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Yi Shi, Zhihong Jiang, Zhengyu Liu, and Laurent Li

Abstract

The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) platform is used to simulate Lagrangian trajectories of air parcels in East China during the summer monsoon. The investigation includes four distinct stages of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) during its seasonal migration from south to north. Correspondingly, the main water vapor channel migrates from the west Pacific Ocean (PO) for the premonsoon in South China (SC) to the Indian Ocean (IO) for the monsoon in SC and in the Yangtze–Huaihe River basin, and finally back to the PO for the terminal stage of monsoon in North China. Further calculations permit us to determine water vapor source regions and water vapor contribution to precipitation in East China. To a large extent, moisture leading to precipitation does not come from the strongest water vapor pathways. For example, the proportions of trajectories from the IO are larger than 25% all of the time, but moisture contributions to actual precipitation are smaller than 10%. This can be explained by the large amount of water vapor lost in the pathways across moisture-losing areas such as the Indian and Indochina Peninsulas. Local water vapor recycling inside East China (EC) contributes significantly to regional precipitation, with contributions mostly over 30%, although the trajectory proportions from subregions in EC are all under 10%. This contribution rate can even exceed 55% for the terminal stage of the monsoon in North China. Such a result provides important guidance to understand the role of land surface conditions in modulating rainfall in North China.

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Zhengyu Liu, S. G. H. Philander, and R. C. Pacanowski

Abstract

Experiments with an oceanic general circulation model indicate that the tropical and subtropical oceanic circulations are linked in three ways. Far from coast in the oceanic interior, equatorial surface waters flow poleward to the southern part of the subtropical gyre, and then are subducted and returned in the thermocline to the upper part of the core of the Equatorial Undercurrent. There is, in addition, a surface western boundary current that carries waters from the equatorial region to the northern part of the subtropical gyre. After subduction, that water reaches the equator by means of a subsurface western boundary current and provides a substantial part (2/3 approximately) of the initial transport of the Equatorial Undercurrent. The eastward flow in the Equatorial Undercurrent is part of an intense equatorial cell in which water rises to the surface at the equator, drifts westward and poleward, then sinks near 3° latitude to flow equatorward where it rejoins the undercurrent.

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Jingzhe Sun, Zhengyu Liu, Feiyu Lu, Weimin Zhang, and Shaoqing Zhang

Abstract

Recent studies proposed leading averaged coupled covariance (LACC) as an effective strongly coupled data assimilation (SCDA) method to improve the coupled state estimation over weakly coupled data assimilation (WCDA) in a coupled general circulation model (CGCM). This SCDA method, however, has been previously evaluated only in the perfect model scenario. Here, as a further step toward evaluating LACC for real world data assimilation, LACC is evaluated for the assimilation of reanalysis data in a CGCM. Several criteria are used to evaluate LACC against the benchmark WCDA. It is shown that despite significant model bias, LACC can improve the coupled state estimation over WCDA. Compared to WCDA, LACC increases the globally averaged anomaly correlation coefficients (ACCs) of sea surface temperature (SST) by 0.036 and atmosphere temperature at the bottom level (T s) by 0.058. However, there also exist regions where WCDA outperforms LACC. Although the reduction in the anomaly root-mean-square error (RMSE) is not as consistently clear as the increase in ACC, LACC can largely correct the biased model climatology.

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Yuchu Zhao, Zhengyu Liu, Fei Zheng, and Yishuai Jin

Abstract

We performed parameter estimation in the Zebiak–Cane model for the real-world scenario using the approach of ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation and the observational data of sea surface temperature and wind stress analyses. With real-world data assimilation in the coupled model, our study shows that model parameters converge toward stable values. Furthermore, the new parameters improve the real-world ENSO prediction skill, with the skill improved most by the parameter of the highest climate sensitivity (gam2), which controls the strength of anomalous upwelling advection term in the SST equation. The improved prediction skill is found to be contributed mainly by the improvement in the model dynamics, and second by the improvement in the initial field. Finally, geographic-dependent parameter optimization further improves the prediction skill across all the regions. Our study suggests that parameter optimization using ensemble data assimilation may provide an effective strategy to improve climate models and their real-world climate predictions in the future.

