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Marvin A. Geller
,
Peter T. Love
, and
Ling Wang

Abstract

The 1-s-resolution U.S. radiosonde data are analyzed for unstable layers, where the potential temperature decreases with increasing altitude, in the troposphere and lower stratosphere (LS). Care is taken to exclude spurious unstable layers arising from noise in the soundings and also to allow for the destabilizing influence of water vapor in saturated layers. Riverton, Wyoming, and Greensboro, North Carolina, in the extratropics, are analyzed in detail, where it is found that the annual and diurnal variations are largest, and the interannual variations are smallest in the LS. More unstable layer occurrences in the LS at Riverton are found at 0000 UTC, while at Greensboro, more unstable layer occurrences in the LS are at 1200 UTC, consistent with a geographical pattern where greater unstable layer occurrences in the LS are at 0000 UTC in the western United States, while greater unstable layer occurrences are at 1200 UTC in the eastern United States. The picture at Koror, Palau, in the tropics is different in that the diurnal and interannual variations in unstable layer occurrences in the LS are largest, with much smaller annual variations. At Koror, more frequent unstable layer occurrences in the LS occur at 0000 UTC. Also, a “notch” in the frequencies of occurrence of thin unstable layers at about 12 km is observed at Koror, with large frequencies of occurrence of thick layers at that altitude. Histograms are produced for the two midlatitude stations and one tropical station analyzed. The log–log slopes for troposphere histograms are in reasonable agreement with earlier results, but the LS histograms show a steeper log–log slope, consistent with more thin unstable layers and fewer thick unstable layers there. Some radiosonde stations are excluded from this analysis since a marked change in unstable layer occurrences was identified when a change in radiosonde instrumentation occurred.

Full access
Marvin A. Geller
,
Tiehan Zhou
, and
Peter T. Love

Abstract

Recent satellite determinations of global distributions of absolute gravity wave (GW) momentum fluxes in the lower stratosphere show maxima over the summer subtropical continents and little evidence of GW momentum fluxes associated with the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). This seems to be at odds with parameterizations for GW momentum fluxes, where the source is a function of latent heating rates, which are largest in the region of the ITCZ in terms of monthly averages. The authors have examined global distributions of atmospheric latent heating, cloud-top-pressure altitudes, and lower-stratosphere absolute GW momentum fluxes and have found that monthly averages of the lower-stratosphere GW momentum fluxes more closely resemble the monthly mean cloud-top altitudes rather than the monthly mean rates of latent heating. These regions of highest cloud-top altitudes occur when rates of latent heating are largest on the time scale of cloud growth. This, plus previously published studies, suggests that convective sources for stratospheric GW momentum fluxes, being a function of the rate of latent heating, will require either a climate model to correctly model this rate of latent heating or some ad hoc adjustments to account for shortcomings in a climate model’s land–sea differences in convective latent heating.

Full access
Marvin A. Geller
,
M. Joan Alexander
,
Peter T. Love
,
Julio Bacmeister
,
Manfred Ern
,
Albert Hertzog
,
Elisa Manzini
,
Peter Preusse
,
Kaoru Sato
,
Adam A. Scaife
, and
Tiehan Zhou

Abstract

For the first time, a formal comparison is made between gravity wave momentum fluxes in models and those derived from observations. Although gravity waves occur over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, the focus of this paper is on scales that are being parameterized in present climate models, sub-1000-km scales. Only observational methods that permit derivation of gravity wave momentum fluxes over large geographical areas are discussed, and these are from satellite temperature measurements, constant-density long-duration balloons, and high-vertical-resolution radiosonde data. The models discussed include two high-resolution models in which gravity waves are explicitly modeled, Kanto and the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5 (CAM5), and three climate models containing gravity wave parameterizations, MAECHAM5, Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model 3 (HadGEM3), and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) model. Measurements generally show similar flux magnitudes as in models, except that the fluxes derived from satellite measurements fall off more rapidly with height. This is likely due to limitations on the observable range of wavelengths, although other factors may contribute. When one accounts for this more rapid fall off, the geographical distribution of the fluxes from observations and models compare reasonably well, except for certain features that depend on the specification of the nonorographic gravity wave source functions in the climate models. For instance, both the observed fluxes and those in the high-resolution models are very small at summer high latitudes, but this is not the case for some of the climate models. This comparison between gravity wave fluxes from climate models, high-resolution models, and fluxes derived from observations indicates that such efforts offer a promising path toward improving specifications of gravity wave sources in climate models.

