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Chao Liu, Bin Yao, Vijay Natraj, Fuzhong Weng, Tianhao Le, Run-Lie Shia, and Yuk L. Yung

Abstract

With the increasing use of satellite and ground-based high-spectral-resolution (HSR) measurements for weather and climate applications, accurate and efficient radiative transfer (RT) models have become essential for accurate atmospheric retrievals, for instrument calibration, and to provide benchmark RT solutions. This study develops a spectral data compression (SDCOMP) RT model to simulate HSR radiances in both solar and infrared spectral regions. The SDCOMP approach “compresses” the spectral data in the optical property and radiance domains, utilizing principal component analysis (PCA) twice to alleviate the computational burden. First, an optical-property-based PCA is performed for a given atmospheric scenario (atmospheric, trace gas, and aerosol profiles) to simulate relatively low-spectral-resolution radiances at a small number of representative wavelengths. Second, by using precalculated principal components from an accurate radiance dataset computed for a large number of atmospheric scenarios, a radiance-based PCA is carried out to extend the low-spectral-resolution results to desired HSR results at all wavelengths. This procedure ensures both that individual monochromatic RT calculations are efficiently performed and that the number of such computations is optimized. SDCOMP is approximately three orders of magnitude faster than numerically exact RT calculations. The resulting monochromatic radiance has relative errors less than 0.2% in the solar region and brightness temperature differences less than 0.1 K for over 95% of the cases in the infrared region. The efficiency and accuracy of SDCOMP not only make it useful for analysis of HSR measurements, but also hint at the potential for utilizing this model to perform RT simulations in mesoscale numerical weather and general circulation models.

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George Tselioudis, Anthony D. DelGenio, William Kovari Jr., and Mao-Sung Yao

Abstract

A current-climate simulation of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) GCM, which includes interactive cloud optical properties that depend on the predicted cloud water content, is analyzed to document the variations of low cloud optical thickness with temperature in the model atmosphere. It is found that low cloud optical thickness decreases with temperature in the warm subtropical and tropical latitudes and increases with temperature in the cold midlatitude regions. This behavior is in agreement with the results of two observational studies that analyzed satellite data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager datasets. The increase of low cloud optical thickness with temperature in the midlatitudes is due to vertical extent and cloud water increases, whereas the decrease with temperature in the warm latitudes is due to decreases in cloud water content and happens despite increases in cloud vertical extent. The cloud processes that produce the cloud property changes in the model also vary with latitude. In the midlatitude regions relative-humidity-induced increases of cloud vertical extent with temperature dominate, whereas in the Tropics increases in cloud-top entrainment and precipitation with temperature produce decreases of cloud water content, whose effect on optical thickness outweighs the effect of entrainment-induced increases of cloud vertical extent with temperature. Doubled-CO2 simulations with the GISS GCM suggest that even though low cloud optical thickness changes have little effect on the global climate sensitivity of the model, they redistribute the temperature change and reduce the high-latitude amplification of the greenhouse warming. It is also found that the current-climate variations of low cloud optical thickness with temperature reproduce qualitatively but overestimate quantitatively the changes in optical thickness with climate warming.

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Shizuo Liu, Qigang Wu, Lin Wang, Steven R. Schroeder, Yang Zhang, Yonghong Yao, and Haibo Hu

