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Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

A simple ventilated thermocline model is used to study the subtropical-tropical mass exchange. It is found that the water subducted in the western subtropical gyre (recirculating window) tends to recirculate within the subtropical gyre. while the water subducted in the eastern part (exchange window) tends to penetrate equatorward. The exchange window expands with an increased easterly wind or basin width on the southern boundary of the subtropical gyre, but shrinks with an increased wind curl within the subtropical gyre.

Furthermore, the total exchange transport increases with the easterly wind or the width of the basin on the southern boundary of the subtropical gyre, but it is independent of subtropical wind. The ventilation mechanism is important in supporting the exchange transport. For wind with realistic strength at the southern boundary, the reduction of the exchange transport is about 15%–30% of the Ekman transport.

Finally, relative to the exchange transport in the interior of the ocean, the exchange transport through the low-latitude western boundary current decreases with increased total exchange transport.

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Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

The response of a thermocline gyre to anomalies in surface wind stress forcing and surface buoyancy forcing is investigated in light of planetary wave dynamics, both analytically and numerically. The author’s theory suggests that anomalous Ekman pumping most efficiently generates the non-Doppler-shift mode, which resembles the first baroclinic mode and has the clearest signal in the sea surface height field and the lower thermocline temperature field. The non-Doppler-shift mode propagates westward rapidly regardless of the mean circulation. In contrast, anomalous surface buoyancy forcing, which can be simulated by an entrainment velocity, produces the strongest response in the advective mode, which resembles the second baroclinic mode and has the largest signature in the upper thermocline temperature field. The advective mode tends to propagate in the direction of the subsurface flow, but its propagation speed may differ substantially from that of the mean flow. The theory is further substantiated by numerical experiments in three ocean models: a 3-layer eddy-resolving quasigeostrophic model, a 2.5-layer primitive equation model, and an oceanic general circulation model. Finally, relevance of the theory to recent observations of decadal variability in the upper ocean and the climate system is also discussed.

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Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

The study of a forced delayed oscillator ENSO model suggests that the intensity of ENSO can be suppressed significantly by an external periodic forcing due to the nonlinear mechanism of frequency entrainment. This suppression of ENSO is most effective for ENSOs in the regime of unstable self-exciting oscillation and for forcing of frequencies close to that of ENSO. In particular, an annual cycle forcing can suppress ENSO substantially. This ENSO suppression effect by an external annual cycle is in contrast to the effect of the seasonal change of the coupled instability: the latter predominantly generates the seasonal phase locking of ENSO but has little effect on the amplitude of ENSO. Potential implications are also discussed for the evolution of ENSO in the Holocene and the observed monsoon–ENSO relationship.

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Wei Liu and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

A diagnostic indicator ΔM ov is proposed in this paper to monitor the stability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The ΔM ov is a diagnostic for a basinwide salt-advection feedback and defined as the difference between the freshwater transport induced by the AMOC across the southern border of the Atlantic Ocean and the overturning liquid freshwater transport from the Arctic Ocean to the North Atlantic. As validated in the Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3), for an AMOC in the conveyor state, a positive ΔM ov (freshwater convergence) in the Atlantic basin indicates a monostable AMOC and a negative ΔM ov (freshwater divergence) indicates a bistable AMOC. Based on ΔM ov, the authors investigate the AMOC stability in the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and analyze the modulation of the AMOC stability by an open/closed Bering Strait. Moreover, the authors estimate that the real AMOC is likely to be bistable in the present day, since some observations suggest a negative ΔM ov (freshwater divergence) is currently in the Atlantic basin. However, this estimation is very sensitive to the choice of the observational data.

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Wei Liu and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

This study examines the validity of the net freshwater transport ΔM ov as a stability indicator of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in a low-resolution version of the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3). It is shown that the sign of ΔM ov indicates the monostability or bistability of the AMOC, which is based on a hypothesis that a collapsed AMOC induces a zero net freshwater transport. In CCSM3, this hypothesis is satisfied in that the collapsed AMOC, with a nonzero strength, induces a zero net freshwater transport ΔM ov across the Atlantic basin by generating equivalent freshwater export M ovS and freshwater import M ovN at the southern and northern boundaries, respectively. Because of the satisfaction of the hypothesis, ΔM ov is consistent with a generalized indicator L for a slowly evolving AMOC, both of which correctly monitor the AMOC stability.

