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Ying Dai
and
Peter Hitchcock

Abstract

The canonical tropospheric response to a weakening of the stratospheric vortex—an equatorward shift of the eddy-driven jet—is mostly limited to the North Atlantic following sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs). A coherent change in the Pacific eddy-driven jet is notably absent. Why is this so? Using daily reanalysis data, we show that air–sea interactions over the North Pacific are responsible for the basin-asymmetric response to SSWs. Prior to the onset of some SSWs, their tropospheric precursors produce a dipolar SST pattern in the North Pacific, which then persists as the stratospheric polar vortex breaks down following the onset of the SSW. By reinforcing the lower-tropospheric baroclinicity, the dipolar SST pattern helps sustain the generation of baroclinic eddies, strengthening the near-surface Pacific eddy-driven jet and maintaining its near-climatological-mean state. This prevents the jet from being perturbed by the downward influence of the stratospheric anomalies. As a result, these SSWs exhibit a highly basin-asymmetric surface response with only the Atlantic eddy-driven jet shifted equatorward. For SSWs occurring without the atmospheric precursors in the North Pacific troposphere, the dipolar SST pattern is absent due to the lack of the atmospheric forcing. In the absence of the dipolar SST pattern and the resultant eddy–mean flow feedbacks, these SSWs exhibit a basin-symmetric surface response with both the Atlantic and the Pacific eddy-driven jets shifted equatorward. Our results provide an ocean–atmosphere coupled perspective on stratosphere–troposphere interaction following SSW events and have potential for improving subseasonal to seasonal forecasts for surface weather and climate.

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Ying Dai
and
Benkui Tan

Abstract

Previous studies have mainly focused on the influence of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on seasonal-mean conditions over East Asia and North America. This study, instead, proposes an ENSO pathway that influences the weather events over East Asia and North America, in which the eastern Pacific teleconnection pattern (EP) plays an important role. On the one hand, the EP pattern can induce significant surface temperature anomalies over East Asia during its development and mature stages, with the positive (negative) EPs causing colder (warmer) than normal weather events. Besides, the frequency of occurrence of EPs is significantly modulated by ENSO, with 50% of the positive EPs occurring in La Niña winters, and 47% of the negative EPs occurring in El Niño winters. As a result, in El Niño winters, more negative and fewer positive EPs tend to occur, and thus more warm and fewer cold weather events are expected in East Asia. For La Niña winters, the reverse is true. On the other hand, for the EP pattern without its canonical convection pattern (referred to as the nonconvective EP), extremely cold anomalies over the northern United States and western Canada are induced in its negative phase. Moreover, when there are positive sea surface temperature anomalies in the central equatorial Pacific, the frequency of occurrence of negative nonconvective EPs is 2.0 times greater than the climatological value, and thus an enhanced likelihood of extremely cold spells over North America may be expected.

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Ying Dai
and
Benkui Tan

Abstract

The western Pacific (WP) pattern is a major teleconnection pattern that influences the wintertime Northern Hemisphere climate variations. Based on daily NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data, this study examines the climate impacts and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) modulation of two types of the WP pattern. The result shows that the WP patterns may arise from precursory disturbances over Asia and the North Pacific or from the Pacific–North American (PNA) pattern of the same polarity as or opposite polarity to that of the WP patterns. Among these WP patterns, the WP patterns that arise from the PNA pattern of the same polarity are most influential on North American near-surface and polar stratospheric air temperatures; furthermore, their frequency of occurrence, amplitude, and duration can be affected by ENSO phases: the positive WP patterns occur more frequently with larger amplitude and longer duration in El Niño than in La Niña; and the negative WP patterns occur less frequently with smaller amplitude and shorter duration in El Niño than in La Niña. The above findings suggest that the PNA pattern plays a crucial role in the climate impacts and the ENSO modulation of the WP patterns.

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William H. Klein
and
Ying Dai

Abstract

This paper demonstrates an objective method of computing monthly mean 700-mb height anomalies (H) at 108 grid points in the Western Hemisphere for a 40-yr period as a function of concurrent anomalies of monthly mean sea level pressure (P), at the same 108 points used for H, and monthly mean surface air temperature (T) averaged over 112 areas in North America. The authors applied a forward stepwise program to derive linear multiple regression equations that explained 81% of the variance of H by means of only 3.5 variables, averaged over all months and grid points. The stability of these equations held up well on 6 yr of independent data in terms of explained variance, root-mean-square error, and the spatial anomaly correlation coefficient. Therefore, it seems feasible to reconstruct maps of H for the first half of the twentieth century as a function of data on P and T only.