Full access
Stephen D. Eckermann
,
Jun Ma
,
Karl W. Hoppel
,
David D. Kuhl
,
Douglas R. Allen
,
James A. Doyle
,
Kevin C. Viner
,
Benjamin C. Ruston
,
Nancy L. Baker
,
Steven D. Swadley
,
Timothy R. Whitcomb
,
Carolyn A. Reynolds
,
Liang Xu
,
N. Kaifler
,
B. Kaifler
,
Iain M. Reid
,
Damian J. Murphy
, and
Peter T. Love

Abstract

A data assimilation system (DAS) is described for global atmospheric reanalysis from 0- to 100-km altitude. We apply it to the 2014 austral winter of the Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE), an international field campaign focused on gravity wave dynamics from 0 to 100 km, where an absence of reanalysis above 60 km inhibits research. Four experiments were performed from April to September 2014 and assessed for reanalysis skill above 50 km. A four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) run specified initial background error covariances statically. A hybrid-4DVAR (HYBRID) run formed background error covariances from an 80-member forecast ensemble blended with a static estimate. Each configuration was run at low and high horizontal resolution. In addition to operational observations below 50 km, each experiment assimilated 105 observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) every 6 h. While all MLT reanalyses show skill relative to independent wind and temperature measurements, HYBRID outperforms 4DVAR. MLT fields at 1-h resolution (6-h analysis and 1–5-h forecasts) outperform 6-h analysis alone due to a migrating semidiurnal (SW2) tide that dominates MLT dynamics and is temporally aliased in 6-h time series. MLT reanalyses reproduce observed SW2 winds and temperatures, including phase structures and 10–15-day amplitude vacillations. The 0–100-km reanalyses reveal quasi-stationary planetary waves splitting the stratopause jet in July over New Zealand, decaying from 50 to 80 km then reintensifying above 80 km, most likely via MLT forcing due to zonal asymmetries in stratospheric gravity wave filtering.

