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Hailong Liu, Minghua Zhang, and Wuyin Lin

Abstract

This paper investigates the initial development of the double ITCZ in the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3) in the central Pacific. Starting from a resting initial condition of the ocean in January, the model developed a warm bias of sea surface temperature (SST) in the central Pacific from 5°S to 10°S in the first three months. This initial bias is caused by excessive surface shortwave radiation that is also present in the stand-alone atmospheric model. The initial bias is further amplified by biases in both surface latent heat flux and horizontal heat transport in the upper ocean. These biases are caused by the responses of surface winds to SST bias and the thermocline structure to surface wind curls. This study also showed that the warming biases in surface solar radiation and latent heat fluxes are seasonally offset by cooling biases from reduced solar radiation after the austral summer due to cloud responses and in the austral fall due to enhanced evaporation when the maximum SST is closest to the equator. The warming biases from the dynamic heat transport by ocean currents however stay throughout all seasons once they are developed, which are eventually balanced by enhanced energy exchange and penetration of solar radiation below the mixed layer. It was also shown that the equatorial cold tongue develops after the warm biases in the south-central Pacific, and the overestimation of surface shortwave radiation recurs in the austral summer in each year. The results provide a case study on the physical processes leading to the development of the double ITCZ. Applicability of the results in other models is discussed.

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Hailong Liu, Wuyin Lin, and Minghua Zhang

Abstract

The double intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the tropical Pacific, with a spurious band of maximum annual sea surface temperature (SST) south of the equator between 5°S and 10°S, is a chronic bias in coupled ocean–atmosphere models. This study focuses on a region of the double ITCZ in the central Pacific from 5°S to 10°S and 170°E to 150°W, where coupled models display the largest biases in precipitation, by deriving a best estimate of the mixed layer heat budget for the region. Seven global datasets of objectively analyzed surface energy fluxes and four ocean assimilation products are first compared and then evaluated against field measurements in adjacent regions. It was shown that the global datasets differ greatly in their net downward surface energy flux in this region, but they fall broadly into two categories: one with net downward heat flux of about 30 W m−2 and the other around 10 W m−2. Measurements from the adjacent Manus and Nauru sites of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM), the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) buoys, and the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) are then used to show that the smaller value is more realistic. An energy balance of the mixed layer is finally presented for the region as primarily between warming from surface heat flux of 7 W m−2 and horizontal advective cooling in the zonal direction of about 5 W m−2, with secondary contributions from meridional and vertical advections, heat storage, and subgrid-scale mixing. The 7 W m−2 net surface heat flux consists of warming of 210 W m−2 from solar radiation and cooling of 53, 141, and 8 W m−2, respectively, from longwave radiation, latent heat flux, and sensible heat flux. These values provide an observational basis to further study the initial development of excessive precipitation in coupled climate models in the central Pacific.

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Lin Liu, Weidong Yu, and Tim Li

Abstract

The performance of 23 World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, phase 3 (CMIP3) models in the simulation of the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) is evaluated, and the results show large diversity in the simulated IOD intensity. A detailed diagnosis is carried out to understand the role of the Bjerknes dynamic air–sea feedback and the thermodynamic air–sea coupling in shaping the different model behaviors. The Bjerknes feedback processes include the equatorial zonal wind response to SST, the thermocline response to the equatorial zonal wind, and the ocean subsurface temperature response to the thermocline variation. The thermodynamic feedback examined includes the wind–evaporation–SST and cloud–radiation–SST feedbacks. A combined Bjerknes and thermodynamic feedback intensity index is introduced. This index well reflects the simulated IOD strength contrast among the strong, moderate, and weak model groups. It gives a quantitative measure of the relative contribution of the dynamic and thermodynamic feedback processes.

The distinctive features in the dynamic and thermodynamic coupling strength are closely related to the mean state difference in the coupled models. A shallower (deeper) equatorial mean thermocline, a stronger (weaker) background vertical temperature gradient, and a greater (smaller) mean vertical upwelling velocity are found in the strong (weak) IOD simulation group. Thus, the mean state biases greatly affect the air–sea coupling strength on the interannual time scale. A number of models failed to simulate the observed positive wind–evaporation–SST feedback during the IOD developing phase. Analysis indicates that the bias arises from a greater contribution to the surface latent heat flux anomaly by the sea–air specific humidity difference than by the wind speed anomaly.

