Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 9 of 9 items for

  • Author or Editor: A. Lambert x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Erwin Lambert, Tor Eldevik, and Michael A. Spall

Abstract

A subpolar marginal sea, like the Nordic seas, is a transition zone between the temperature-stratified subtropics (the alpha ocean) and the salinity-stratified polar regions (the beta ocean). An inflow of Atlantic Water circulates these seas as a boundary current that is cooled and freshened downstream, eventually to outflow as Deep and Polar Water. Stratification in the boundary region is dominated by a thermocline over the continental slope and a halocline over the continental shelves, separating Atlantic Water from Deep and Polar Water, respectively. A conceptual model is introduced for the circulation and water mass transformation in a subpolar marginal sea to explore the potential interaction between the alpha and beta oceans. Freshwater input into the shelf regions has a slight strengthening effect on the Atlantic inflow, but more prominently impacts the water mass composition of the outflow. This impact of freshwater, characterized by enhancing Polar Water outflow and suppressing Deep Water outflow, is strongly determined by the source location of freshwater. Concretely, perturbations in upstream freshwater sources, like the Baltic freshwater outflow into the Nordic seas, have an order of magnitude larger potential to impact water mass transports than perturbations in downstream sources like the Arctic freshwater outflow. These boundary current dynamics are directly related to the qualitative stratification in transition zones and illustrate the interaction between the alpha and beta oceans.

Open access
Russell L. Elsberry, Tara D. B. Lambert, and Mark A. Boothe

Abstract

Five statistical and dynamical tropical cyclone intensity guidance techniques available at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) during the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic and eastern North Pacific seasons were evaluated within three intensity phases: (I) formation; (II) early intensification, with a subcategory (IIa) of a decay and reintensification cycle; and (III) decay. In phase I in the Atlantic, the various techniques tended to predict that a tropical storm would form from six tropical depressions that did not develop further, and thus the tendency was for false alarms in these cases. For the other 24 depressions that did become tropical storms, the statistical–dynamical techniques, statistical hurricane prediction scheme (SHIPS) and decay SHIPS (DSHIPS), have some skill relative to the 5-day statistical hurricane intensity forecast climatology and persistence technique, but they also tend to intensify all depressions and thus are prone to false alarms. In phase II, the statistical–dynamical models SHIPS and DSHIPS do not predict the rapid intensification cases (≥30 kt in 24 h) 48 h in advance. Although the dynamical Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Interpolated model does predict rapid intensification, many of these cases are at the incorrect times with many false alarms. The best performances in forecasting at least 24 h in advance the 21 decay and reintensification cycles in the Atlantic were the three forecasts by the dynamical Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Model-Navy (interpolated) model. Whereas DSHIPS was the best technique in the Atlantic during the decay phase III, none of the techniques excelled in the eastern North Pacific. All techniques tend to decay the tropical cyclones in both basins too slowly, except that DSHIPS performed well (12 of 18) during rapid decay events in the Atlantic. This evaluation indicates where NHC forecasters have deficient guidance and thus where research is necessary for improving intensity forecasts.

Full access
S. L. Ypma, M. A. Spall, E. Lambert, S. Georgiou, J. D. Pietrzak, and C. A. Katsman

Abstract

The Nordic seas are commonly described as a single basin to investigate their dynamics and sensitivity to environmental changes when using a theoretical framework. Here, we introduce a conceptual model for a two-basin marginal sea that better represents the Nordic seas geometry. In our conceptual model, the marginal sea is characterized by both a cyclonic boundary current and a front current as a result of different hydrographic properties east and west of the midocean ridge. The theory is compared to idealized model simulations and shows good agreement over a wide range of parameter settings, indicating that the physics in the two-basin marginal sea is well captured by the conceptual model. The balances between the atmospheric buoyancy forcing and the lateral eddy heat fluxes from the boundary current and the front current differ between the Lofoten and the Greenland Basins, since the Lofoten Basin is more strongly eddy dominated. Results show that this asymmetric sensitivity leads to opposing responses depending on the strength of the atmospheric buoyancy forcing. Additionally, the front current plays an essential role for the heat and volume budget of the two basins, by providing an additional pathway for heat toward the interior of both basins via lateral eddy heat fluxes. The variability of the temperature difference between east and west influences the strength of the different flow branches through the marginal sea and provides a dynamical explanation for the observed correlation between the front current and the slope current of the Norwegian Atlantic Current in the Nordic seas.

