated with a breakdown of the Siberia–Mongolia high. The upper-level features suggest that the evolution of the Siberia–Mongolia high in an NS can be related to an eastward passage of a short-wave trough and the polar jet based on the quasigeostrophic theory. The intensification of the Siberia–Mongolia high appears likely to be caused mainly by the adiabatic cooling due to rising motion associated with the trough and the polar jet passages. After the passage of the trough and the jet, the Siberia–Mongolia high breaks down in response to the sinking motion upstream of the trough, causing a surge of the northerly winds over the south China coast.

For the ES, the passage of an upper ridge is observed. The zonal index increases in an ES but the subtropical jet weakens. The high pressure center responsible for the ES (the Dahingganling high) is found to be a split cell from the Siberia–Mongolia high, and the splitting is related to the ridge passage. A temperature inversion is only observed when the high is not far from the parent high (i.e., Siberia–Mongolia high). Unlike the NS, an ES is found not to be associated with a strong north–south thermal contrast. Significant differences are observed when comparing the features of the ES and NS. On the whole, the results from this study and those from Wu and Chan suggest that on the synoptic scale a clear distinction exists between the ES and NS on the synoptic scale both at upper levels and the surface.

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M. C. Wu
and
Johnny C. L. Chan

Abstract

The surface features associated with two kinds of winter monsoon surges over south China are studied: the easterly surge (ES) and the northerly surge (NS). Surface meteorological parameters over the region 15°–50°N, 90°–130°E for the surges that occurred in the three winters (October–March) from 1988 to 1991 are analyzed. For the northerly surge, the surface features found are 1) an abrupt temperature drop and wind direction turning from easterly to northerly, which can be related to the passage of a cold front; 2) an increase in the dewpoint depression; and 3) a large north–south pressure gradient. On the other hand, the easterly surge is found to be associated with strong easterly winds up to approximately 40 km h−1, little temperature or pressure change, and a southeastward motion of a high pressure center from Dahinggangling to the Yellow Sea together with a sharp pressure ridge along the east China coast. Furthermore, an ES and an NS are associated with different perturbations (anomalies) in pressure, wind, temperature, and dewpoint depression when compared with the wintertime normal condition. The results suggest a clear distinction between the two surges on the synoptic scale.

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H. M. Nepf
,
C. H. Wu
, and
E. S. Chan

Abstract

The influence of directionality on wave-packet evolution and in particular on the onset of breaking was explored through laboratory experiment. Lateral tapering was applied to the input signal to produce a range of crest lengths, with greater directionality created by diffraction for the shorter crests. The wave shape, local and global wave steepness, and surface displacement spectra were used to characterize the wave fields. The observations suggest that directionality can accelerate or suppress the onset of breaking, and additionally can influence both the local wave steepness at breaking as well as the breaking severity. Directionality, however, did not alter the observed up-frequency energy transfer associated with wave focusing. When no breaking occurred this energy shift was completely reversed. With breaking the shifted energy was lost, that is, passed from the wave to the turbulent energy field. The short-crested wave packet lost 16% of its energy as a result of breaking, while a comparable two-dimensional breaker lost 22%.

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K. M. Lau
,
H. T. Wu
,
Y. C. Sud
, and
G. K. Walker

Abstract

The sensitivity of tropical atmospheric hydrologic processes to cloud microphysics is investigated using the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) general circulation model (GCM). Results show that a faster autoconversion rate leads to (a) enhanced deep convection in the climatological convective zones anchored to tropical land regions; (b) more warm rain, but less cloud over oceanic regions; and (c) an increased convective-to-stratiform rain ratio over the entire Tropics. Fewer clouds enhance longwave cooling and reduce shortwave heating in the upper troposphere, while more warm rain produces more condensation heating in the lower troposphere. This vertical differential heating destabilizes the tropical atmosphere, producing a positive feedback resulting in more rain and an enhanced atmospheric water cycle over the Tropics. The feedback is maintained via secondary circulations between convective tower and anvil regions (cold rain), and adjacent middle-to-low cloud (warm rain) regions. The lower cell is capped by horizontal divergence and maximum cloud detrainment near the freezing–melting (0°C) level, with rising motion (relative to the vertical mean) in the warm rain region connected to sinking motion in the cold rain region. The upper cell is found above the 0°C level, with induced subsidence in the warm rain and dry regions, coupled to forced ascent in the deep convection region.