Full access
G. C Johnson
,
R Lumpkin
,
C Atkinson
,
Tiago Biló
,
Tim Boyer
,
Francis Bringas
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Duo Chan
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Leah Chomiak
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Meng Gao
,
Jay Garg
,
John Gilson
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
W. Hobbs
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
W. Johns
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
John M. Lyman
,
Michael J. McPhaden
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Alexey Mishonov
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
Bo Qiu
,
James Reagan
,
Katsunari Sato
,
Claudia Schmid
,
Jonathan D. Sharp
,
David A. Siegel
,
David A. Smeed
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
William Sweet
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Joaquin A. Triñanes
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Caihong Wen
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
J. Willis
,
Ping-Ping Xie
,
Xungang Yin
,
Huai-min Zhang
,
Li Zhang
,
Jessicca Allen
,
Amy V. Camper
,
Bridgette O. Haley
,
Gregory Hammer
,
S. Elizabeth Love-Brotak
,
Laura Ohlmann
,
Lukas Noguchi
,
Deborah B. Riddle
, and
Sara W. Veasey
Open access
Tim Boyer
,
Ellen Bartow-Gillies
,
A. Abida
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Susheel Adusumilli
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Brandon Ahmasuk
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Richard P. Allan
,
Adam Allgood
,
Lincoln. M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
John Anderson
,
B. Andrade
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
C. Atkinson
,
John A. Augustine
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Stacia A. Backensto
,
Stephan Bader
,
Julian Baez
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Alison F. Banwell
,
M. Yu Bardin
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Sandra Barreira
,
Rebecca L. Beadling
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Emily J. Becker
,
E. Bekele
,
Guillem Martín Bellido
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Rasmus Benestad
,
Christine Berne
,
Logan. T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
A. E. Bhuiyan
,
Siiri Bigalke
,
Tiago Biló
,
Peter Bissolli
,
W. Bjerke Jarle
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Eric S. Blake
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Jessica Blunden
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Brian Brettschneider
,
Francis G. Bringas
,
Francis Bringas
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Jayaka Campbell
,
Diego Campos
,
Laura Carrea
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Duo Chan
,
Elise Chandler
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hua Chen
,
Lin Chen
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leah Chomiak
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Leonardo Clarke
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Scott Clingan
,
Caio A.S. Coelho
,
Judah L. Cohen
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Steve Colwell
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Kris Correa
,
Felipe Costa
,
Curt Covey
,
Lawrence Coy
,
Jean-François Créatux
,
Lenka Crhova
,
Theresa Crimmins
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Joshua Culpepper
,
Ana P. Cunha
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Rajashree T. Datta
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Veerle De Bock
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Jos De Laat
,
Bertrand Decharme
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Mesut Demircan
,
Chris Derksen
,
Ricardo Deus
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
Howard J. Diamond
,
S. Dirkse
,
Dmitry Divine
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Caroline Drost Jensen
,
Matthew L. Druckenmiller
,
Paula Drumond
,
Marcel du Plessis
,
Hilary A. Dugan
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
Devon Dunmire
,
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
Mithat Ekici
,
Alesksandra Elias Chereque
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nicole Estrella
,
Nicolas Fauchereau
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Chris Fenimore
,
David Fereday
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Chris Fogarty
,
Ryan L. Fogt
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Natalie M. Freeman
,
Helen A. Fricker
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
(JJ)
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Meng Gao
,
Alex S. Gardner
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Badin Gibbes
,
Sarah T. Gille
,
John Gilson
,
Karin Gleason
,
Nadine Gobron
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Stanley B. Goldenberg
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Steven Goodman
,
Atsushi Goto
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Alexander Gruber
,
Guojun Gu
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
S. Hagos
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Bradley D. Hall
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
Edward Hanna
,
Inger Hanssen-Bauer
,
Daniel S. Harnos
,
Ian Harris
,
Qiong He
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
Sverker Hellström
,
Deborah L. Hemming
,
Stefan Hendricks
,
J. Hicks
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
Martin Hirschi
,
(Ben)
,
W. Hobbs
,
Robert M. Holmes
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Guojie Hu
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Hongjie Huang
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Iolanda Ialongo
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Gerardo Jadra
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
Viju O. John
,
W. Johns
,
Bjørn Johnsen
,
Bryan Johnson
,
Gregory C. Johnson
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Timothy Jones
,
Simon A. Josey
,
G. Jumaux
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
K. Kabidi
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Robb S.A. Kaler
,
Lars Kaleschke
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Amin Fazl Kazemi
,
Linda M. Keller
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Mike Kendon
,
John Kennedy
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Kenneth Kerr
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Richard Kidd
,
Mi Ju Kim
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
Zak Kipling
,
Philip J. Klotzbach
,
John A. Knaff
,
Akash Koppa
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
Benjamin M. Kraemer
,
Natalya A. Kramarova
,
A. C. Kruger
,
Andries Kruger
,
Arun Kumar
,
Michelle L’Heureux
,
Sofia La Fuente
,
Alo Laas
,
Zachary M. Labe
,
Rick Lader
,
Mónika Lakatos
,
Kaisa Lakkala
