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  • Author or Editor: Tongwen Wu x
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Tongwen Wu, Rucong Yu, and Fang Zhang


This paper describes a dynamic framework for an atmospheric general circulation spectral model in which a reference stratified atmospheric temperature and a reference surface pressure are introduced into the governing equations so as to improve the calculation of the pressure gradient force and gradients of surface pressure and temperature. The vertical profile of the reference atmospheric temperature approximately corresponds to that of the U.S. midlatitude standard atmosphere within the troposphere and stratosphere, and the reference surface pressure is a function of surface terrain geopotential and is close to the observed mean surface pressure. Prognostic variables for the temperature and surface pressure are replaced by their perturbations from the prescribed references. The numerical algorithms of the explicit time difference scheme for vorticity and the semi-implicit time difference scheme for divergence, perturbation temperature, and perturbation surface pressure equation are given in detail. The modified numerical framework is implemented in the Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3) developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to test its validation and impact on simulated climate. Both the original and the modified models are run with the same spectral resolution (T42), the same physical parameterizations, and the same boundary conditions corresponding to the observed monthly mean sea surface temperature and sea ice concentration from 1971 to 2000. This permits one to evaluate the performance of the new dynamic framework compared to the commonly used one. Results show that there is a general improvement for the simulated climate at regional and global scales, especially for temperature and wind.

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Yixiong Lu, Tongwen Wu, Weihua Jie, Adam A. Scaife, Martin B. Andrews, and Jadwiga H. Richter


It is well known that the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is forced by equatorial waves with different horizontal/vertical scales, including Kelvin waves, mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) waves, inertial gravity waves (GWs), and mesoscale GWs, but the relative contribution of each wave is currently not very clear. Proper representation of these waves is critical to the simulation of the QBO in general circulation models (GCMs). In this study, the vertical resolution in the Beijing Climate Center Atmospheric General Circulation Model (BCC-AGCM) is increased to better represent large-scale waves, and a mesoscale GW parameterization scheme, which is coupled to the convective sources, is implemented to provide unresolved wave forcing of the QBO. Results show that BCC-AGCM can spontaneously generate the QBO with realistic periods, amplitudes, and asymmetric features between westerly and easterly phases. There are significant spatiotemporal variations of parameterized convective GWs, largely contributing to a great degree of variability in the simulated QBO. In the eastward wind shear of the QBO at 20 hPa, forcing provided by resolved waves is 0.1–0.2 m s−1 day−1 and forcing provided by parameterized GWs is ~0.15 m s−1 day−1. On the other hand, westward forcings by resolved waves and parameterized GWs are ~0.1 and 0.4–0.5 m s−1 day−1, respectively. It is inferred that the eastward forcing of the QBO is provided by both Kelvin waves and mesoscale convective GWs, whereas the westward forcing is largely provided by mesoscale GWs. MRG waves barely contribute to the formation of the QBO in the model.

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Jonathan H. Jiang, Hui Su, Chengxing Zhai, T. Janice Shen, Tongwen Wu, Jie Zhang, Jason N. S. Cole, Knut von Salzen, Leo J. Donner, Charles Seman, Anthony Del Genio, Larissa S. Nazarenko, Jean-Louis Dufresne, Masahiro Watanabe, Cyril Morcrette, Tsuyoshi Koshiro, Hideaki Kawai, Andrew Gettelman, Luis Millán, William G. Read, Nathaniel J. Livesey, Yasko Kasai, and Masato Shiotani


Upper-tropospheric ice cloud measurements from the Superconducting Submillimeter Limb Emission Sounder (SMILES) on the International Space Station (ISS) are used to study the diurnal cycle of upper-tropospheric ice cloud in the tropics and midlatitudes (40°S–40°N) and to quantitatively evaluate ice cloud diurnal variability simulated by 10 climate models. Over land, the SMILES-observed diurnal cycle has a maximum around 1800 local solar time (LST), while the model-simulated diurnal cycles have phases differing from the observed cycle by −4 to 12 h. Over ocean, the observations show much smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes than over land with a peak at 1200 LST, while the modeled diurnal cycle phases are widely distributed throughout the 24-h period. Most models show smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes over ocean than over land, which is in agreement with the observations. However, there is a large spread of modeled diurnal cycle amplitudes ranging from 20% to more than 300% of the observed over both land and ocean. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis on the observed and model-simulated variations of ice clouds finds that the first EOF modes over land from both observation and model simulations explain more than 70% of the ice cloud diurnal variations and they have similar spatial and temporal patterns. Over ocean, the first EOF from observation explains 26.4% of the variance, while the first EOF from most models explains more than 70%. The modeled spatial and temporal patterns of the leading EOFs over ocean show large differences from observations, indicating that the physical mechanisms governing the diurnal cycle of oceanic ice clouds are more complicated and not well simulated by the current climate models.

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