It is that warm rain plays an important role in regulating the time scales of convective cycles, and in altering the tropical large-scale circulation through radiative–dynamic interactions. Reduced cloud–radiation feedback due to a faster autoconversion rate results in intermittent but more energetic eastward propagating Madden–Julian oscillations (MJOs). Conversely, a slower autoconversion rate, with increased cloud radiation produces MJOs with more realistic westward-propagating transients embedded in eastward-propagating supercloud clusters. The implications of the present results on climate change and water cycle dynamics research are discussed.

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J. A. Maslanik
,
A. H. Lynch
,
M. C. Serreze
, and
W. Wu

Abstract

Simulations of Arctic climate require treatment of land, ocean, ice, and atmospheric processes, and are further complicated by the dynamic nature of the sea ice cover. Here, the ability of a climate system model to simulate conditions over the Arctic Ocean during April–September 1990, a period of anomalous atmospheric circulation and sea ice conditions, is investigated. Differences between observations and model results are used to gain insight into the mechanisms that contributed to the observed record reduction in ice extent in late summer. The coupled model reproduces the general patterns seen in comparison sea level pressure fields in most months, but the discrepancies significantly affect the model’s ability to simulate details of sea ice transport and warm air advection linked to the unusual ice conditions. The use of prescribed sea ice fraction in the climate model yields relatively small changes in the surface energy balance compared to the fully-coupled simulation with dynamic ice cover, but significantly affects atmospheric circulation in spring and late summer. Analyses of observations, coupled model experiments, and stand-alone ice model output suggest a positive feedback between ice dynamics and ice melt that contributed to the ice extent anomaly. The results highlight the importance of regional atmospheric circulation in driving interannual variations in Arctic ice extent, and illustrate the level of model performance needed to simulate such variations.

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X. Meng
,
M. Deng
,
J. Talib
,
C. M. Taylor
,
P. Wu
,
S. Lyu
,
H. Chen
,
Z. Li
, and
L. Zhao

Abstract

Previous studies show that some soil moisture products have a good agreement with in situ measurements on the Tibetan Plateau (TP). However, the soil moisture response to precipitation variability in different products is yet to be assessed. In this study, we focus on the soil moisture response to precipitation variability across weekly to decadal time scales in satellite observations and reanalyses. The response of soil moisture to precipitation variability differs between products, with large uncertainties observed for variations in weekly accumulated precipitation. Using June 2009 as an example, weekly mean anomalous soil moisture varies by up to 25% between products. Across decadal time scales, soil moisture trends vary spatially and across different products. In light of the soil moisture response to precipitation at different time scales, we conclude that remote sensing products developed as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Water Cycle Multimission Observation Strategy and Soil Moisture Climate Change Initiative (CCI) projects are the most reliable, followed by the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) dataset. Even products that strongly agree with in situ observations on daily time scales, such as the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS), show inconsistent soil moisture responses to decadal precipitation trends. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECWMF) reanalysis products have a relatively poor agreement with in situ observations compared to satellite observations and land-only reanalysis datasets. Unsurprisingly, products which show a consistent soil moisture response to precipitation variability are those mostly aligned to observations or describe the physical relationship between soil moisture and precipitation well.