Abstract

Northern Hemisphere (NH) snow cover extent (SCE) has diminished in spring and early summer since the 1960s. Historical simulations from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) estimated about half as much NH SCE reduction as observed, and thus underestimated the associated climate responses. This study investigates atmospheric responses to realistic decreasing snow anomalies using multiple ensemble transient integrations of climate models forced by observed light and heavy NH snow cover years, specifically satellite-based observations of NH SCE and snow water equivalent from March to August in 1990 (light snow) and 1985 (heavy snow), as a proxy for the trend. The primary atmospheric responses to March–August NH snow reduction are decreased soil moisture, increased surface air temperature, general tropospheric warming in the extratropics and the Arctic, increased geopotential heights, and weakening of the midlatitude jet stream and eddy kinetic energy. The localized response is maintained by persistent increased diabatic heating due to reduced snow anomalies and resulting soil moisture drying, and the remote atmospheric response results partly from horizontal propagation of stationary Rossby wave energy and also from a transient eddy feedback mechanism. In summer, atmospheric responses are significant in both the Arctic and the tropics and are mostly induced by contemporaneous snow forcing, but also by the summer soil moisture dry anomaly associated with early snow melting.

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Shiyuan Zhong, Ju Li, C. David Whiteman, Xindi Bian, and Wenqing Yao

Abstract

The climatology of high wind events in the Owens Valley, California, a deep valley located just east of the southern Sierra Nevada, is described using data from six automated weather stations distributed along the valley axis in combination with the North American Regional Reanalysis dataset. Potential mechanisms for the development of strong winds in the valley are examined.

Contrary to the common belief that strong winds in the Owens Valley are westerly downslope windstorms that develop on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, strong westerly winds are rare in the valley. Instead, strong winds are highly bidirectional, blowing either up (northward) or down (southward) the valley axis. High wind events are most frequent in spring and early fall and they occur more often during daytime than during nighttime, with a peak frequency in the afternoon. Unlike thermally driven valley winds that blow up valley during daytime and down valley during nighttime, strong winds may blow in either direction regardless of the time of the day. The southerly up-valley winds appear most often in the afternoon, a time when there is a weak minimum of northerly down-valley winds, indicating that strong wind events are modulated by local along-valley thermal forcing.

Several mechanisms, including downward momentum transfer, forced channeling, and pressure-driven channeling all play a role in the development of southerly high wind events. These events are typically accompanied by strong south-southwesterly synoptic winds ahead of an upper-level trough off the California coast. The northerly high wind events, which typically occur when winds aloft are from the northwest ahead of an approaching upper-level ridge, are predominantly caused by the passage of a cold front when fast-moving cold air behind the surface front undercuts and displaces the warmer air in the valley. Forced channeling by the sidewalls of the relatively narrow valley aligns the wind direction with the valley axis and enhances the wind speeds.

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R. W. Higgins, Y. Yao, E. S. Yarosh, J. E. Janowiak, and K. C. Mo

Abstract

The influence of the Great Plains low-level jet (LLJ) on summertime precipitation and moisture transport over the central United States is examined in observations and in assimilated datasets recently produced by the NCEP/NCAR and the NASA/DAO. Intercomparisons between the assimilated datasets and comparisons with station observations of precipitation, winds, and specific humidity are used to evaluate the limitations of the assimilated products for studying the diurnal cycle of rainfall and the Great Plains LLJ. The winds from the reanalyses are used to diagnose the impact of the LLJ on observed nocturnal precipitation and moisture transport over a multisummer (JJA 1985–89) period. The impact of the LLJ on the overall moisture budget of the central United States is also examined.

An inspection of the diurnal cycle of precipitation in gridded hourly station observations for 1963–93 reveals a well-defined nocturnal maximum over the Great Plains region during the spring and summer months consistent with earlier observational studies. During summer in excess of 25% more precipitation falls during the nighttime hours than during the daytime hours over a large portion of the Great Plains, with a commensurate decrease in the percentage amount of nocturnal precipitation along the Gulf Coast. Inspection of the nighttime precipitation by month shows that the maximum in precipitation along the Gulf Coast slowly shifts northward from the lower Mississippi Valley to the upper Midwest during the late spring and summer months and then back again during the fall.