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Ying Dai
,
Peter Hitchcock
, and
Isla R. Simpson

Abstract

In this study, observations and simulations are used to investigate the mechanisms behind the different surface responses over the North Pacific and North Atlantic basins in response to sudden stratospheric warmings associated with a polar-night jet oscillation event (PJO SSWs). In reanalysis and a free-running preindustrial simulation, on average, a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) response is seen, corresponding to an equatorward shift of the eddy-driven jet. This is considered as the canonical tropospheric response to PJO SSWs. In contrast, the response over the North Pacific is muted. This basin-asymmetric response is shaped by the North Pacific air–sea interactions spun up by the tropospheric precursor to PJO SSWs, which prevent the Pacific eddy-driven jet from responding to the downward influence from the stratosphere. To isolate the downward influence from the sudden warming itself from any preconditioning of the troposphere that may have occurred prior to the warming, a nudging technique is used by which a reference PJO SSW is artificially imposed in a 195-member ensemble spun off from a control simulation. The nudged ensembles show a more basin-symmetric negative Northern Annular Mode (NAM) response, in which the eddy-driven jet shifts equatorward in both the Pacific and Atlantic sectors. Monitoring the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the North Pacific before and at the onset of PJO SSWs may be useful for forecasting whether a basin-asymmetric negative NAO or basin-symmetric negative NAM response is more likely to emerge. This can be further used to improve subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions of weather and climate.

Significance Statement

Stratospheric sudden warming events (SSWs) occur when the eastward winds usually found above the Arctic in the winter spontaneously and rapidly reverse. Following their occurrence, the Northern Hemisphere surface westerlies move southward, sometimes over both the North Atlantic and North Pacific and other times over the North Atlantic only. We therefore wanted to understand this uncertainty in the North Pacific surface westerlies response. We find that the North Pacific surface westerlies response to SSWs can be muted by air–sea interactions over the North Pacific. Our results highlight the importance of monitoring the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the North Pacific before the occurrence of SSWs to forecast whether the Pacific westerlies are likely to respond to SSWs.

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Ying Sun
,
Susan Solomon
,
Aiguo Dai
, and
Robert W. Portmann

Abstract

Daily precipitation data from worldwide stations and gridded analyses and from 18 coupled global climate models are used to evaluate the models' performance in simulating the precipitation frequency, intensity, and the number of rainy days contributing to most (i.e., 67%) of the annual precipitation total. Although the models examined here are able to simulate the land precipitation amount well, most of them are unable to reproduce the spatial patterns of the precipitation frequency and intensity. For light precipitation (1–10 mm day−1), most models overestimate the frequency but produce patterns of the intensity that are in broad agreement with observations. In contrast, for heavy precipitation (>10 mm day−1), most models considerably underestimate the intensity but simulate the frequency relatively well. The average number of rainy days contributing to most of the annual precipitation is a simple index that captures the combined effects of precipitation frequency and intensity on the water supply. The different measures of precipitation characteristics examined in this paper reveal region-to-region differences in the observations and models of relevance for climate variability, water resources, and climate change.

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Ying Dai
,
Steven B. Feldstein
,
Benkui Tan
, and
Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The mechanisms that drive the Pacific–North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern with and without its canonical tropical convection pattern are investigated with daily ERA-Interim and NOAA OLR data (the former pattern is referred to as the convective PNA, and the latter pattern is referred to as the nonconvective PNA). Both the convective and nonconvective positive PNA are found to be preceded by wave activity fluxes associated with a Eurasian wave train. These wave activity fluxes enter the central subtropical Pacific, a location that is favorable for barotropic wave amplification, just prior to the rapid growth of the PNA. The wave activity fluxes are stronger for the positive nonconvective PNA, suggesting that barotropic amplification plays a greater role in its development. The negative convective PNA is also preceded by a Eurasian wave train, whereas the negative nonconvective PNA grows from the North Pacific contribution to a circumglobal teleconnection pattern. Driving by high-frequency eddy vorticity fluxes is largest for the negative convective PNA, indicating that a positive feedback may be playing a more dominant role in its development.

The lifetimes of convective PNA events are found to be longer than those of nonconvective PNA events, with the former (latter) persisting for about three (two) weeks. Furthermore, the frequency of the positive (negative) convective PNA is about 40% (60%) greater than that of the positive (negative) nonconvective PNA.