Significance Statement

We focus on soil moisture responses to precipitation across weekly to decadal time scales by using multiple satellite observations and reanalysis products. Several soil moisture products illustrate good consistency with in situ measurements in different biomes on the Tibetan Plateau, while the response to precipitation variability differs between products, with large uncertainties observed for variations in weekly accumulated precipitation. The response of soil moisture to decadal trends in boreal summer precipitation varies spatially and temporally across products. Based on the assessments of the soil moisture response to precipitation variability across different time scales, we conclude that remote sensing products developed as part of the European Space Agency’s Water Cycle Multimission Observation Strategy and Soil Moisture Climate Change Initiative (CCI) projects are the most reliable, followed by the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) dataset. Reanalysis products from ECWMF show inconsistent soil moisture responses to precipitation. The results highlight the importance of using multiple soil moisture products to understand the surface response to precipitation variability and to inform developments in soil moisture modeling and satellite retrievals.

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Bruce A. Wielicki
,
J.T. Suttles
,
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Ronald M. Welch
,
James D. Spinhirne
,
Man-Li C. Wu
,
David O'C. Starr
,
Lindsay Parker
, and
Robert F. Arduini

Abstract

Observations of cirrus and altocumulus clouds during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Regional Experiment (FIRE) are compared to theoretical models of cloud radiative properties. Three tests are performed. First, Landsat radiances are used to compare the relationship between nadir reflectance at 0.83 μm and beam emittance at 11.5 μm with that predicted by model calculations using spherical and nonspherical phase functions. Good agreement is found between observations and theory when water droplets dominate. Poor agreement is found when ice particles dominate, especially if scattering phase functions for spherical particles am used. Even when compared to a laboratory measured ice particle phase function (Volkovitskiy et al. 1980), the observations show increased side scattered radiation relative to the theoretical calculations. Second, the anisotropy of conservatively scattered radiation is examined using simultaneous multiple-angle views of the cirrus from Landsat and ER-2 aircraft radiometers. Observed anisotropy gives good agreement with theoretical calculations using the laboratory measured ice-particle phase function and poor agreement with a spherical-particle phase function. Third, Landsat radiances at 0.83 μm, 1.65 μm, and 2.21 μm are used to infer particle phase and particle size. For water droplets, good agreement is found with King Air FSSP particle probe measurements in the cloud. For ice particles, the Landsat radiance observations predict an effective radius of 60 μm versus aircraft observations of about 200 μm. It is suggested that this discrepancy may be explained by uncertainty in the imaginary index of ice and by inadequate measurements of small ice particles by microphysical probes.

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A. D. McGuire
,
J. E. Walsh
,
J. S. Kimball
,
J. S. Clein
,
S. E. Euskirchen
,
S. Drobot
,
U. C. Herzfeld
,
J. Maslanik
,
R. B. Lammers
,
M. A. Rawlins
,
C. J. Vorosmarty
,
T. S. Rupp
,
W. Wu
, and
M. Calef

Abstract

The primary goal of the Western Arctic Linkage Experiment (WALE) was to better understand uncertainties of simulated hydrologic and ecosystem dynamics of the western Arctic in the context of 1) uncertainties in the data available to drive the models and 2) different approaches to simulating regional hydrology and ecosystem dynamics. Analyses of datasets on climate available for driving hydrologic and ecosystem models within the western Arctic during the late twentieth century indicate that there are substantial differences among the mean states of datasets for temperature, precipitation, vapor pressure, and radiation variables. Among the studies that examined temporal trends among the alternative climate datasets, there is not much consensus on trends among the datasets. In contrast, monthly and interannual variations of some variables showed some correlation across the datasets. The application of hydrology models driven by alternative climate drivers revealed that the simulation of regional hydrology was sensitive to precipitation and water vapor differences among the driving datasets and that accurate simulation of regional water balance is limited by biases in the forcing data. Satellite-based analyses for the region indicate that vegetation productivity of the region increased during the last two decades of the twentieth century because of earlier spring thaw, and the temporal variability of vegetation productivity simulated by different models from 1980 to 2000 was generally consistent with estimates based on the satellite record for applications driven with alternative climate datasets. However, the magnitude of the fluxes differed by as much as a factor of 2.5 among applications driven with different climate data, and spatial patterns of temporal trends in carbon dynamics were quite different among simulations. Finally, the study identified that the simulation of fire by ecosystem models is particularly sensitive to alternative climate datasets, with little or no fire simulated for some datasets. The results of WALE identify the importance of conducting retrospective analyses prior to coupling hydrology and ecosystem models with climate system models. For applications of hydrology and ecosystem models driven by projections of future climate, the authors recommend a coupling strategy in which future changes from climate model simulations are superimposed on the present mean climate of the most reliable datasets of historical climate.