Both reanalyses produce a Great Plains LLJ with a structure, diurnal cycle, and frequency of occurrence that compares favorably to hourly wind profiler data. Composites of observed nighttime rainfall during LLJ events show a fundamentally different pattern in the distribution of precipitation compared to nonjet events. Overall, LLJ events are associated with enhanced precipitation over the north central United States and Great Plains and decreased precipitation along the Gulf Coast and East Coast; nonjet events are associated with much weaker anomalies that are generally in the opposite sense. Inspection of the LLJ composites for each month shows a gradual shift of the region of enhanced precipitation from the northern tier of states toward the south and east in a manner consistent with the anomalous moisture transport. LLJ-related precipitation is found to be associated most closely with the strongest, least frequent LLJ events.

The moisture transport in the reanalyses compares favorably to radiosonde data, although significant regional differences exist, particularly along the Gulf Coast during summer. The diurnal cycle of the low-level moisture transport is well resolved in the reanalyses with the largest and most extensive anomalies being those associated with the nocturnal inland flow of the Great Plains LLJ. Examination of the impact of the LLJ on the nighttime moisture transport shows a coherent evolution from May to August with a gradual increase in the anomalous westerly transport over the southeastern United States, consistent with the evolution of the precipitation patterns. The impact of the LLJ on the overall moisture budget during summer is considerable with low-level inflow from the Gulf of Mexico increasing by more than 45%, on average, over nocturnal mean values.

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Dong-Peng Guo, Peng Zhao, Ren-Tai Yao, Yun-Peng Li, Ji-Min Hu, and Dan Fan

Abstract

In this paper, the kε renormalization group (RNG) turbulence model is used to simulate the flow and dispersion of pollutants emitted from a source at the top of a cubic building under neutral and stable atmospheric stratifications, the results of which were compared with corresponding wind tunnel experiment results. When atmosphere stratification is stable, the separation zones on the sides and at the top of a building are relatively smaller than those under neutral conditions, and the effect of the building in the horizontal direction is stronger than that in the vertical direction. The variation in turbulent kinetic energy under stable conditions is significantly lower than that under neutral conditions. The effect of atmospheric stratification on the turbulent kinetic energy becomes gradually more prominent with increased distance. When atmosphere conditions are stable, the vertical distribution of the plume is smaller than that of neutral conditions, but the lateral spread and near-ground concentration are slightly larger than those of neutral conditions, mainly because stable atmospheric stratification suppresses the vertical motions of airflow and increases the horizontal spread of the plume.

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Jeng-Lin Tsai, Ben-Jei Tsuang, Po-Sheng Lu, Ken-Hui Chang, Ming-Hwi Yao, and Yuan Shen

Abstract

The aerodynamic roughness, Bowen ratio, and friction velocity were measured over a rice paddy using tethersonde and eddy covariance (EC) systems. In addition, the height ranges of the atmospheric inertial sublayer (ISL) were derived using the tethersonde data. Comparison of the friction velocity, latent and sensible heat fluxes, and Bowen ratio estimated from these systems show their correlation coefficients to be >0.7. This difference between the observational systems can be associated with their respective footprint areas. The aerodynamic roughness was observed to be about 0.03 m for wind blowing from a paddy-dominated area (PDA) and about 0.37 m from a rice paddy interspersed with buildings (PIB) based on the ISL profile. Results are close to the effective roughness length model of Mason, having the same shear stresses at the blending height. In contrast, both the geometric mean model of Taylor and the arithmetic mean model of Tsai and Tsuang underestimate the effective roughness over the PIB. During daylight hours, the height range of the ISL ranged from a few meters to 25 m above ground level (AGL) for wind blowing from the PDA and 14–42 m for wind blowing from the PIB.

