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Alberto Troccoli and Keith Haines

Abstract

A data analysis using conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) measurements in the western tropical Pacific is carried out to get an estimate of the timescale over which temperature–salinity (T–S) relationships are preserved. Results show that the T–S preservation holds for periods on the order of a few weeks.

A new method for assimilating upper-ocean temperature profiles with salinity adjustments into numerical ocean models is then proposed. The approach would use a T–S relation that is more local in space and time than is the climatological T–S relation used in previous studies. The assimilation method avoids convective instability as the temperature data are introduced.

The CTD data and instantaneous fields from an ocean model are used to test the assimilation method by combining one profile with another. These tests recover the salinity profiles and the 0–500-m dynamic height very well (differences are smaller than 1 dyn cm). By contrast, analyses that used a climatological T–S relation did not provide a good salinity profile or dynamic height (errors were greater than 3 dyn cm).

If used for data assimilation, the method would allow the recovery of a good salinity and density field when only temperature data were available, at intervals of, say, two to four weeks. There is evidence that the same conclusions could be drawn for many other oceanic areas.

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Alberto Troccoli and Jean-Jacques Morcrette

Abstract

Prediction of direct solar radiation is key in sectors such as solar power and agriculture; for instance, it can enable more efficient production of energy from concentrating solar power plants. An assessment of the quality of the direct solar radiation forecast by two versions of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) global numerical weather prediction model up to 5 days ahead is carried out here. The performance of the model is measured against observations from four solar monitoring stations over Australia, characterized by diverse geographic and climatic features, for the year 2006. As a reference, the performance of global radiation forecast is carried out as well. In terms of direct solar radiation, while the skill of the two model versions is very similar, and with relative mean absolute errors (rMAEs) ranging from 18% to 45% and correlations between 0.85 and 0.25 at around midday, their performance is substantially enhanced via a simple postprocessing bias-correction procedure. There is a marked dependency on cloudy conditions, with rMAEs 2–4 times as large for very cloudy-to-overcast conditions relative to clear-sky conditions. There is also a distinct dependency on the background climatic clear-sky conditions of the location considered. Tests made on a simulated operational setup targeting three quantiles show that direct radiation forecasts achieve potentially high scores. Overall, these analyses provide an indication of the potential practical use of direct irradiance forecast for applications such as solar power operations.

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Stephen M. Grey, Keith Haines, and Alberto Troccoli

Abstract

In this paper, decadal evolution of warm and cold anomalies in the subtropical and subpolar gyres of the North Atlantic in the 300–500-m and 100–250-m depth ranges is described. A series of pentadally averaged objective maps of upper-ocean thermal anomalies, from bathythermograph data, are presented. Warm and cold anomalies in the western subtropical gyre are succeeded by similar anomalies in the subpolar gyre and the east Atlantic and subtropical return flow. Major warm and cold anomalies in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively, are similar to those described previously in SSTs, although there is more temporal continuity in the subsurface anomalies.

Two very strong events in the subtropical gyre are identified, a cold anomaly in 1966–72 and an intense warm anomaly in 1988–94, that show the greatest temperature anomalies in the North Atlantic during the period of the study. Interisotherm thickness anomalies are shown for the subtropical gyre during these periods. In the warm period, mode waters are both warmer (18°–19°C) and of greater volume than on average, and lie in a narrow band south of the Gulf Stream above a depressed thermocline with warm temperature anomalies to at least 800-m depth. In the cold period, the predominant mode water temperature is closer to 17°C, but there is reduced water formation overall with a raised thermocline and cold temperature anomalies down to 600-m depth. The bowl of the gyre is flat during the cold period, and the implied recirculation may be weaker and extend farther to the south. The changes appear to be consistent with the intensification of the subtropical gyre in the warm period and a spindown in the cold period, although the relative roles of wind stress and air–sea heat fluxes in these changes need to be determined.

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Alberto Troccoli, Mohammed S. Boulahya, John A. Dutton, John Furlow, Robert J. Gurney, and Mike Harrison
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Alberto Troccoli, Karl Muller, Peter Coppin, Robert Davy, Chris Russell, and Annette L. Hirsch