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Yongliang Duan, Hongwei Liu, Weidong Yu, Lin Liu, Guang Yang, and Baochao Liu

Abstract

The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) often causes the onset of the Indonesian–Australian summer monsoon (IASM) over Indonesia and northern Australia. In the present study, a composite analysis is conducted to reveal the detailed IASM onset process and its air–sea interactions associated with the first-branch eastward-propagating MJO (FEMJO) based on 30-yr ERA-Interim data, satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST), outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), and SODA3 ocean reanalysis. The results distinctly illustrate the phase-locked relationships among the persistent sea surface warming north of Australia, the FEMJO, and the established westerlies. It is found that the SST to the north of Australia reaches its annual maximum just before the onset of the summer monsoon. The oceanic surface mixed layer heat budget discloses that this rapid warming is primarily produced by the enhanced surface heat flux. In addition, this premonsoon sea surface warming increases the air specific humidity in the low-level troposphere and then establishes zonal moisture asymmetry relative to the FEMJO convection. This creates a more unstable atmospheric stratification southeast of the FEMJO and favors convection throughout the vicinity of northern Australia, which ultimately triggers the onset of the IASM. The results in this study thus may potentially be applicable to seasonal monsoon climate monitoring and prediction.

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Da-Lin Zhang, Yubao Liu, and M. K. Yau

Abstract

Despite considerable progress in understanding the hurricane vortex using balanced models, the validity of gradient wind balance in the eyewall remains controversial in observational studies. In this paper, the structure and development of unbalanced forces and flows in hurricanes are examined, through the analyses of the radial momentum and absolute angular momentum (AAM) budgets, using a high-resolution (i.e., Δx = 6 km), fully explicit simulation of Hurricane Andrew (1992).

It is found from the radial momentum budgets that supergradient flows and accelerations, even after temporal and azimuthal averaging, are well organized from the bottom of the eye center to the upper outflow layer in the eyewall. The agradient accelerations are on average twice greater than the local Coriolis force, and caused mainly by the excess of the centrifugal force over the pressure gradient force. It is shown by the AAM budgets that supergradient flows could occur not only in the inflow region as a result of the inward AAM transport, but also in the outflow region through the upward transport of AAM. The eyewall is dominated by radial outflow in which the upward transport of AAM overcompensates the spindown effect of the outflow during the deepening stage. The intense upper outflow layer is generated as a consequence of the continuous outward acceleration of airflows in the eyewall updrafts. In spite of the pronounced agradient tendencies, results presented here suggest that the azimuthally averaged tangential winds above the boundary layer satisfy the gradient wind balance within an error of 10%.

The analyses of instantaneous fields show pronounced asymmetries and well-organized wavenumber-2 structures of the agradient flows and forces in the form of azimuthally propagating vortex–Rossby waves in the eyewall. These waves propagate cyclonically downstream with a speed half the tangential winds near the top of the boundary layer and vertically upward. Agradient flows/forces and AAM transport in the eye are also discussed.

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Dashan Wang, Xianwei Wang, Lin Liu, Dagang Wang, and Zhenzhong Zeng

Abstract

Urban areas demonstrate great influence on precipitation, yet the spatial clustering features of precipitation are still unclear over urban areas. This study quantitatively examines the spatial clustering of precipitation intensity in 130 urban-affected regions over mainland China during 2008–15 using a high-resolution merged precipitation product. Results show that the spatial heterogeneity patterns display diverse distribution and vary with precipitation intensity and urban sizes. Extreme and heavy precipitation has higher spatial heterogeneity than light precipitation over the urban-affected regions of grade 1 cities, and their mean Moran’s I are 0.49, 0.47, and 0.37 for the intensity percentiles of ≥95%, 75%–95%, and <75%, respectively. The urban signatures in the spatial clustering of precipitation extremes are observed in 37 cities (28%), mainly occurring in the Haihe River basin, the Yangtze River basin, and the Pearl River basin. The spatial clustering patterns of precipitation extremes are affected by the local dominant synoptic conditions, such as the heavy storms of convective precipitation in Beijing (Moran’s I = 0.47) and the cold frontal system in the Pearl River delta (Moran’s I = 0.78), resulting in large regional variability. The role of urban environments for the spatial clustering is more evident in wetter conditions [e.g., relative humidity (RH) > 75% over Beijing and RH > 85% over the Pearl River delta] and warmer conditions (T > 25°C over Beijing and T > 28°C over the Pearl River delta). This study highlights the urban modification on the spatial clustering of some precipitation extremes, and calls for precautions and adaptation strategies to mitigate the adverse effect of the highly clustered extreme rainfall events.