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Xin Lan
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Chris W. Landsea
,
Timothy Lang
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
Mark J. Lara
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
David A. Lavers
,
Matthew A. Lazzara
,
Thierry Leblanc
,
Tsz-Cheung Lee
,
Eric M. Leibensperger
,
Chris Lennard
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Jan L. Lieser
,
Tanja Likso
,
I-I. Lin
,
Jackie Lindsey
,
Yakun Liu
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Bryant D. Loomis
,
Andrew M. Lorrey
,
Diego Loyola
,
Rui Lu
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Jing-Jia Luo
,
Kari Luojus
,
John M. Lyman
,
Stephen C. Maberly
,
Matthew J. Macander
,
Michael MacFerrin
,
Graeme A. MacGilchrist
,
Michelle L. MacLennan
,
Remi Madelon
,
Andrew D. Magee
,
Florence Magnin
,
Jostein Mamen
,
Ken D. Mankoff
,
Gloria L. Manney
,
Izolda Marcinonienė
,
Jose A. Marengo
,
Mohammadi Marjan
,
Ana E. Martínez
,
Robert A. Massom
,
Shin-Ichiro Matsuzaki
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew R. Mazloff
,
Stephanie A. McAfee
,
C. McBride
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
James W. McClelland
,
Michael J. McPhaden
,
Tim R. Mcvicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Walter N. Meier
,
A. Mekonnen
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Michael F. Meyer
,
Tristan Meyers
,
David E. Mikolajczyk
,
John B. Miller
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Alexey Mishonov
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
Leander Moesinger
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Ghislaine Monet
,
Stephan A. Montzka
,
Twila A. Moon
,
G. W. K. Moore
,
Natali Mora
,
Johnny Morán
,
Claire Morehen
,
Colin Morice
,
A. E. Mostafa
,
Thomas L. Mote
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
Lawrence Mudryk
,
Jens Mühle
,
Rolf Müller
,
David Nance
,
Eric R. Nash
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Paul A. Newman
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Juan J. Nieto
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
Taylor Norton
,
Kelsey E. Nyland
,
John O’Keefe
,
Naomi Ochwat
,
Yoshinori Oikawa
,
Yuka Okunaka
,
Timothy J. Osborn
,
James E. Overland
,
Taejin Park
,
Mark Parrington
,
Julia K. Parrish
,
Richard J. Pasch
,
Reynaldo Pascual Ramírez
,
Cécile Pellet
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
Melita Perčec Tadić
,
Donald K. Perovich
,
Guðrún Nína Petersen
,
Kyle Petersen
,
Irina Petropavlovskikh
,
Alek Petty
,
Alexandre B. Pezza
,
Luciano P. Pezzi
,
Coda Phillips
,
Gareth K. Phoenix
,
Don Pierson
,
Izidine Pinto
,
Vanda Pires
,
Michael Pitts
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Paolo Pogliotti
,
Kristin Poinar
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
Bo Qiu
,
Kenny Quisbert
,
Willy R. Quispe
,
M. Rajeevan
,
Andrea M. Ramos
,
William J. Randel
,
Mika Rantanen
,
Marilyn N. Raphael
,
James Reagan
,
Cristina Recalde
,
Phillip Reid
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Alejandra J. Reyes Kohler
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
Robert Ricker
,
David A. Robinson
,
M. Robjhon
,
Willy Rocha
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Esteban Rodriguez Guisado
,
Nemesio Rodriguez-Fernandez
,
Vladimir E. Romanovsky
,
Josyane Ronchail
,
Matthew Rosencrans
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Benjamin Rösner
,
Henrieke Rösner
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
Jozef Rozkošný
,
Frans Rubek
,
Olga O. Rusanovskaya
,
This Rutishauser
,
C. T. Sabeerali
,
Roberto Salinas
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Michelle L. Santee
,
Marcelo Santini
,
Katsunari Sato
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
A. Sayouri
,
Theodore Scambos
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Semjon Schimanke
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Claudia Schmid
,
Martin Schmid
,
Udo Schneider
,
Carl J. Schreck
,
Cristina Schultz
,
Science Systems and Applications Inc. Science Systems and Applications Inc.
,
Z. T. Segele
,
Serhat Sensoy
,
Shawn P. Serbin
,
Mark C. Serreze
,
Amsari Mudzakir Setiawan
,
Fumi Sezaki
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Jonathan D. Sharp
,
Gay Sheffield
,
Jia-Rui Shi
,
Lei Shi
,
Alexander I. Shiklomanov
,
Nikolay I. Shiklomanov
,
Svetlana V. Shimaraeva
,
R. Shukla
,
David A. Siegel
,
Eugene A. Silow
,
F. Sima
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
David A. Smeed
,
Adam Smith
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Everaldo Souza
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
Jacqueline Spence-Hemmings
,
Robert G. M. Spencer
,
Sandra Spillane
,
O. P. Sreejith
,
A. K. Srivastava
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Sharon Stammerjohn
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Jose L. Stella
,
Tannecia S. Stephenson
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Susan E. Strahan
,
Dmitry A. Streletskiy
,
Divya E. Surendran
,
Anya Suslova
,
Tove Svendby
,
William Sweet
,
Kiyotoshi Takahashi
,
Kazuto Takemura
,
Suzanne E. Tank
,
Michael A. Taylor
,
Marco Tedesco
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
W. M. Thiaw
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Richard L. Thoman
,
Andrew F. Thompson
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Xiangshan Tian-Kunze
,
Mary-Louise Timmermans
,
Maxim A. Timofeyev
,
Skie Tobin
,
Hans Tømmervik
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Lidia Trescilo
,
Mikhail Tretiakov
,
Blair C. Trewin
,
Joaquin A. Triñanes
,
Adrian Trotman
,
Ryan E. Truchelut
,
Luke D. Trusel
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
,
Arnold J.H. van vliet
,
Ahad Vazife
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastián Vivero
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
(Skip)
,
John E. Walsh
,
Bin Wang
,
Hui Wang
,
Muyin Wang
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Xinyue Wang
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Taran Warnock
,
Mark Weber
,
Melinda Webster
,
Adrian Wehrlé
,
Caihong Wen
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
David N. Wiese
,
Jeannette D. Wild
,
Jonathan D. Wille
,
An Willems
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Earle Williams
,
J. Willis
,
Takmeng Wong
,
Kimberly M. Wood
,
Richard Iestyn Woolway
,
Ping-Ping Xie
,
Dedi Yang
,
Xungang Yin
,
Ziqi Yin
,
Zhenzhong Zeng
,
Huai-min Zhang
,
Li Zhang
,
Peiqun Zhang
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Zhiwei Zhu
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
,
Scott Zolkos
,
Ruxandra M. Zotta
,
Cheng-Zhi Zou
,
Jessicca Allen
,
Amy V. Camper
,
Bridgette O. Haley
,
Gregory Hammer
,
S. Elizabeth Love-Brotak
,
Laura Ohlmann
,
Lukas Noguchi
,
Deborah B. Riddle
, and
Sara W. Veasey