Open access
Lixin Wu, Feng He, Zhengyu Liu, and Chun Li

Abstract

In this paper, the atmospheric teleconnections of the tropical Atlantic SST variability are investigated in a series of coupled ocean–atmosphere modeling experiments. It is found that the tropical Atlantic climate not only displays an apparent interhemispheric link, but also significantly influences the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In spring, the tropical Atlantic SST exhibits an interhemispheric seesaw controlled by the wind–evaporation–SST (WES) feedback that subsequently decays through the mediation of the seasonal migration of the ITCZ. Over the North Atlantic, the tropical Atlantic SST can force a significant coupled NAO–dipole SST response in spring that changes to a coupled wave train–horseshoe SST response in the following summer and fall, and a recurrence of the NAO in the next winter. The seasonal changes of the atmospheric response as well as the recurrence of the next winter’s NAO are driven predominantly by the tropical Atlantic SST itself, while the resulting extratropical SST can enhance the atmospheric response, but it is not a necessary bridge of the winter-to-winter NAO persistency. Over the Pacific, the model demonstrates that the north tropical Atlantic (NTA) SST can also organize an interhemispheric SST seesaw in spring in the eastern equatorial Pacific that subsequently evolves into an ENSO-like pattern in the tropical Pacific through mediation of the ITCZ and equatorial coupled ocean–atmosphere feedback.

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Zhengyu Liu, Steve Vavrus, Feng He, Na Wen, and Yafang Zhong

Abstract

The response of tropical Pacific SST to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration is reexamined with a new focus on the latitudinal SST gradient. Available evidence, mainly from climate models, suggests that an important tropical SST fingerprint to global warming is an enhanced equatorial warming relative to the subtropics. This enhanced equatorial warming provides a fingerprint of SST response more robust than the traditionally studied El Niño–like response, which is characterized by the zonal SST gradient. Most importantly, the mechanism of the enhanced equatorial warming differs fundamentally from the El Niño–like response; the former is associated with surface latent heat flux, shortwave cloud forcing, and surface ocean mixing, while the latter is associated with equatorial ocean upwelling and wind-upwelling dynamic ocean–atmosphere feedback.

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Xinrong Wu, Shaoqing Zhang, Zhengyu Liu, Anthony Rosati, Thomas L. Delworth, and Yun Liu

Abstract

Because of the geographic dependence of model sensitivities and observing systems, allowing optimized parameter values to vary geographically may significantly enhance the signal in parameter estimation. Using an intermediate atmosphere–ocean–land coupled model, the impact of geographic dependence of model sensitivities on parameter optimization is explored within a twin-experiment framework. The coupled model consists of a 1-layer global barotropic atmosphere model, a 1.5-layer baroclinic ocean including a slab mixed layer with simulated upwelling by a streamfunction equation, and a simple land model. The assimilation model is biased by erroneously setting the values of all model parameters. The four most sensitive parameters identified by sensitivity studies are used to perform traditional single-value parameter estimation and new geographic-dependent parameter optimization. Results show that the new parameter optimization significantly improves the quality of state estimates compared to the traditional scheme, with reductions of root-mean-square errors as 41%, 23%, 62%, and 59% for the atmospheric streamfunction, the oceanic streamfunction, sea surface temperature, and land surface temperature, respectively. Consistently, the new parameter optimization greatly improves the model predictability as a result of the improvement of initial conditions and the enhancement of observational signals in optimized parameters. These results suggest that the proposed geographic-dependent parameter optimization scheme may provide a new perspective when a coupled general circulation model is used for climate estimation and prediction.