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Jie Cao, Ping Yao, Lin Wang, and Kui Liu

Abstract

Based on reanalysis and observational datasets, this study proposes a reasonable mechanism for summer rainfall variations over the low-latitude highlands (LLH) of China, in which a subtropical Indian Ocean dipole (SIOD)-like pattern is the key external thermal forcing. In summers with a positive SIOD-like pattern, sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies may lead to lower-tropospheric divergence over the tropical Indian Ocean and convergence over the subtropical southwestern Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The convergence over the Arabian Sea can induce easterly anomalies of the divergent wind component off the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal (BOB), while the divergence over the tropical Indian Ocean can change the interhemispheric vertical circulation and produce a descending motion over the same area and cyclonic anomalies in the rotational wind component over the Indian peninsula. The combined effect of the divergent and rotational wind anomalies and enhanced interhemispheric vertical circulation facilitates easterly anomalies and weakens climatological water vapor flux to the northern BOB. Therefore, anomalous water vapor divergence and less precipitation are observed over the LLH. In summers with a negative SIOD-like pattern, the situation is approximately the same but with opposite polarity and a weaker role of the divergent wind component. Further analyses indicate that the summertime SIOD-like pattern can be traced to preceding seasons, especially in positive SIOD-like years. The SST–wind–evaporation feedback mechanism could account for maintenance of the SIOD-like pattern. These results provide efficient prediction potential for summer rainfall variations over the LLH.

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Chuanguo Yang, Zhaohui Lin, Zhongbo Yu, Zhenchun Hao, and Shaofeng Liu

Abstract

A hydrologic model coupled with a land surface model is applied to simulate the hydrologic processes in the Huaihe River basin, China. Parameters of the land surface model are interpolated from global soil and vegetation datasets. The characteristics of the basin are derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) and a national geological survey atlas using newly developed algorithms. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis dataset and observed precipitation data are used as meteorological inputs for simulating the hydrologic processes in the basin. The coupled model is first calibrated and validated by using observed streamflow over the period of 1980–87. A long-term continuous simulation is then carried out for 1980–2003, forced with observed rainfall data. Results show that the model behavior is reasonable for flood years, whereas streamflows are sometimes overestimated for dry years since the 1990s when water withdrawal increased substantially because of the growing industrial activities and the development of water projects. Observed streamflow and water withdrawal data showed that human activities have obviously affected the surface rainfall–runoff process, especially in dry years. Two methods are proposed to study the human dimension in the hydrologic cycle. One method is to reconstruct the natural streamflow series using local volumes of withdrawals. The simulated results are more consistent with the reconstructed hydrograph than the initially observed hydrograph. The other method is to integrate a designated module into the coupled model system to represent the effect of human activities. This method can significantly improve the model performance in terms of streamflow simulation.

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Da-Lin Zhang, Yubao Liu, and M. K. Yau

Abstract

No abstract available.

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Xiuquan Wang, Guohe Huang, Qianguo Lin, and Jinliang Liu

Abstract

Planning of mitigation and adaptation strategies to a changing climate can benefit from a good understanding of climate change impacts on human life and local society, which leads to an increasing requirement for reliable projections of future climate change at regional scales. This paper presents an ensemble of high-resolution regional climate simulations for the province of Ontario, Canada, developed with the Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies (PRECIS) modeling system. A Bayesian statistical model is proposed through an advance to the method proposed by Tebaldi et al. for generating probabilistic projections of temperature changes at gridpoint scale by treating the unknown quantities of interest as random variables to quantify their uncertainties in a statistical way. Observations for present climate and simulations from the ensemble are fed into the statistical model to derive posterior distributions of all the uncertain quantities through a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling algorithm. Detailed analyses at 12 selected weather stations are conducted to investigate the practical significance of the proposed statistical model. Following that, maps of projected temperature changes at different probability levels are presented to help understand the spatial patterns across the entire province. The analysis shows that there is likely to be a significant warming trend throughout the twenty-first century. It also suggests that people in Ontario are very likely to suffer a change greater than 2°C to mean temperature in the forthcoming decades and very unlikely to suffer a change greater than 10°C to the end of this century.

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