Abstract

—J. BLUNDEN, T. BOYER, AND E. BARTOW-GILLIES

Earth’s global climate system is vast, complex, and intricately interrelated. Many areas are influenced by global-scale phenomena, including the “triple dip” La Niña conditions that prevailed in the eastern Pacific Ocean nearly continuously from mid-2020 through all of 2022; by regional phenomena such as the positive winter and summer North Atlantic Oscillation that impacted weather in parts the Northern Hemisphere and the negative Indian Ocean dipole that impacted weather in parts of the Southern Hemisphere; and by more localized systems such as high-pressure heat domes that caused extreme heat in different areas of the world. Underlying all these natural short-term variabilities are long-term climate trends due to continuous increases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the atmospheric concentrations of Earth’s major greenhouse gases.

In 2022, the annual global average carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere rose to 417.1±0.1 ppm, which is 50% greater than the pre-industrial level. Global mean tropospheric methane abundance was 165% higher than its pre-industrial level, and nitrous oxide was 24% higher. All three gases set new record-high atmospheric concentration levels in 2022.

Sea-surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific characteristic of La Niña and attendant atmospheric patterns tend to mitigate atmospheric heat gain at the global scale, but the annual global surface temperature across land and oceans was still among the six highest in records dating as far back as the mid-1800s. It was the warmest La Niña year on record. Many areas observed record or near-record heat. Europe as a whole observed its second-warmest year on record, with sixteen individual countries observing record warmth at the national scale. Records were shattered across the continent during the summer months as heatwaves plagued the region. On 18 July, 104 stations in France broke their all-time records. One day later, England recorded a temperature of 40°C for the first time ever. China experienced its second-warmest year and warmest summer on record. In the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature across New Zealand reached a record high for the second year in a row. While Australia’s annual temperature was slightly below the 1991–2020 average, Onslow Airport in Western Australia reached 50.7°C on 13 January, equaling Australia's highest temperature on record.

While fewer in number and locations than record-high temperatures, record cold was also observed during the year. Southern Africa had its coldest August on record, with minimum temperatures as much as 5°C below normal over Angola, western Zambia, and northern Namibia. Cold outbreaks in the first half of December led to many record-low daily minimum temperature records in eastern Australia.