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Benkui Tan
,
Jiacan Yuan
,
Ying Dai
,
Steven B. Feldstein
, and
Sukyoung Lee

Abstract

The eastern Pacific (EP) pattern is a recently detected atmospheric teleconnection pattern that frequently occurs during late winter. Through analysis of daily ERA-Interim data and outgoing longwave radiation data for the period of 1979–2011, it is shown here that the formation of the EP is preceded by an anomalous tropical convection dipole, with one extremum located over the eastern Indian Ocean–Maritime Continent and the other over the central Pacific. This is followed by the excitation of two quasi-stationary Rossby wave trains. Departing from the subtropics, north of the region of anomalous convection, one Rossby wave train propagates eastward along the East Asian jet from southern China toward the eastern Pacific. The second wave train propagates northward from east of Japan toward eastern Siberia and then turns southeastward to the Gulf of Alaska. Both wave trains are associated with wave activity flux convergence where the EP pattern develops. The results from an examination of the E vector suggest that the EP undergoes further growth with the aid of positive feedback from high-frequency transient eddies. The frequency of occurrence of the dipole convection anomaly increases significantly from early to late winter, a finding that suggests that it is the seasonal change in the convection anomaly that accounts for the EP being more dominant in late winter.

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Yongjiu Dai
,
Robert E. Dickinson
, and
Ying-Ping Wang

Abstract

The energy exchange, evapotranspiration, and carbon exchange by plant canopies depend on leaf stomatal control. The treatment of this control has been required by land components of climate and carbon models. Physiological models can be used to simulate the responses of stomatal conductance to changes in atmospheric and soil environments. Big-leaf models that treat a canopy as a single leaf tend to overestimate fluxes of CO2 and water vapor. Models that differentiate between sunlit and shaded leaves largely overcome these problems.

A one-layered, two-big-leaf submodel for photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, leaf temperature, and energy fluxes is presented in this paper. It includes 1) an improved two stream approximation model of radiation transfer of the canopy, with attention to singularities in its solution and with separate integrations of radiation absorption by sunlit and shaded fractions of canopy; 2) a photosynthesis–stomatal conductance model for sunlit and shaded leaves separately, and for the simultaneous transfers of CO2 and water vapor into and out of the leaf—leaf physiological properties (i.e., leaf nitrogen concentration, maximum potential electron transport rate, and hence photosynthetic capacity) vary throughout the plant canopy in response to the radiation–weight time-mean profile of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and the soil water limitation is applied to both maximum rates of leaf carbon uptake by Rubisco and electron transport, and the model scales up from leaf to canopy separately for all sunlit and shaded leaves; 3) a well-built quasi-Newton–Raphson method for simultaneous solution of temperatures of the sunlit and shaded leaves.

The model was incorporated into the Common Land Model (CLM) and is denoted CLM 2L. It was driven with observational atmospheric forcing from two forest sites [Anglo-Brazilian Amazonian Climate Observation Study (ABRACOS) and Boreal Ecosystem–Atmosphere Study (BOREAS)] for 2 yr of simulation. The simulated fluxes by CLM 2L were compared with the observations, and with the results by the CLM with a single big-leaf scheme (CLM 1L) and by the CLM with the assimilation–stomatal conductance scheme of NCAR Land Surface Model (LSM). The results showed that CLM 2L was an improvement compared to the CLM 1L and the CLM for the test cases of tropical evergreen broadleaf land cover and coniferous boreal forest.

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Ying Sun
,
Susan Solomon
,
Aiguo Dai
, and
Robert W. Portmann

Abstract

Daily precipitation data from climate change simulations using the latest generation of coupled climate system models are analyzed for potential future changes in precipitation characteristics. For the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) B1 (a low projection), A1B (a medium projection), and A2 (a high projection) during the twenty-first century, all the models consistently show a shift toward more intense and extreme precipitation for the globe as a whole and over various regions. For both SRES B1 and A2, most models show decreased daily precipitation frequency and all the models show increased daily precipitation intensity. The multimodel averaged percentage increase in the precipitation intensity (2.0% K−1) is larger than the magnitude of the precipitation frequency decrease (−0.7% K−1). However, the shift in precipitation frequency distribution toward extremes results in large increases in very heavy precipitation events (>50 mm day−1), so that for very heavy precipitation, the percentage increase in frequency is much larger than the increase in intensity (31.2% versus 2.4%). The climate model projected increases in daily precipitation intensity are, however, smaller than that based on simple thermodynamics (∼7% K−1). Multimodel ensemble means show that precipitation amount increases during the twenty-first century over high latitudes, as well as over currently wet regions in low- and midlatitudes more than other regions. This increase mostly results from a combination of increased frequency and intensity. Over the dry regions in the subtropics, the precipitation amount generally declines because of decreases in both frequency and intensity. This indicates that wet regions may get wetter and dry regions may become drier mostly because of a simultaneous increase (decrease) of precipitation frequency and intensity.

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