Free access
F. W. Taylor, A. Lambert, R. G. Grainger, C. D. Rodgers, and J. J. Remedios

Abstract

Observations of polar stratospheric clouds by the Improved Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder (ISAMS) experiment on the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) have revealed new details of their global properties and behavior. These include the vertical and horizontal spatial distributions of Arctic and Antarctic polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) as a function of time and air temperature, their optical thicknesses and estimated densities, their spectral properties, and their inferred composition. In particular, ISAMS spectral data allows different PSC types to be distinguished from each other and from volcanic aerosol by their compositional differences. Northern PSCs during the 1991/92 season are found to be more ephemeral and more compact than reported in previous years and to differ markedly in scale from those in the Southern Hemisphere, which cause the Antarctic ozone hole by activating stratospheric chlorine chemistry. There were only two episodes of dense PSC formation in the 1991/92 northern winter, one of which took place in sunlight. The latter correlates well with UARS/Microwave Limb Sounder observations of enhanced chlorine monoxide, but substantial amounts of chlorine monoxide were also reported at times and places with at most very minor PSC activity.

Full access
A. J. Ferraro, F. H. Lambert, M. Collins, and G. M. Miles

Abstract

Tropical climate feedback mechanisms are assessed using satellite-observed and model-simulated trends in tropical tropospheric temperature from the MSU/AMSU instruments and upper-tropospheric humidity from the HIRS instruments. Despite discrepancies in the rates of tropospheric warming between observations and models, both are consistent with constant relative humidity over the period 1979–2008. Because uncertainties in satellite-observed tropical-mean trends preclude a constraint on tropical-mean trends in models regional features of the feedbacks are also explored. The regional pattern of the lapse rate feedback is primarily determined by the regional pattern of surface temperature changes, as tropical atmospheric warming is relatively horizontally uniform. The regional pattern of the water vapor feedback is influenced by the regional pattern of precipitation changes, with variations of 1–2 W m−2 K−1 across the tropics (compared to a tropical-mean feedback magnitude of 3.3–4 W m−2 K−1). Thus the geographical patterns of water vapor and lapse rate feedbacks are not correlated, but when the feedbacks are calculated in precipitation percentiles rather than in geographical space they are anticorrelated, with strong positive water vapor feedback associated with strong negative lapse rate feedback. The regional structure of the feedbacks is not related to the strength of the tropical-mean feedback in a subset of the climate models from the CMIP5 archive. Nevertheless the approach constitutes a useful process-based test of climate models and has the potential to be extended to constrain regional climate projections.

Open access
David A. Short, James E. Sardonia, Winifred C. Lambert, and Mark M. Wheeler

Abstract

Electrified thunderstorm anvil clouds extend the threat of natural and triggered lightning to space launch and landing operations far beyond the immediate vicinity of thunderstorm cells. The deep convective updrafts of thunderstorms transport large amounts of water vapor, supercooled water droplets, and ice crystals into the upper troposphere, forming anvil clouds, which are then carried downstream by the prevailing winds in the anvil-formation layer. Electrified anvil clouds have been observed over the space launch and landing facilities of the John F. Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), emanating from thunderstorm activity more than 200 km away. Space launch commit criteria and flight rules require launch and landing vehicles to avoid penetration of the nontransparent portion of anvil clouds. The life cycles of 163 anvil clouds over the Florida peninsula and its coastal waters were documented using Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-8 visible imagery on 49 anvil-case days during the months of May–July 2001. Anvil clouds were found to propagate at the speed and direction of upper-tropospheric winds in the layer from 300 to 150 hPa, approximately 9.4–14 km in altitude, with an effective average transport lifetime of approximately 2 h and a standard deviation of approximately 30 min. The effective lifetime refers to the time required for the nontransparent leading edge of an anvil cloud to reach its maximum extent before beginning to dissipate. The information about propagation and lifetime was incorporated into the design, construction, and implementation of an objective short-range anvil forecast tool based on upper-air observations, for use on the Meteorological Interactive Data Display System within the Range Weather Operations facility of the 45th Weather Squadron at CCAFS and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group at Johnson Space Center.