The effects of rising temperatures and extreme heat were apparent across the Northern Hemisphere, where snow-cover extent by June 2022 was the third smallest in the 56-year record, and the seasonal duration of lake ice cover was the fourth shortest since 1980. More frequent and intense heatwaves contributed to the second-greatest average mass balance loss for Alpine glaciers around the world since the start of the record in 1970. Glaciers in the Swiss Alps lost a record 6% of their volume. In South America, the combination of drought and heat left many central Andean glaciers snow free by mid-summer in early 2022; glacial ice has a much lower albedo than snow, leading to accelerated heating of the glacier. Across the global cryosphere, permafrost temperatures continued to reach record highs at many high-latitude and mountain locations.

In the high northern latitudes, the annual surface-air temperature across the Arctic was the fifth highest in the 123-year record. The seasonal Arctic minimum sea-ice extent, typically reached in September, was the 11th-smallest in the 43-year record; however, the amount of multiyear ice—ice that survives at least one summer melt season—remaining in the Arctic continued to decline. Since 2012, the Arctic has been nearly devoid of ice more than four years old.

In Antarctica, an unusually large amount of snow and ice fell over the continent in 2022 due to several landfalling atmospheric rivers, which contributed to the highest annual surface mass balance, 15% to 16% above the 1991–2020 normal, since the start of two reanalyses records dating to 1980. It was the second-warmest year on record for all five of the long-term staffed weather stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, a heatwave event led to a new all-time record-high temperature of −9.4°C—44°C above the March average—on 18 March at Dome C. This was followed by the collapse of the critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf. More than 100 daily low sea-ice extent and sea-ice area records were set in 2022, including two new all-time annual record lows in net sea-ice extent and area in February.

Across the world’s oceans, global mean sea level was record high for the 11th consecutive year, reaching 101.2 mm above the 1993 average when satellite altimetry measurements began, an increase of 3.3±0.7 over 2021. Globally-averaged ocean heat content was also record high in 2022, while the global sea-surface temperature was the sixth highest on record, equal with 2018. Approximately 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2022. In the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s longest continuous marine heatwave was recorded.

A total of 85 named tropical storms were observed during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, close to the 1991–2020 average of 87. There were three Category 5 tropical cyclones across the globe—two in the western North Pacific and one in the North Atlantic. This was the fewest Category 5 storms globally since 2017. Globally, the accumulated cyclone energy was the lowest since reliable records began in 1981. Regardless, some storms caused massive damage. In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Fiona became the most intense and most destructive tropical or post-tropical cyclone in Atlantic Canada’s history, while major Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people and became the third costliest disaster in the United States, causing damage estimated at $113 billion U.S. dollars. In the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai dropped 2044 mm of rain at Commerson Crater in Réunion. The storm also impacted Madagascar, where 121 fatalities were reported.

As is typical, some areas around the world were notably dry in 2022 and some were notably wet. In August, record high areas of land across the globe (6.2%) were experiencing extreme drought. Overall, 29% of land experienced moderate or worse categories of drought during the year. The largest drought footprint in the contiguous United States since 2012 (63%) was observed in late October. The record-breaking megadrought of central Chile continued in its 13th consecutive year, and 80-year record-low river levels in northern Argentina and Paraguay disrupted fluvial transport. In China, the Yangtze River reached record-low values. Much of equatorial eastern Africa had five consecutive below-normal rainy seasons by the end of 2022, with some areas receiving record-low precipitation totals for the year. This ongoing 2.5-year drought is the most extensive and persistent drought event in decades, and led to crop failure, millions of livestock deaths, water scarcity, and inflated prices for staple food items.

In South Asia, Pakistan received around three times its normal volume of monsoon precipitation in August, with some regions receiving up to eight times their expected monthly totals. Resulting floods affected over 30 million people, caused over 1700 fatalities, led to major crop and property losses, and was recorded as one of the world’s costliest natural disasters of all time. Near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petrópolis received 530 mm in 24 hours on 15 February, about 2.5 times the monthly February average, leading to the worst disaster in the city since 1931 with over 230 fatalities.

On 14–15 January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano in the South Pacific erupted multiple times. The injection of water into the atmosphere was unprecedented in both magnitude—far exceeding any previous values in the 17-year satellite record—and altitude as it penetrated into the mesosphere. The amount of water injected into the stratosphere is estimated to be 146±5 Terragrams, or ∼10% of the total amount in the stratosphere. It may take several years for the water plume to dissipate, and it is currently unknown whether this eruption will have any long-term climate effect.

Open access