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Yonghui Lei
,
Jiancheng Shi
,
Chuan Xiong
, and
Dabin Ji

Abstract

In this study, the net water flux (precipitation minus evaporation) over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and its 12 drainage basins is estimated using ERA5. The terrestrial branch of the water cycle is investigated using the total water storage anomalies (TWSAs) derived from GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) data and daily streamflow records collected in Zhimenda and Tangnaihai (two hydrological stations located in the upper Yangtze River Basin and upper Yellow River Basin). This work provides a preliminary assessment of discrepancies between model-derived and space-based observations in the atmospheric–terrestrial water cycle over the TP and its drainage basins. The results show that the net water fluxes occurring over the TP and the scale of its drainage basins are closely tied to local dynamics and physical processes and to large-scale circulation and atmospheric water vapor. ERA5 maintains the atmospheric water balance over the TP. ERA5-derived net water flux anomalies constitute a major component of the water cycle and correspond to GRACE-derived TWSAs. The water budget–based approach with the ERA5 and ITSG-Grace2018 datasets constrains the atmospheric–terrestrial water cycle over the TP and its drainage basins. Both the ERA5- and GRACE-derived estimates contain consistent long- and short-term variations over the TP. Discrepancies are evident at the drainage basin, while the ratio of signal to noise in both the ERA5 and GRACE datasets might cause discrepancies between estimates over relatively small or arid basins. Nevertheless, the observed good correspondence between ERA5- and GRACE-derived atmospheric–terrestrial water cycles over the TP highlights the potential value of the rational application of water resource information.

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Carl J. Schreck III
,
Lei Shi
,
James P. Kossin
, and
John J. Bates

Abstract

The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and convectively coupled equatorial waves are the dominant modes of synoptic-to-subseasonal variability in the tropics. These systems have frequently been examined with proxies for convection such as outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). However, upper-tropospheric water vapor (UTWV) gives a more complete picture of tropical circulations because it is more sensitive to the drying and warming associated with subsidence. Previous studies examined tropical variability using relatively short (3–7 yr) UTWV datasets. Intersatellite calibration of data from the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) has recently produced a homogeneous 32-yr climate data record of UTWV for 200–500 hPa. This study explores the utility of HIRS UTWV for identifying the MJO and equatorial waves.

Spectral analysis shows that the MJO and equatorial waves stand out above the low-frequency background in UTWV, similar to previous findings with OLR. The fraction of variance associated with the MJO and equatorial Rossby waves is actually greater in UTWV than in OLR. Kelvin waves, on the other hand, are overshadowed in UTWV by horizontal advection from extratropical Rossby waves.

For the MJO, UTWV identifies subsidence drying in the subtropics, poleward of the convection. These dry anomalies are associated with the MJO’s subtropical Rossby gyres. MJO events with dry anomalies over the central North Pacific Ocean also amplify the 200-hPa flow pattern over North America 7 days later. These events cannot be identified using equatorial OLR alone, which demonstrates that UTWV is a useful supplement for identifying the MJO, equatorial waves.

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Jing Lei
,
Zhengguo Shi
,
Xiaoning Xie
,
Yingying Sha
,
Xinzhou Li
,
Xiaodong Liu
, and
Zhisheng An

Abstract

The westerly jet (WJ) is an important component of atmospheric circulation, which is characterized by prominent seasonal variations in intensity and position. However, the response of the WJ over Asia during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is still not clear. Using general circulation model experiments, the seasonal behaviors of the WJ over central Asia and Japan are analyzed in this paper. The results show that, compared to the present day (PD), the WJ presents a complicated response during the LGM, both in intensity and position. Over central Asia, it becomes weaker in both summer and winter. But over Japan, it is enhanced in summer but becomes diminished in winter. In terms of position, the WJ over central Asia shifts southward in both summer and winter, whereas the WJ over Japan moves southward in summer but does not change obviously relative to PD in winter. Such WJ changes are well explained by meridional temperature gradients in high troposphere, which is closely linked to seasonal thermal anomalies over the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Despite cooler LGM conditions, the anomalous warming center over the TP becomes stronger in summer. Derived from the heat budget equation, the stronger heating center is mainly caused by the weaker adiabatic cooling generated from ascending motion over the area south of the TP. In winter, the cooling over the TP is also strengthened, mostly owing to the subsidence-induced weaker adiabatic heating. Due to the importance of the WJ, the potential role of TP thermal effects should be a focus when explaining the East Asian climate change during the LGM.

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Longhui Li
,
Yingping Wang
,
Vivek K. Arora
,
Derek Eamus
,
Hao Shi
,
Jing Li
,
Lei Cheng
,
James Cleverly
,
T. Hajima
,
Duoying Ji
,
C. Jones
,
M. Kawamiya
,
Weiping Li
,
J. Tjiputra
,
A. Wiltshire
,
Lu Zhang
, and
Qiang Yu

Abstract

Water and carbon fluxes simulated by 12 Earth system models (ESMs) that participated in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) over several recent decades were evaluated using three functional constraints that are derived from both model simulations, or four global datasets, and 736 site-year measurements. Three functional constraints are ecosystem water-use efficiency (WUE), light-use efficiency (LUE), and the partitioning of precipitation P into evapotranspiration (ET) and runoff based on the Budyko framework. Although values of these three constraints varied significantly with time scale and should be quite conservative if being averaged over multiple decades, the results showed that both WUE and LUE simulated by the ensemble mean of 12 ESMs were generally lower than the site measurements. Simulations by the ESMs were generally consistent with the broad pattern of energy-controlled ET under wet conditions and soil water-controlled ET under dry conditions, as described by the Budyko framework. However, the value of the parameter in the Budyko framework ω, obtained from fitting the Budyko curve to the ensemble model simulation (1.74), was larger than the best-fit value of ω to the observed data (1.28). Globally, the ensemble mean of multiple models, although performing better than any individual model simulations, still underestimated the observed WUE and LUE, and overestimated the ratio of ET to P, as a result of overestimation in ET and underestimation in gross primary production (GPP). The results suggest that future model development should focus on improving the algorithms of the partitioning of precipitation into ecosystem ET and runoff, and the coupling of water and carbon cycles for different land-use types.

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