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Xiaojie Zhu and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

The trend of sea surface temperature (SST) in the twentieth century is examined in observations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) twentieth-century simulations. The observed SST neither shows a clear signal of the enhanced equatorial response (EER) warming nor exhibits a clear trend of the El Niño–like warming in the last century. Similarly, the IPCC simulations show neither a clear EER warming nor an El Niño–like warming in the last century. Furthermore, the comparison of heat fluxes in model simulations of the global warming scenario and the twentieth century indicates that the aerosol cooling effect, opposite to the greenhouse gases warming effect, plays an important role in the twentieth century and explains the EER-like signal in the twentieth-century simulations. Therefore, a conclusion that the IPCC model simulations of the twentieth century are consistent with observations within the error bars as well as the future projection of the EER warming pattern in the global warming scenario are validated.

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Michael Notaro and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

The authors demonstrate that variability in vegetation cover can potentially influence oceanic variability through the atmospheric bridge. Experiments aimed at isolating the impact of variability in forest cover along the poleward side of the Asian boreal forest on North Pacific SSTs are performed using the fully coupled model, Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model–Lund Potsdam Jena (FOAM-LPJ), with dynamic atmosphere, ocean, and vegetation. The northern edge of the simulated Asian boreal forest is characterized by substantial variability in annual forest cover, with an east–west dipole pattern marking its first EOF mode. Simulations in which vegetation cover is allowed to vary over north/central Russia exhibit statistically significant greater SST variance over the Kuroshio Extension. Anomalously high forest cover over North Asia supports a lower surface albedo with higher temperatures and lower sea level pressure, leading to a reduction in cold advection into northern China and in turn a decrease in cold air transport into the Kuroshio Extension region. Variability in the large-scale circulation pattern is indirectly impacted by the aforementioned vegetation feedback, including the enhancement in upper-level jet wind variability along the north–south flanks of the East Asian jet stream.

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Zhengyu Liu and Boyin Huang

Abstract

It is suggested that the tritium maximum in the central Pacific is caused by two water pathways across the North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC), one from the central Pacific and the other from the Mindanao Current. It is argued that an interior pathway exists, by which tritium-rich thermocline waters from the subtropical North Pacific cross the NECC in the central Pacific. The transport in this pathway, however, is small compared with that from the Mindanao Current.

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Yafang Zhong and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

Atmospheric response to North Pacific oceanic variability is assessed in Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3) using two statistical methods and one dynamical method. All methods identify an equivalent barotropic low response to a warmer sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in the Kuroshio Extension region (KOE) during early–midwinter. While all three methods capture the major features of the response, the generalized equilibrium feedback assessment method (GEFA) isolates the impact of KOE SST from a complex context, and thus makes itself an excellent choice for similar practice.

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Lixin Wu and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

Decadal variability in the North Pacific is studied in a series of coupled global ocean–atmosphere simulations using coupled modeling surgery—a set of modeling approaches that can be used to identify the origins and causes of a specific variability mode in the coupled climate system. Both modeling and observational studies suggest two distinctive internal modes in the North Pacific: the North Pacific mode (NPM) and the eastern North Pacific mode (ENPM). The ENPM originates from atmospheric stochastic forcing through spatial resonance. Both local ocean–atmosphere coupling and remote tropical teleconnective forcing can enhance the ENPM, but none of them is a necessary precondition. The influence of the tropical forcing in the midlatitudes is dominated by atmospheric teleconnection, while the oceanic teleconnection is negligible. The upper-ocean heat budget reveals that SST anomalies in the central North Pacific and the eastern North Pacific are generated by anomalous Ekman advection and surface heat flux, respectively. In contrast to the ENPM, the NPM critically depends on local ocean–atmosphere coupled feedback, although the atmospheric stochastic forcing can generate a NPM-like mode with much reduced amplitudes and no preferred timescale.

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