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C. S. Yao
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Lei Wang, Tandong Yao, Chenhao Chai, Lan Cuo, Fengge Su, Fan Zhang, Zhijun Yao, Yinsheng Zhang, Xiuping Li, Jia Qi, Zhidan Hu, Jingshi Liu, and Yuanwei Wang

Abstract

Monitoring changes in river runoff at the Third Pole (TP) is important because rivers in this region support millions of inhabitants in Asia and are very sensitive to climate change. Under the influence of climate change and intensified cryospheric melt, river runoff has changed markedly at the TP, with significant effects on the spatial and temporal water resource distribution that threaten water supply and food security for people living downstream. Despite some in situ observations and discharge estimates from state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, the total river runoff (TRR) for the TP has never been reliably quantified, and its response to climate change remains unclear. As part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ “Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road,” the TP-River project aims to construct a comprehensive runoff observation network at mountain outlets (where rivers leave the mountains and enter the plains) for 13 major rivers in the TP region, thereby enabling TRR to be accurately quantified. The project also integrates discharge estimates from remote sensing and cryosphere–hydrology modeling to investigate long-term changes in TRR and the relationship between the TRR variations and westerly/monsoon. Based on recent efforts, the project provides the first estimate (656 ± 23 billion m3) of annual TRR for the 13 TP rivers in 2018. The annual river runoff at the mountain outlets varies widely between the different TP rivers, ranging from 2 to 176 billion m3, with higher values mainly corresponding to rivers in the Indian monsoon domain, rather than in the westerly domain.

Open access
Andrea I. Flossmann, Michael Manton, Ali Abshaev, Roelof Bruintjes, Masataka Murakami, Thara Prabhakaran, and Zhanyu Yao

Abstract

This paper provides a summary of the assessment report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Expert Team on Weather Modification that discusses recent progress on precipitation enhancement research. The progress has been underpinned by advances in our understanding of cloud processes and interactions between clouds and their environment, which, in turn, have been enabled by substantial developments in technical capabilities to both observe and simulate clouds from the microphysical to the mesoscale. We focus on the two cloud types most commonly seeded in the past: winter orographic cloud systems and convective cloud systems. A key issue for cloud seeding is the extension from cloud-scale research to water catchment–scale impacts on precipitation on the ground. Consequently, the requirements for the design, implementation, and evaluation of a catchment-scale precipitation enhancement campaign are discussed. The paper concludes by indicating the most important gaps in our knowledge. Some recommendations regarding the most urgent research topics are given to stimulate further research.

Open access
Lanqiang Bai, Zhiyong Meng, Ling Huang, Lijun Yan, Zhaohui Li, Xuehu Mai, Yipeng Huang, Dan Yao, and Xi Wang

Abstract

This work presents an integrated damage, visual, and radar analysis of a tropical cyclone (TC) tornado that has not been documented as detailed as midlatitude tornadoes. On 4 October 2015, an enhanced Fujita 3 (EF3) tornado spawned into Typhoon Mujigae and hit Foshan, Guangdong Province, China. This tornado was generated in a minisupercell ∼350 km northeast of the TC center and lasted about 32 minutes, leaving a southeast-to-northwest damage swath 30.85 km long and 20–570 m wide. Near-surface wind patterns and the size of the tornado, juxtaposition of the condensation funnel with the damage swath and radar signatures, and consistency between near-surface wind speed estimated from visual observations and that estimated using EF scale were revealed based on ground and aerial surveys, radar and surface observations, photographs, and tornado videos. Tornado videos showed two occurrences of vertical subvortices followed by the formation of a horizontal vortex. Some features of the tornado, the parent supercell and mesocyclone, and the convective environment were compared to their U.S. counterparts. This work provides a case review of a tornado with the most comprehensive information ever in China. Damage indicators used to estimate the tornado intensity in this Chinese case were compared with those in the United States, demonstrating the potential applicability of the EF scale in tornado damage surveys outside the United States.

Open access
Shunlin Liang, Jie Cheng, Kun Jia, Bo Jiang, Qiang Liu, Zhiqiang Xiao, Yunjun Yao, Wenping Yuan, Xiaotong Zhang, Xiang Zhao, and Ji Zhou

Abstract:

The Global Land Surface Satellite (GLASS) product suite currently contains 12 products, including leaf area index, fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation, fraction of green vegetation coverage, gross primary production, broadband albedo, broadband longwave emissivity, downward shortwave radiation and photosynthetically active radiation, land surface temperature, downward and upwelling thermal radiation, all-wave net radiation, and evapotranspiration. These products are generated from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite data. Their unique features include long-term temporal coverage (many from 1981 to the present), high spatial resolutions of the surface radiation products (1 km and 0.05°), spatial continuities without missing pixels, and high quality and accuracy based on extensive validation using in situ measurements and intercomparisons with other existing satellite products. Moreover, the GLASS products are based on robust algorithms that have been published in peer-reviewed literature. Herein, we provide an overview of the algorithm development, product characteristics, and some preliminary applications of these products. We also describe the next steps, such as improving the existing GLASS products, generating more climate data records (CDRs), broadening product dissemination, and fostering their wider utilization. The GLASS products are freely available to the public.