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Liang Ning, Kefan Chen, Jian Liu, Zhengyu Liu, Mi Yan, Weiyi Sun, Chunhan Jin, and Zhengguo Shi

Abstract

The influence and mechanism of volcanic eruptions on decadal megadroughts over eastern China during the last millennium were investigated using a control (CTRL) and five volcanic eruption sensitivity experiments (VOLC) from the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Last Millennium Ensemble (LME) archive. The decadal megadroughts associated with the failures of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) are associated with a meridional tripole of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the western Pacific from the equator to high latitudes, suggestive of a decadal-scale internal mode of variability that emerges from empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. Composite analyses further showed that, on interannual time scales, within a decade after an eruption the megadrought was first enhanced but then weakened, due to the change from an El Niño state to a La Niña state. The impacts of volcanic eruptions on the magnitudes of megadroughts are superposed on internal variability. Therefore, the evolution of decadal megadroughts coinciding with strong volcanic eruptions demonstrate that the impacts of internal variability and external forcing can combine to influence hydroclimate.

Open access
Xiaojie Zhu, Jilin Sun, Zhengyu Liu, Qinyu Liu, and Jonathan E. Martin

Abstract

An analysis of cyclone activity in winter associated with years of strong and weak Aleutian low in the North Pacific is presented. From 1958 to 2004, 10 winters with a strong Aleutian low are defined as the strong years, while 8 winters with a weak Aleutian low are defined as the weak years.

Employing a system-centered Lagrangian method, some characteristics of the cyclone activity in both sets of years are revealed. The cyclone frequency, duration, and intensity are nearly the same in both strong and weak years. The cyclone tracks in the strong years are more zonal than those in the weak years. More intense cyclone events and more large cyclone cases occur in strong years than in weak years and the deepening of cyclones in strong years is stronger than that in weak years. The analyses of geopotential height, wind, stationary Rossby wavenumber, and Eady growth rate index at 500 or 300 hPa reveal that conditions are favorable for more zonal tracks and greater cyclone growth in strong years than in weak years.

An estimation of the relative change of cyclone intensity and the relative change of Aleutian low intensity is made, which shows that the interannual change of cyclone intensity is about 73% of the interannual change of Aleutian low intensity. This result suggests that the evolution of individual cyclones may be a significant driver of changes in the Aleutian low.

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Wei Liu, Francis P. Bretherton, Zhengyu Liu, Leslie Smith, Hao Lu, and Christopher J. Rutland

Abstract

The breaking of a monochromatic two-dimensional internal gravity wave is studied using a newly developed spectral/pseudospectral model. The model features vertical nonperiodic boundary conditions that ensure a realistic simulation of wave breaking during the wave propagation. Isopycnal overturning is induced at a local wave steepness of sc = 0.75–0.79, which is below the conventional threshold of s = 1. Isopycnal overturning is a sufficient condition for subsequent wave breaking by convective instability. When s = sc, little primary wave energy is being transferred to high-mode harmonics. Beyond s = 1, high-mode harmonics grow rapidly. Primary wave energy is more efficiently transferred by waves of lower frequency. A local gradient Richardson number is defined as Ri = −(g/ρ 0)(/dz)/ζ 2 to isolate convective instability (Ri ≤ 0) and wave-induced shear instability (0 < Ri < 0.25), where /dz is the local vertical density gradient and ζ is the horizontal vorticity. Consistent with linear wave theory, the probability density function (PDF) for occurrence of convective instability has a maximum at wave phase ϕ = π/2, where the wave-induced density perturbations to the background stratification are the greatest, whereas the wave-induced shear instability has maxima around ϕ = 0 (wave trough) and ϕ = π (wave crest). Nonlinearities in the wave-induced flow broaden the phase span in PDFs of both instabilities. Diapycnal mixing in numerical simulations may be compared with that in realistic oceanic flows in terms of the Cox number. In the numerical simulations, the Cox numbers increase from 1.5 (s = 0.78) to 21.5 (s = 1.1), and the latter is in the lower range of reported values for the ocean.

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