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Akio Kitoh

Abstract

To study the effects of progressive mountain uplift on East Asian summer climate, a series of coupled general circulation model (CGCM) experiments were performed. Eight different mountain heights were used: 0% (no mountain), 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100% (control run), 120%, and 140%. The land–sea distribution is the same for all experiments and mountain heights are varied uniformly over the entire globe.

Systematic changes in precipitation pattern and circulation fields as well as sea surface temperature (SST) appeared with progressive mountain uplift. In summertime, precipitation area moves inland on the Asian continent with mountain uplift, while the Pacific subtropical anticyclone and associated trade winds become stronger. The mountain uplift resulted in an SST increase over the western tropical Pacific and the Maritime Continent and an SST decrease over the western Indian Ocean and the central subtropical Pacific. There is a drastic change in the East Asian circulations with the threshold value at the 60% mountain height. With the mountain height below 60%, the southwesterly monsoon flow from the Indian Ocean becomes strong by uplift and transports moisture toward East Asia, forming the baiu rainband. With higher mountain heights, intensified subtropical trade winds transport moisture from the Pacific into the Asian continent.

In order to investigate how the SST change affected the results presented herein, additional experiments were performed with the same experimental design but with the atmospheric GCM (AGCM). A comparison between CGCM and AGCM experiments revealed that major features such as a shift in precipitation inland and an appearance of the baiu rainband by higher orography were reproduced similarly in both the AGCM and the CGCM. However, there was a qualitatively as well as quantitatively different feature. The anticyclonic circulation anomalies in the lower troposphere, which appeared by mountain uplift in the tropical western Pacific in the CGCM associated with lowered SST, fed more moisture over East Asia and resulted in a stronger baiu rainband in the CGCM than that in the AGCM. An extent of the monsoon westerly flow is regulated by competition between the Pacific subtropical anticyclone and the southwest monsoon. The confluence zone was located near the Philippines throughout the mountain uplift in the AGCM, but it shifted backward to the west via mountain uplift in the CGCM associated with simulated SST changes. Overall the CGCM showed a larger sensitivity to mountain uplift than the AGCM due to the SST changes, thus warranting an examination of the importance of air–sea coupling and a need for the use of coupled models for such sensitivity studies.

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Hiroyuki Murakami, Bin Wang, and Akio Kitoh

Abstract

Projected future changes in tropical cyclone (TC) activity over the western North Pacific (WNP) under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B emission scenario were investigated using a 20-km-mesh, very-high-resolution Meteorological Research Institute (MRI)–Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) atmospheric general circulation model. The present-day (1979–2003) simulation yielded reasonably realistic climatology and interannual variability for TC genesis frequency and tracks.

The future (2075–99) projection indicates (i) a significant reduction (by about 23%) in both TC genesis number and frequency of occurrence primarily during the late part of the year (September–December), (ii) an eastward shift in the positions of the two prevailing northward-recurving TC tracks during the peak TC season (July–October), and (iii) a significant reduction (by 44%) in TC frequency approaching coastal regions of Southeast Asia.

The changes in occurrence frequency are due in part to changes in large-scale steering flows, but they are due mainly to changes in the locations of TC genesis; fewer TCs will form in the western portion of the WNP (west of 145°E), whereas more storms will form in the southeastern quadrant of the WNP (10°–20°N, 145°–160°E). Analysis of the genesis potential index reveals that the reduced TC genesis in the western WNP is due mainly to in situ weakening of large-scale ascent and decreasing midtropospheric relative humidity, which are associated with the enhanced descent of the tropical overturning circulation. The analysis also indicates that enhanced TC genesis in the southeastern WNP is due to increased low-level cyclonic vorticity and reduced vertical wind shear. These changes appear to be critically dependent on the spatial pattern of future sea surface temperature; therefore, it is necessary to conduct ensemble projections with a range of SST spatial patterns to understand the degree and distribution of uncertainty in future projections.

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Akio Kitoh, Tatsuo Motoi, and Shigenori Murakami

Abstract

Modulation of El Niño–Southern Oscillation at the mid-Holocene [6000 yr before present (6 ka)] is investigated with a coupled ocean–atmosphere general circulation model. The model is integrated for 300 yr with 6-ka and present (0 ka) insolation both with and without flux adjustment, and the effect of flux adjustment on the simulation of El Niño is investigated. The response in the equatorial Pacific Ocean in 6 ka is in favor of weaker El Niño variability resulting from lowered sea surface temperature (SST) and a more diffuse thermocline. Atmospheric sensitivity in 6 ka is larger than that in 0 ka because of increased trade winds, while oceanic sensitivity in 6 ka is weaker than that in 0 ka, resulting from destabilization of the upper ocean, both in the flux- and non-flux-adjusted experiments. However, the use of flux adjustment causes a difference in the total response. El Niño variability in 6 ka does not change much from that in 0 ka with the flux-adjusted case, while the 6-ka El Niño variability is weaker without flux adjustment. Because the observed proxy data suggest weaker El Niño variability in the mid-Holocene, the non-flux-adjusted version gives a more reasonable response despite a larger bias in its basic states, implying that nondistortion of sensitivity to forcing is more important.