Full access
Marion Saint-Lu, Robin Chadwick, F. Hugo Lambert, Matthew Collins, Ian Boutle, Michael Whitall, and Chimene Daleu

Abstract

By comparing a single-column model (SCM) with closely related general circulation models (GCMs), precipitation changes that can be diagnosed from local changes in surface temperature (T S) and relative humidity (RHS) are separated from more complex responses. In the SCM setup, the large-scale tropical circulation is parameterized to respond to the surface temperature departure from a prescribed environment, following the weak temperature gradient (WTG) approximation and using the damped gravity wave (DGW) parameterization. The SCM is also forced with moisture variations. First, it is found that most of the present-day mean tropical rainfall and circulation pattern is associated with T S and RHS patterns. Climate change experiments with the SCM are performed, imposing separately surface warming and CO2 increase. The rainfall responses to future changes in sea surface temperature patterns and plant physiology are successfully reproduced, suggesting that these are direct responses to local changes in convective instability. However, the SCM increases oceanic rainfall too much, and fails to reproduce the land rainfall decrease, both of which are associated with uniform ocean warming. It is argued that remote atmospheric teleconnections play a crucial role in both weakening the atmospheric overturning circulation and constraining precipitation changes. Results suggest that the overturning circulation weakens, both as a direct local response to increased CO2 and in response to energy-imbalance driven exchanges between ascent and descent regions.

Free access
Janusz Eluszkiewicz, David Crisp, R. G. Grainger, Alyn Lambert, A. E. Roche, J. B. Kumer, and J. L. Mergenthaler

Abstract

The simultaneous measurements of temperature, aerosol extinction, and concentrations of radiatively active gases by several instruments aboard the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite permit an assessment of the uncertainties in the diagnosed stratospheric heating rates and in the resulting residual circulation. In this paper, measurements taken by the Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLAES) are used to compute the circulation and to compare it against values obtained previously from the measurements obtained by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS). There is a broad agreement between the two sets of calculations and known biases in either CLAES or MLS ozone and temperature measurements are found to be responsible for the areas of disagreement. The inclusion of aerosols has improved the estimates of the residual circulation in the lower stratosphere during the 1992–93 period covered by CLAES. Present estimates of the aerosol heating are significantly different from those found in other studies, probably as a result of differences in the treatment of tropospheric clouds and in the adopted vertical profiles of aerosol extinction. Moreover, a large uncertainty in these estimates is caused by the uncertainties in the assumed refractive indices for sulfuric acid solutions.

Full access
Joe M. Osborne, F. Hugo Lambert, Margriet Groenendijk, Anna B. Harper, Charles D. Koven, Benjamin Poulter, Thomas A. M. Pugh, Stephen Sitch, Benjamin D. Stocker, Andy Wiltshire, and Sönke Zaehle

Abstract

Century-long observed gridded land precipitation datasets are a cornerstone of hydrometeorological research. But recent work has suggested that observed Northern Hemisphere midlatitude (NHML) land mean precipitation does not show evidence of an expected negative response to mid-twentieth-century aerosol forcing. Utilizing observed river discharges, the observed runoff is calculated and compared with observed land precipitation. The results show a near-zero twentieth-century trend in observed NHML land mean runoff, in contrast to the significant positive trend in observed NHML land mean precipitation. However, precipitation and runoff share common interannual and decadal variability. An obvious split, or breakpoint, is found in the NHML land mean runoff–precipitation relationship in the 1930s. Using runoff simulated by six land surface models (LSMs), which are driven by the observed precipitation dataset, such breakpoints are absent. These findings support previous hypotheses that inhomogeneities exist in the early-twentieth-century NHML land mean precipitation record. Adjusting the observed precipitation record according to the observed runoff record largely accounts for the departure of the observed precipitation response from that predicted given the real-world aerosol forcing estimate, more than halving the discrepancy from about 6 to around 2 W m−2. Consideration of complementary observed runoff adds support to the suggestion that NHML-wide early-twentieth-century precipitation observations are unsuitable for climate change studies. The agreement between precipitation and runoff over Europe, however, is excellent, supporting the use of whole-twentieth-century observed precipitation datasets here.

Full access