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Metcrax 2006

Meteorological Experiments in Arizona's Meteor Crater

C. David Whiteman, Andreas Muschinski, Sharon Zhong, David Fritts, Sebastian W. Hoch, Maura Hahnenberger, Wenqing Yao, Vincent Hohreiter, Mario Behn, Yonghun Cheon, Craig B. Clements, Thomas W. Horst, William O. J. Brown, and Steven P. Oncley

The Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX 2006) was conducted in October 2006 at Arizona's Meteor Crater to investigate stable boundary layer evolution in a topographically uncomplicated basin surrounded by the nearly homogeneous plain of the Colorado Plateau. The two goals of the experiment were 1) to investigate the microscale and mesoscale structure and evolution of the stable boundary layer in the crater and its surroundings and 2) to determine whether atmospheric seiches or standing waves are produced inside the crater. This article provides an overview of the scientific goals of the experiment; summarizes the research measurements, the crater topography, and the synoptic meteorology of the study period; and presents initial analysis results. Analyses show that nighttime temperature inversions form frequently in the crater and that they are often perturbed by internal wave motions. Nighttime cooling produces a shallow (15–30 m deep) surface-based inversion that is surmounted by a horizontally homogeneous near-isothermal layer that extends all the way to the rim, where a second inversion extends above rim level. Seiches are sometimes present on the crater floor. The diurnal propagation of shadows from the crater rim produces important spatial differences in the surface radiation budget and thus the timing of the slope flow transition, and the crater atmosphere is often perturbed during nighttime by a southwesterly mesoscale drainage flow.

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Dan Fu, Justin Small, Jaison Kurian, Yun Liu, Brian Kauffman, Abishek Gopal, Sanjiv Ramachandran, Zhi Shang, Ping Chang, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Katherine Thayer-Calder, Mariana Vertenstein, Xiaohui Ma, Hengkai Yao, Mingkui Li, Zhao Xu, Xiaopei Lin, Shaoqing Zhang, and Lixin Wu

Abstract

The development of high-resolution, fully-coupled, regional Earth system model systems is important for improving our understanding of climate variability, future projections, and extreme events at regional scales. Here we introduce and present an overview of the newly-developed Regional Community Earth System Model (R-CESM). Different from other existing regional climate models, R-CESM is based on the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) framework. We have incorporated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) into CESM2 as additional components. As such, R-CESM can be conveniently used as a regional dynamical downscaling tool for the global CESM solutions or/and as a standalone high-resolution regional coupled model. The user interface of R-CESM follows that of CESM, making it readily accessible to the broader community. Among countless potential applications of R-CESM, we showcase here a few preliminary studies that illustrate its novel aspects and value. These include: 1) assessing the skill of R-CESM in a multi-year, high-resolution, regional coupled simulation of the Gulf of Mexico; 2) examining the impact of WRF and CESM ocean-atmosphere coupling physics on tropical cyclone simulations; and 3) a convection-permitting simulation of submesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions. We also discuss capabilities under development such as i) regional refinement using a high-resolution ROMS nested within global CESM; and ii) “online” coupled data assimilation. Our open-source framework (publicly available at https://github.com/ihesp/rcesm1) can be easily adapted to a broad range of applications that are of interest to the users of CESM, WRF, and ROMS.

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Yaohui Li, Xing Yuan, Hongsheng Zhang, Runyuan Wang, Chenghai Wang, Xianhong Meng, Zhiqiang Zhang, Shanshan Wang, Yang Yang, Bo Han, Kai Zhang, Xiaoping Wang, Hong Zhao, Guangsheng Zhou, Qiang Zhang, Qing He, Ni Guo, Wei Hou, Cunjie Zhang, Guoju Xiao, Xuying Sun, Ping Yue, Sha Sha, Heling Wang, Tiejun Zhang, Jinsong Wang, and Yubi Yao

Abstract

A major experimental drought research project entitled “Mechanisms and Early Warning of Drought Disasters over Northern China” (DroughtEX_China) was launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China in 2015. The objective of DroughtEX_China is to investigate drought disaster mechanisms and provide early-warning information via multisource observations and multiscale modeling. Since the implementation of DroughtEX_China, a comprehensive V-shape in situ observation network has been established to integrate different observational experiment systems for different landscapes, including crops in northern China. In this article, we introduce the experimental area, observational network configuration, ground- and air-based observing/testing facilities, implementation scheme, and data management procedures and sharing policy. The preliminary observational and numerical experimental results show that the following are important processes for understanding and modeling drought disasters over arid and semiarid regions: 1) the soil water vapor–heat interactions that affect surface soil moisture variability, 2) the effect of intermittent turbulence on boundary layer energy exchange, 3) the drought–albedo feedback, and 4) the transition from stomatal to nonstomatal control of plant photosynthesis with increasing drought severity. A prototype of a drought monitoring and forecasting system developed from coupled hydroclimate prediction models and an integrated multisource drought information platform is also briefly introduced. DroughtEX_China lasted for four years (i.e., 2015–18) and its implementation now provides regional drought monitoring and forecasting, risk assessment information, and a multisource data-sharing platform for drought adaptation over northern China, contributing to the global drought information system (GDIS).