Abstract

Accurate estimates of long-term linear trends of wind speed provide a useful indicator for circulation changes in the atmosphere and are invaluable for the planning and financing of sectors such as wind energy. Here a large number of wind observations over Australia and reanalysis products are analyzed to compute such trends. After a thorough quality control of the observations, it is found that the wind speed trends for 1975–2006 and 1989–2006 over Australia are sensitive to the height of the station: they are largely negative for the 2-m data but are predominantly positive for the 10-m data. The mean relative trend at 2 m is −0.10 ± 0.03% yr−1 (−0.36 ± 0.04% yr−1) for the 1975–2006 (1989–2006) period, whereas at 10 m it is 0.90 ± 0.03% yr−1 (0.69 ± 0.04% yr−1) for the 1975–2006 (1989–2006) period. Also, at 10 m light winds tend to increase more rapidly than the mean winds, whereas strong winds increase less rapidly than the mean winds; at 2 m the trends in both light and strong winds vary in line with the mean winds. It was found that a qualitative link could be established between the observed features in the linear trends and some atmospheric circulation indicators (mean sea level pressure, wind speed at 850 hPa, and geopotential at 850 hPa), particularly for the 10-m observations. Further, the magnitude of the trend is also sensitive to the period selected, being closer to zero when a very long period, 1948–2006, is considered. As a consequence, changes in the atmospheric circulation on climatic time scales appear unlikely.

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Alberto Troccoli, Magdalena Alonso Balmaseda, Joachim Segschneider, Jerome Vialard, David L. T. Anderson, Keith Haines, Tim Stockdale, Frederic Vitart, and Alan D. Fox

Abstract

This paper is an evaluation of the role of salinity in the framework of temperature data assimilation in a global ocean model that is used to initialize seasonal climate forecasts. It is shown that the univariate assimilation of temperature profiles, without attempting to correct salinity, can induce first-order errors in the subsurface temperature and salinity fields. A recently developed scheme by A. Troccoli and K. Haines is used to improve the salinity field. In this scheme, salinity increments are derived from the observed temperature, by using the model temperature and salinity profiles, assuming that the temperature–salinity relationship in the model profiles is preserved. In addition, the temperature and salinity fields are matched below the observed temperature profile by vertically displacing the original model profiles.

Two data assimilation experiments were performed for the 6-yr period 1993–98. These show that the salinity scheme is effective at maintaining the haline and thermal structures at and below thermocline level, especially in tropical regions, by avoiding spurious convection. In addition to improvements in the mean state, the scheme allows more temporal variability than simply controlling the salinity field by relaxation to climatological data. Some comparisons with sparse salinity observations are also made, which suggest that the subsurface salinity variability in the western Pacific is better reproduced in the experiment in which the salinity scheme is used. The salinity analyses might be improved further by use of altimeter sea level or sea surface salinity observations from satellite.

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Alberto Troccoli, Pierre Audinet, Paolo Bonelli, Mohammed S. Boulahya, Carlo Buontempo, Peter Coppin, Laurent Dubus, John A. Dutton, Jane Ebinger, David Griggs, Sven-Erik Gryning, Don Gunasekera, Mike Harrison, Sue Ellen Haupt, Trevor Lee, Pascal Mailier, Pierre-Philippe Mathieu, Roberto Schaeffer, Marion Schroedter-Homscheidt, Rong Zhu, and John Zillman
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Melvyn Shapiro, Jagadish Shukla, Gilbert Brunet, Carlos Nobre, Michel Béland, Randall Dole, Kevin Trenberth, Richard Anthes, Ghassem Asrar, Leonard Barrie, Philippe Bougeault, Guy Brasseur, David Burridge, Antonio Busalacchi, Jim Caughey, Deliang Chen, John Church, Takeshi Enomoto, Brian Hoskins, Øystein Hov, Arlene Laing, Hervé Le Treut, Jochem Marotzke, Gordon McBean, Gerald Meehl, Martin Miller, Brian Mills, John Mitchell, Mitchell Moncrieff, Tetsuo Nakazawa, Haraldur Olafsson, Tim Palmer, David Parsons, David Rogers, Adrian Simmons, Alberto Troccoli, Zoltan Toth, Louis Uccellini, Christopher Velden, and John M. Wallace

The necessity and benefits for establishing the international Earth-system Prediction Initiative (EPI) are discussed by scientists associated with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) World Weather Research Programme (WWRP), World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and natural-hazards and socioeconomic communities. The proposed initiative will provide research and services to accelerate advances in weather, climate, and Earth system prediction and the use of this information by global societies. It will build upon the WMO, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and the International Council for Science (ICSU) to coordinate the effort across the weather, climate, Earth system, natural-hazards, and socioeconomic disciplines. It will require (i) advanced high-performance computing facilities, supporting a worldwide network of research and operational modeling centers, and early warning systems; (ii) science, technology, and education projects to enhance knowledge, awareness, and utilization of weather, climate, environmental, and socioeconomic information; (iii) investments in maintaining existing and developing new observational capabilities; and (iv) infrastructure to transition achievements into operational products and services.

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