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Akio Kitoh, Tatsuo Motoi, and Hiroshi Koide

Abstract

Interannual SST variability in a coupled atmosphere–mixed layer ocean model is investigated. This model has no El Niño but shows a large interannual SST variability in the tropical Pacific. The basin-scale feature of SST variation has some common characteristics shared with that obtained by a global ocean–atmosphere coupled GCM and observational data in the subtropical to the midlatitude Pacific. Both the latent heat flux and shortwave radiation have their roles in producing the SST anomalies. There is no large contrast in the total heat flux between the eastern and the western Pacific. However, their main components, the shortwave radiation and the latent heat flux, have a remarkable contrast between the cold tongue in the east and the warm pool region in the west. In the east, the ocean is warmed by shortwave radiation and cooled by latent heat. This shortwave radiation is negatively correlated with low-level clouds. When the SST is warmer than normal in the eastern Pacific, there is less low-level stratus cloud cover and more shortwave radiation reaching the surface. In the western Pacific, the ocean is warmed by less evaporation due to weaker winds. When the ocean becomes warm, it is cooled by less shortwave radiation due to stronger activity in cumulus convection.

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Carlos R. Mechoso, Koji Yamazaki, Akio Kitoh, and Akio Arakawa

Abstract

The predictability of the stratospheric warming events during the winter of 1979 is investigated by performing a series of 10-day forecasts using the UCLA general circulation model. In general, those events are predictable from several days in advance. The accuracy of the prediction, however, can be sensitive to the starting date and such model characteristics as the horizontal resolution. This sensitivity seems to arise because relatively small errors in the predicted tropospheric zonal mean wind can produce large differences in the characteristics of upward wave propagation and thereby large errors in the stratospheric forecast.

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Carlos R. Mechoso, Akio Kitoh, Shrinivas Moorthi, and Akio Arakawa

Abstract

The atmospheric response to a sea surface temperature anomaly over the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean (SSTA) is investigated using the UCLA General Circulation Model. The SSTA used is an idealization of that compiled by Rasmusson and Carpenter for the mature phase of El Niño. Two simulations over seasons, one without and the other with the SSTA, are performed and their results are compared for the Northern Hemisphere winter season.

In the tropics the SSTA enhances precipitation over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, while it decreases precipitation over the adjacent regions. The anomalous precipitation is predominantly balanced by the anomalous moisture flux convergence, which has comparable magnitude in the planetary boundary layer (PBL), and in the free atmosphere with quite different geographical distribution. This suggests that the anomalous precipitation, and hence the anomalous tropical cumulus heating, cannot be related exclusively to either flow anomalies in the PBL or in the free atmosphere.

In the midlatitudes, it is found that the SSTA results in a more zonal flow over the Pacific with an intensification of the upper-tropospheric westerlies. Associated with this intensification, synoptic-scale transient baroclinic waves become more active. This is consistent with interannual differences in observed spectral distributions of transients for five winters, two of which were El Niño winters. Geographically, the increase in baroclinic wave activity occurs in a zonal bell extending from the northeastern Pacific to the northern Atlantic.

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Daisuke Nohara, Akio Kitoh, Masahiro Hosaka, and Taikan Oki

Abstract

This study investigates the projections of river discharge for 24 major rivers in the world during the twenty-first century simulated by 19 coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models based on the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A1B scenario. To reduce model bias and uncertainty, a weighted ensemble mean (WEM) is used for multimodel projections. Although it is difficult to reproduce the present river discharge in any single model, the WEM results produce more accurate reproduction for most rivers, except those affected by anthropogenic water usage. At the end of the twenty-first century, the annual mean precipitation, evaporation, and runoff increase in high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, southern to eastern Asia, and central Africa. In contrast, they decrease in the Mediterranean region, southern Africa, southern North America, and Central America. Although the geographical distribution of the changes in precipitation and runoff tends to coincide with that in the river discharge, it should be emphasized that the change in runoff at the upstream region affects the river flow in the downstream region. In high-latitude rivers (Amur, Lena, MacKenzie, Ob, Yenisei, and Yukon), the discharge increases, and the peak timing shifts earlier because of an earlier snowmelt caused by global warming. Discharge tends to decrease for the rivers in Europe to the Mediterranean region (Danube, Euphrates, and Rhine), and southern United Sates (Rio Grande).