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Yuhong Zhang, Yan Du, W. N. D. S Jayarathna, Qiwei Sun, Ying Zhang, Fengchao Yao, and Ming Feng

Abstract

A prolonged high-salinity event in the northern Arabian Sea, to the east of the Gulf of Oman, during 2014–17 was identified based on Argo datasets. The prolonged event was manifested as enhanced spreading of the surface Arabian Sea high-salinity water and the intermediate Persian Gulf water. We used satellite altimetric data and geostrophic current data to understand the oceanic processes and the salt budget associated with the high-salinity event. The results indicated that the strengthened high-salinity advection from the Gulf of Oman was one of the main causes of the salinity increase in the northern Arabian Sea. The changes of the seasonally dependent eddies near the mouth of the Gulf of Oman dominated the strengthened high-salinity advection during the event as compared with the previous 4-yr period: the westward shifted cyclonic eddy during early winter stretched to the remote western Gulf of Oman, which carried the higher-salinity water to the northern Arabian Sea along the south coast of the Gulf. An anomalous eddy dipole during early summer intensified the eastward Ras Al Hadd Jet and its high-salinity advection into the northern Arabian Sea. In addition, the weakened low-salinity advection by coastal currents along the Omani coast caused by the weakened southwest monsoon contributed to the maintenance of the high-salinity event. This prolonged high-salinity event reflects the upper-ocean responses to the monsoon change and may affect the regional hydrography and biogeochemistry extensively.

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Qiang Wang, Lili Zeng, Yeqiang Shu, Jian Li, Ju Chen, Yunkai He, Jinglong Yao, Dongxiao Wang, and Weidong Zhou

Abstract

Topographic Rossby waves (TRWs) are reported to make a significant contribution to the deep-ocean current variability. On the northern South China Sea (NSCS) continental slope, TRWs with peak spectral energy at ~14.5 days are observed over about a year at deep moorings aligned east–west around the Dongsha Islands. The TRWs with a group velocity of O(10) cm s−1 contribute more than 40% of total bottom velocity fluctuations at the two mooring stations. The energy propagation and source are further identified using a ray-tracing model. The TRW energy mainly propagates westward along the NSCS continental slope with a slight downslope component. The possible energy source is upper-ocean 10–20-day fluctuations on the east side of the Dongsha Islands, which are transferred through the first baroclinic mode (i.e., the second EOF mode). These 10–20-day fluctuations in the upper ocean are associated with mesoscale eddies. However, to the west of the Dongsha Islands, the 10–20-day fluctuations in the upper ocean are too weak to effectively generate TRWs locally. This work provides an interesting insight toward understanding the NSCS deep current variability and the linkage between the upper- and deep-ocean currents.

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Yingbin He, Dongmei Liu, Yanmin Yao, Qing Huang, Jianping Li, Youqi Chen, Shuqin Shi, Li Wan, Shikai Yu, and Deying Wang

Abstract

In this paper, an integrated indicator-based system is established to map the suitability of spring soybean cultivation in northeast China. The indicator system incorporates both biophysical and socioeconomic factors, including the effects of temperature, precipitation, and sunshine on the individual development stages of the spring soybean life cycle. Spatial estimates of crop suitability derived using this indicator system are also compared with spring soybean planting areas to identify locations where there is scope for structural adjustment in soybean farming. Results of this study indicate that northeast China is moderately suited to spring soybean cultivation. Areas classified as suitable, moderately suitable, and unsuitable for soybean cultivation, respectively, occupy approximately 9.09 × 104, 11.45 × 104, and 7.99 × 104 km2, accounting for 11.5%, 10.11%, and 14.49% of the total area of northeast China. The Songnen and Sanjiang Plains are identified as the most and least suitable places, respectively, for spring soybean growth. A comparative analysis indicates that the suitable, moderately suitable, and unsuitable areas account for 24.78%, 46.30%, and 28.92%, respectively, of the total area presently under soybean cultivation. The analysis suggests that soybean cultivation in Heilongjiang Province is generally unfavorable, with equivalent percentages of 15.39%, 51.70%, and 32.91%. Results suggest that agricultural structural adjustment may be required to encourage farmers to grow spring soybeans. It is anticipated that this study will provide a basis for follow-up studies on crop cultivation suitability.

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