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Xiaohui Wang
,
Tim Li
, and
Suxiang Yao

Abstract

While enhanced rainbands progressed northward in East Asia from June to August during the regular El Niño decaying summer, strengthened rainbands were only observed in the earlier summer and disappeared in August in the super El Niño composite. The cause of this distinctive feature is investigated through a combined observational and modeling study. The relative roles of the mean state and anomalous heating in causing the northward progression in the regular El Niño group are assessed through idealized numerical experiments. The result shows that the monthly evolving mean state is more important, while the anomalous forcing also plays a role. The distinctive rainfall feature in the super El Niño composite was primarily contributed by the 1982/83 and 2015/16 events, whereas the rainband evolution in 1998 resembled the regular El Niño composite. The cause of the different rainfall pattern in August among the super El Niño events is further investigated. A marked difference exists in the tropical sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) and associated anomalous precipitation patterns. A low-level cyclonic (anticyclonic) anomaly appeared south of Japan in August 1983 and 2016 (1998), inducing northerly (southerly) anomalies and thus suppressed (enhanced) rainfall in eastern China. Whereas an anomalous anticyclone in the western North Pacific (WNP) is a typical response to an El Niño during its mature and decaying phases, the formation of a cyclonic anomaly in the WNP resulted from anomalous enthalpy advection associated with the eastward retreat of an anomalous anticyclone triggered by a local cold SSTA belt in August 1983 and from a Pacific meridional mode (PMM)-like positive SSTA pattern in August 2016.

Free access
Moran Zhuang
,
Anmin Duan
,
Riyu Lu
,
Puxi Li
, and
Jinglong Yao

Abstract

The Indochina Peninsula (ICP) has a critical effect in shaping the Asian summer monsoon (ASM). However, the seasonal responses of the ASM to the ICP are not fully understood. This study employs a 1° atmospheric general circulation model to examine the different contributions of the ICP’s orography and land–sea contrast to the ASM during the early and late summer. Results indicate that the orographic effect increases South Asian rainfall and reduces the rainfall over the South China Sea (SCS) and North China in early summer, but its influence on monsoonal circulation and rainfall is limited to East Asia in late summer. The impact of the ICP’s land–sea contrast is basically opposite in the two summer stages. With the presence of the ICP, SCS rainfall is enhanced but South Asian rainfall is weakened in early summer. In late summer, however, rainfall from the ICP to the northwestern Pacific is strikingly reduced, accompanied by intensified rainfall over South Asia. Relatively, the orographic effect seems to be more important in modulating the South Asian monsoon in early summer, while the land–sea contrast is dominant in strengthening the SCS monsoon and suppressing the northwest Pacific monsoon via the interaction between the induced local circulation and multilevel ASM subsystems. In late summer, the orographic effect on the ASM is much weaker compared to the land–sea contrast, which plays a critical role by shifting the subtropical high southwestward and through the “thermal adaption” feedback mechanism. Therefore, the orographic impact of the ICP on the ASM differs from that of the land–sea contrast in the two summer stages.

Open access
Chundi Hu
,
Qigang Wu
,
Song Yang
,
Yonghong Yao
,
Duo Chan
,
Zhenning Li
, and
Kaiqiang Deng

Abstract

In this study, the authors apply a lagged maximum covariance analysis (MCA) to capture the cross-seasonal coupled patterns between the Southern Ocean sea surface temperature (SOSST) and extratropical 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere, from which Niño-3.4 signals and their linear trends are removed to a certain extent. Statistically significant results show that the dominant feature of ocean–atmosphere interaction is likely the effect of atmosphere on SOSST anomalies, with a peak occurring when the atmosphere leads the SOSST by 1 month.

However, the most eye-capturing phenomenon is that the austral autumn atmospheric signal, characterized by a negatively polarized Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), is significantly related to the gradual evolution of preceding SOSST anomalies, suggesting that the SOSST anomalies tend to exert an effect on the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation. A regression analysis based on SOSST anomaly centers confirms these features. It is also demonstrated that the gradual evolution of changes in SOSST is mainly driven by internal atmospheric variability via surface turbulent heat flux associated with cold or warm advection and that the atmospheric circulation experiences a change from a typical positive AAO to a negative phase in this process. These findings indicate that such a long lead cross-seasonal covariance could contribute to a successful prediction of AAO-related atmospheric circulation in austral autumn from the perspective of SOSST anomalies, with lead times up to 6–7 months.

Full access
Sha Zhou
,
Junyi Liang
,
Xingjie Lu
,
Qianyu Li
,
Lifen Jiang
,
Yao Zhang
,
Christopher R. Schwalm
,
Joshua B. Fisher
,
Jerry Tjiputra
,
Stephen Sitch
,
Anders Ahlström
,
Deborah N. Huntzinger
,
Yuefei Huang
,
Guangqian Wang
, and
Yiqi Luo

Abstract

Terrestrial carbon cycle models have incorporated increasingly more processes as a means to achieve more-realistic representations of ecosystem carbon cycling. Despite this, there are large across-model variations in the simulation and projection of carbon cycling. Several model intercomparison projects (MIPs), for example, the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) (historical simulations), Trends in Net Land–Atmosphere Carbon Exchange (TRENDY), and Multiscale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project (MsTMIP), have sought to understand intermodel differences. In this study, the authors developed a suite of new techniques to conduct post-MIP analysis to gain insights into uncertainty sources across 25 models in the three MIPs. First, terrestrial carbon storage dynamics were characterized by a three-dimensional (3D) model output space with coordinates of carbon residence time, net primary productivity (NPP), and carbon storage potential. The latter represents the potential of an ecosystem to lose or gain carbon. This space can be used to measure how and why model output differs. Models with a nitrogen cycle generally exhibit lower annual NPP in comparison with other models, and mostly negative carbon storage potential. Second, a transient traceability framework was used to decompose any given carbon cycle model into traceable components and identify the sources of model differences. The carbon residence time (or NPP) was traced to baseline carbon residence time (or baseline NPP related to the maximum carbon input), environmental scalars, and climate forcing. Third, by applying a variance decomposition method, the authors show that the intermodel differences in carbon storage can be mainly attributed to the baseline carbon residence time and baseline NPP (>90% in the three MIPs). The three techniques developed in this study offer a novel approach to gain more insight from existing MIPs and can point out directions for future MIPs. Since this study is conducted at the global scale for an overview on intermodel differences, future studies should focus more on regional analysis to identify the sources of uncertainties and improve models at the specified mechanism level.

Full access