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  • Author or Editor: Bjorn Lambrigtsen x
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Sun Wong
,
Eric J. Fetzer
,
Baijun Tian
,
Bjorn Lambrigtsen
, and
Hengchun Ye

Abstract

The possibility of using remote sensing retrievals to estimate apparent water vapor sinks and heat sources is explored. The apparent water vapor sinks and heat sources are estimated from a combination of remote sensing, specific humidity, and temperature from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder/Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AIRS) and wind fields from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)’s Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA). The intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) of the Indian summer monsoon is used as a test bed to evaluate the apparent water vapor sink and heat source. The ISO-related northward movement of the column-integrated apparent water vapor sink matches that of precipitation observed by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) minus the MERRA surface evaporation, although the amplitude of the variation is underestimated by 50%. The diagnosed water vapor and heat budgets associated with convective events during various phases of the ISO agree with the moisture–convection feedback mechanism. The apparent heat source moves northward coherently with the apparent water vapor sink associated with the deep convective activity, which is consistent with the northward migration of the precipitation anomaly. The horizontal advection of water vapor and dynamical warming are strong north of the convective area, causing the northward movement of the convection by the destabilization of the atmosphere. The spatial distribution of the apparent heat source anomalies associated with different phases of the ISO is consistent with that of the diabatic heating anomalies from the trained heating (TRAIN Q1) dataset. Further diagnostics of the TRAIN Q1 heating anomalies indicate that the ISO in the apparent heat source is dominated by a variation in latent heating associated with the precipitation.

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Ali Behrangi
,
Graeme Stephens
,
Robert F. Adler
,
George J. Huffman
,
Bjorn Lambrigtsen
, and
Matthew Lebsock

Abstract

This study contributes to the estimation of the global mean and zonal distribution of oceanic precipitation rate using complementary information from advanced precipitation measuring sensors and provides an independent reference to assess current precipitation products. Precipitation estimates from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) and CloudSat cloud profiling radar (CPR) were merged, as the two complementary sensors yield an unprecedented range of sensitivity to quantify rainfall from drizzle through the most intense rates. At higher latitudes, where TRMM PR does not exist, precipitation estimates from Aqua’s Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) complemented CloudSat CPR to capture intense precipitation rates. The high sensitivity of CPR allows estimation of snow rate, an important type of precipitation at high latitudes, not directly observed in current merged precipitation products. Using the merged precipitation estimate from the CloudSat, TRMM, and Aqua platforms (this estimate is abbreviated to MCTA), the authors’ estimate for 3-yr (2007–09) near-global (80°S–80°N) oceanic mean precipitation rate is ~2.94 mm day−1. This new estimate of mean global ocean precipitation is about 9% higher than that of the corresponding Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) value (2.68 mm day−1) and about 4% higher than that of the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP; 2.82 mm day−1). Furthermore, MCTA suggests distinct differences in the zonal distribution of precipitation rate from that depicted in GPCP and CMAP, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Sun Wong
,
Eric J. Fetzer
,
Brian H. Kahn
,
Baijun Tian
,
Bjorn H. Lambrigtsen
, and
Hengchun Ye

Abstract

The authors investigate if atmospheric water vapor from remote sensing retrievals obtained from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder/Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AIRS) and the water vapor budget from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) are physically consistent with independently synthesized precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) or the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) and evaporation data from the Goddard Satellite-based Surface Turbulent Fluxes (GSSTF). The atmospheric total water vapor sink (Σ) is estimated from AIRS water vapor retrievals with MERRA winds (AIRS–MERRA Σ) as well as directly from the MERRA water vapor budget (MERRA–MERRA Σ). The global geographical distributions as well as the regional wavelet amplitude spectra of Σ are then compared with those of TRMM or GPCP precipitation minus GSSTF surface evaporation (TRMM–GSSTF and GPCP–GSSTF PE, respectively). The AIRS–MERRA and MERRA–MERRA Σs reproduce the main large-scale patterns of global PE, including the locations and variations of the ITCZ, summertime monsoons, and midlatitude storm tracks in both hemispheres. The spectra of regional temporal variations in Σ are generally consistent with those of observed PE, including the annual and semiannual cycles, and intraseasonal variations. Both AIRS–MERRA and MERRA–MERRA Σs have smaller amplitudes for the intraseasonal variations over the tropical oceans. The MERRA PE has spectra similar to that of MERRA–MERRA Σ in most of the regions except in tropical Africa. The averaged TRMM–GSSTF and GPCP–GSSTF PE over the ocean are more negative compared to the AIRS–MERRA, MERRA–MERRA Σs, and MERRA PE.

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Hengchun Ye
,
Eric J. Fetzer
,
Ali Behrangi
,
Sun Wong
,
Bjorn H. Lambrigtsen
,
Crysti Y. Wang
,
Judah Cohen
, and
Brandi L. Gamelin

Abstract

This study uses 45 years of observational records from 517 historical surface weather stations over northern Eurasia to examine changing precipitation characteristics associated with increasing air temperatures. Results suggest that warming air temperatures over northern Eurasia have been accompanied by higher precipitation intensity but lower frequency and little change in annual precipitation total. An increase in daily precipitation intensity of around 1%–3% per each degree of air temperature increase is found for all seasons as long as a station’s seasonal mean air temperature is below about 15°–16°C. This threshold temperature may be location dependent. At temperatures above this threshold, precipitation intensity switches to decreasing with increasing air temperature, possibly related to decreasing water vapor associated with extreme high temperatures. Furthermore, the major atmospheric circulation of the Arctic Oscillation, Scandinavian pattern, east Atlantic–western Eurasian pattern, and polar–Eurasian pattern also have significant influences on precipitation intensity in winter, spring, and summer over certain areas of northern Eurasia.

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