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K.-M. Lau
,
V. Ramanathan
,
G.-X. Wu
,
Z. Li
,
S. C. Tsay
,
C. Hsu
,
R. Sikka
,
B. Holben
,
D. Lu
,
G. Tartari
,
M. Chin
,
P. Koudelova
,
H. Chen
,
Y. Ma
,
J. Huang
,
K. Taniguchi
, and
R. Zhang

Aerosol- and moonsoon-related droughts and floods are two of the most serious environmental hazards confronting more than 60% of the population of the world living in the Asian monsoon countries. In recent years, thanks to improved satellite and in situ observations, and better models, great strides have been made in aerosol and monsoon research, respectively. There is now a growing body of evidence suggesting that interaction of aerosol forcing with monsoon dynamics may alter the redistribution of energy in the atmosphere and at the Earth s surface, thereby influencing monsoon water cycle and climate. In this article, the authors describe the scientific rationale and challenges for an integrated approach to study the interactions between aerosol and monsoon water cycle dynamics. A Joint Aerosol-Monsoon Experiment (JAMEX) is proposed for 2007–11, with enhanced observations of the physical and chemical properties, sources and sinks, and long-range transport of aerosols, in conjunction with meteorological and oceanographic observations in the Indo-Pacific continental and oceanic regions. JAMEX will leverage on coordination among many ongoing and planned national research programs on aerosols and monsoons in China, India, Japan, Nepal, Italy, and the United States, as well as international research programs of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

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Sonia Lasher-Trapp
,
David C. Leon
,
Paul J. DeMott
,
Cecille M. Villanueva-Birriel
,
Alexandria V. Johnson
,
Daniel H. Moser
,
Colin S. Tully
, and
Wei Wu

Abstract

Three flights from the Ice in Clouds Experiment–Tropical (ICE-T) field campaign examined the onset of ice near the ascending cloud tops of tropical maritime cumuli as they cooled from 0° to −14°C. Careful quantitative analysis of ice number concentrations included manual scrutiny of particle images and corrections for possible particle-shattering artifacts. The novel use of the Wyoming Cloud Radar documented the stage of cloud development and tops relative to the aircraft sampling, complemented the manual estimates of graupel concentrations, and provided new clear evidence of graupel movement through the rime-splintering zone. Measurements of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) provided an estimate of primary initiated ice.

The data portray a dynamically complex picture of hydrometeor transport contributing to, and likely resulting from, the rime-splintering process. Hundreds per liter of supercooled raindrops ascended within the updrafts as the cloud tops reached 0°C and contributed in part to the 0.1 L−1 graupel detected soon after the cloud tops cooled to −5°C. Rime splintering could thus be initiated upon first ascent of the cloud top through that zone and arguably contributed to the 1 L−1 or more graupel observed above it. Graupel ascending/descending into, or balanced within, the rime-splintering zone were found. In wider, less isolated clouds with dying updrafts and tops near −14°C, ice particle concentrations sometimes reached 100 L−1. Future 3D numerical modeling will be required to evaluate if rime splintering alone can explain the difference of three to four orders of magnitude in the observed INPs and the graupel observed at −5°C and colder.

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