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Akiyo Yatagai, Kenji Kamiguchi, Osamu Arakawa, Atsushi Hamada, Natsuko Yasutomi, and Akio Kitoh

A daily gridded precipitation dataset covering a period of more than 57 yr was created by collecting and analyzing rain gauge observation data across Asia through the activities of the Asian Precipitation—Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE) project. APHRODITE's daily gridded precipitation is presently the only long-term, continental-scale, high-resolution daily product. The product is based on data collected at 5,000–12,000 stations, which represent 2.3–4.5 times the data made available through the Global Telecommunication System network and is used for most daily gridded precipitation products. Hence, the APHRODITE project has substantially improved the depiction of the areal distribution and variability of precipitation around the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, and mountainous regions of the Middle East. The APHRODITE project now contributes to studies such as the determination of Asian monsoon precipitation change, evaluation of water resources, verification of high-resolution model simulations and satellite precipitation estimates, and improvement of precipitation forecasts. The APHRODITE project carries out outreach activities with Asian countries, and communicates with national institutions and world data centers. We have released open-access APHRO_V1101 datasets for monsoon Asia, the Middle East, and northern Eurasia (at 0.5° × 0.5° and 0.25° × 0.25° resolution) and the APHRO_JP_V1005 dataset for Japan (at 0.05° × 0.05° resolution; see www.chikyu.ac.jp/precip/ and http://aphrodite.suiri.tsukuba.ac.jp/). We welcome cooperation and feedback from users.

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Sun-Seon Lee, June-Yi Lee, Kyung-Ja Ha, Bin Wang, Akio Kitoh, Yoshiyuki Kajikawa, and Manabu Abe

Abstract

This study reexamines how the Tibetan Plateau (TP) modulates the annual variation of atmospheric circulation and storm-track activity based on the Meteorological Research Institute's atmosphere–ocean coupled model experiments with a progressive TP uplift from 0% to 100% of the present height. Three major roles of the TP on atmospheric circulation and storm-track activity are identified. First, consistent with a previous finding, the TP tends to intensify the upper-level jet and enhance baroclinicity in the North Pacific Ocean but significantly weaken storm-track activity over the TP, East Asia, and the western North Pacific during the cold season. Second, the TP amplifies stationary waves that are closely linked to transient eddies. In particular, the TP enhances the Siberian high and the Aleutian low, which together contribute to the strengthening of the East Asian winter monsoon circulation and the weakening of storm-track activity. Third, the TP significantly modulates the subseasonal variability of the Pacific storm-track (PST) activity. In particular, the TP tends to suppress PST activity during midwinter despite the fact that it strengthens baroclinicity along the Pacific jet. The midwinter suppression of PST activity, which is well reproduced in a control run with a realistic TP, gradually disappears as the TP height decreases. Major factors for the midwinter suppression of the PST associated with the TP include the 1) destructive effect of an excessively strong jet leading to an inefficiency of barotropic energy conversion, 2) reduction of baroclinicity over the northern part of the TP, and 3) subseasonally varying SST change and resulting moist static energy.

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Chi-Cherng Hong, Chih-Hua Tsou, Pang-Chi Hsu, Kuan-Chieh Chen, Hsin-Chien Liang, Huang-Hsiung Hsu, Chia-Ying Tu, and Akio Kitoh

Abstract

The future changes in tropical cyclone (TC) intensity and frequency over the western North Pacific (WNP) under global warming remain uncertain. In this study, we investigated such changes using 20-km resolution HiRAM and Meteorological Research Institute (MRI) models, which can realistically simulate the TC activity in the present climate. We found that the mean intensity of TCs in the future (2075–99) would increase by approximately 15%, along with an eastward shift of TC genesis location in response to the El Niño–like warming. However, the lifetime of future TCs would be shortened because the TCs tend to have more poleward genesis locations and move faster due to a stronger steering flow related to the strengthened WNP subtropical high in a warmer climate. In other words, the enhancement of TC intensity in the future is not attributable to the duration of TC lifetime. To understand the processes responsible for the change in TC intensity in a warmer climate, we applied the budget equation of synoptic-scale eddy kinetic energy along the TC tracks in model simulations. The diagnostic results suggested that both the upper-level baroclinic energy conversion (CE) and lower-level barotropic energy conversion (CK) contribute to the intensified TCs under global warming. The increased CE results from the enhancement of TC-related perturbations of temperature and vertical velocity over the subtropical WNP, whereas the increased CK mainly comes from synoptic-scale eddies interacting with enhanced zonal-wind convergence associated with seasonal-mean and intraseasonal flows over Southeast China and the northwestern sector of WNP.

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