Open access
Fan Yang, Qing He, Jianping Huang, Ali Mamtimin, Xinghua Yang, Wen Huo, Chenglong Zhou, Xinchun Liu, Wenshou Wei, Caixia Cui, Minzhong Wang, Hongjun Li, Lianmei Yang, Hongsheng Zhang, Yuzhi Liu, Xinqian Zheng, Honglin Pan, Lili Jin, Han Zou, Libo Zhou, Yongqiang Liu, Jiantao Zhang, Lu Meng, Yu Wang, Xiaolin Qin, Yongjun Yao, Houyong Liu, Fumin Xue, and Wei Zheng

Abstract

As the second-largest shifting sand desert worldwide, the Taklimakan Desert (TD) represents the typical aeolian landforms in arid regions as an important source of global dust aerosols. It directly affects the ecological environment and human health across East Asia. Thus, establishing a comprehensive environment and climate observation network for field research in the TD region is essential to improve our understanding of the desert meteorology and environment, assess its impact, mitigate potential environmental issues, and promote sustainable development. With a nearly 20-yr effort under the extremely harsh conditions of the TD, the Desert Environment and Climate Observation Network (DECON) has been established completely covering the TD region. The core of DECON is the Tazhong station in the hinterland of the TD. Moreover, the network also includes 4 satellite stations located along the edge of the TD for synergistic observations, and 18 automatic weather stations interspersed between them. Thus, DECON marks a new chapter of environmental and meteorological observation capabilities over the TD, including dust storms, dust emission and transport mechanisms, desert land–atmosphere interactions, desert boundary layer structure, ground calibration for remote sensing monitoring, and desert carbon sinks. In addition, DECON promotes cooperation and communication within the research community in the field of desert environments and climate, which promotes a better understanding of the status and role of desert ecosystems. Finally, DECON is expected to provide the basic support necessary for coordinated environmental and meteorological monitoring and mitigation, joint construction of ecologically friendly communities, and sustainable development of central Asia.

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Tandong Yao, Yongkang Xue, Deliang Chen, Fahu Chen, Lonnie Thompson, Peng Cui, Toshio Koike, William K.-M. Lau, Dennis Lettenmaier, Volker Mosbrugger, Renhe Zhang, Baiqing Xu, Jeff Dozier, Thomas Gillespie, Yu Gu, Shichang Kang, Shilong Piao, Shiori Sugimoto, Kenichi Ueno, Lei Wang, Weicai Wang, Fan Zhang, Yongwei Sheng, Weidong Guo, Ailikun, Xiaoxin Yang, Yaoming Ma, Samuel S. P. Shen, Zhongbo Su, Fei Chen, Shunlin Liang, Yimin Liu, Vijay P. Singh, Kun Yang, Daqing Yang, Xinquan Zhao, Yun Qian, Yu Zhang, and Qian Li

Abstract

The Third Pole (TP) is experiencing rapid warming and is currently in its warmest period in the past 2,000 years. This paper reviews the latest development in multidisciplinary TP research associated with this warming. The rapid warming facilitates intense and broad glacier melt over most of the TP, although some glaciers in the northwest are advancing. By heating the atmosphere and reducing snow/ice albedo, aerosols also contribute to the glaciers melting. Glacier melt is accompanied by lake expansion and intensification of the water cycle over the TP. Precipitation has increased over the eastern and northwestern TP. Meanwhile, the TP is greening and most regions are experiencing advancing phenological trends, although over the southwest there is a spring phenological delay mainly in response to the recent decline in spring precipitation. Atmospheric and terrestrial thermal and dynamical processes over the TP affect the Asian monsoon at different scales. Recent evidence indicates substantial roles that mesoscale convective systems play in the TP’s precipitation as well as an association between soil moisture anomalies in the TP and the Indian monsoon. Moreover, an increase in geohazard events has been associated with recent environmental changes, some of which have had catastrophic consequences caused by glacial lake outbursts and landslides. Active debris flows are growing in both frequency of occurrences and spatial scale. Meanwhile, new types of disasters, such as the twin ice avalanches in Ali in 2016, are now appearing in the region. Adaptation and mitigation measures should be taken to help societies’ preparation for future environmental challenges. Some key issues for future TP studies are also discussed.

Open access