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W. Gao
and
B. L. Li

Abstract

Wavelet analysis was applied to turbulence data for temperature and vertical velocity within and above a deciduous forest. This method appears to provide an objective technique for examining thermal and flow fields associated with coherent structures occurring near the forest. The two-dimensional unfolding in time and scale by the wavelet transform illustrates discrete warm and cool centers associated with organized updrafts and downdrafts, which have similar patterns but different magnitudes at different heights. Wavelet variances computed for temperature and velocity at different heights appear to have local maximum values corresponding to certain time scales, which are self-consistent and useful for objective determination of the principal time scale of the structures. Within the canopy, the principal time scales of the structures determined by this technique are 56–60 s and 40–44 s for the temperature and vertical velocity fields, respectively. These time scales are close to those determined by the multilevel detection scheme used in a previous analysis. The temperature structures above the canopy have a shorter duration, but the rate of the decrease in the time scale with increasing height appears to be proportional to the increase in mean wind speed. The horizontal size of the structure determined by the product of local wind speed and the detected principal time scales is in the range of 83–112 m. The time scale of the structures identified in vertical velocity appears to be consistently smaller than that in the thermal field. The canopy structures show a smooth connection in the scale change with circulations of lower frequency (about 5–7 min) and merge into updrafts and downdrafts of these larger-scale circulations.

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Z. Liu
,
B. Otto-Bliesner
,
J. Kutzbach
,
L. Li
, and
C. Shields

Abstract

Evolution of global monsoons in the Holocene is simulated in a coupled climate model—the Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model—and is also compared with the simulations in another coupled climate model—the NCAR Climate System Model. Holocene climates are simulated under the insolation forcing at 3000, 6000, 8000, and 11 000 years before present. The evolution of six major regional summer monsoons is investigated: the Asian monsoon, the North African monsoon, the North American monsoon, the Australian monsoon, the South American monsoon, and the South African monsoon. Special attention has been paid to the relative roles of the direct insolation forcing and oceanic feedback.

It is found that the responses of the monsoons to the insolation forcing and oceanic feedback differ substantially among regions, because of regional features of atmospheric and oceanic circulation and ocean–atmosphere interaction. In the Northern Hemisphere, the coupled models show a significant enhancement of all of the monsoons in the early Holocene and a gradual weakening toward the present, with the North African monsoon showing the largest relative changes. The monsoons are enhanced in the Holocene by a positive oceanic feedback in North Africa and North America but are suppressed by a negative overall feedback in Asia. In the Southern Hemisphere, monsoons are reduced most significantly in South America, and modestly in South Africa, mainly due to direct insolation forcing. In contrast, the Australian monsoon is enhanced by an overwhelming positive oceanic feedback. The simulated evolution of monsoons during the Holocene shows a general agreement with paleoclimate observations.

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B. L. Zhuang
,
S. Li
,
T. J. Wang
,
J. Liu
,
H. M. Chen
,
P. L. Chen
,
M. M. Li
, and
M. Xie

Abstract

Black carbon aerosol (BC) has a significant influence on regional climate changes because of its warming effect. Such changes will feed back to BC loadings. Here, the interactions between the BC warming effect and the East Asian monsoon (EAM) in both winter (EAWM) and summer (EASM) are investigated using a regional climate model, RegCM4, that essentially captures the EAM features and the BC variations in China. The seasonal mean BC optical depth is 0.021 over East Asia during winter, which is 10.5% higher than that during summer. Nevertheless, the BC direct radiative forcing is 32% stronger during summer (+1.85 W m−2). The BC direct effect would induce lower air to warm by 0.11–0.12 K, which causes a meridional circulation anomaly associated with a cyclone at 20°–30°N and southerly anomalies at 850 hPa over East Asia. Consequently, the EAM circulation is weakened during winter but enhanced during summer. Precipitation is likely increased, especially in southern China during summer (by 3.73%). Relative to BC changes that result from EAM interannual variations, BC changes from its warming effect are as important but are weaker. BC surface concentrations are decreased by 1%–3% during both winter and summer, whereas the columnar BC is increased in south China during winter. During the strongest monsoon years, the BC loadings are higher at lower latitudes than those during the weakest years, resulting in more southerly meridional circulation anomalies and BC feedbacks during both winter and summer. However, the interactions between the BC warming effect and EAWM/EASM are more intense during the weakest monsoon years.

Open access
Eun-Han Kwon
,
B. J. Sohn
,
William L. Smith
, and
Jun Li

Abstract

Temperature and moisture profiles retrieved from Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) data are evaluated using collocated radiosonde data from September 2008 to August 2009 over East Asia. The level-2 products used in this study were provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. By using radiosonde observations as a reference, the bias and root-mean-square error (RMSE) of the temperature and water vapor profiles are obtained to examine the performance of the IASI retrievals depending on surface types and the degree of atmospheric moisture. Overall, retrievals over the land or under drier atmospheric conditions show degraded performance for both the temperature and the moisture, especially for the boundary layer temperature. It is further shown that the vertical distributions of the RMSEs and the biases of the IASI retrievals resemble the variability pattern of the radiosonde observations from the mean profiles. These retrieval aspects are thought to be related to the surface emissivity effect on the IASI retrieval and the difficulties of accounting for large atmospheric variability in the retrieval process. Although the retrieval performance appears to degrade under cloudy conditions, cloudy- and clear-sky retrievals show similar statistical behaviors varying with surface type and atmospheric moisture. Furthermore, the similar statistical behaviors between first guess and final retrievals suggest that error characteristics inherent to the first guess were not sufficiently resolved by the physical retrieval process, leaving a need to improve the first guess for the better retrieval.

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A. M. Makarieva
,
V. G. Gorshkov
,
A. V. Nefiodov
,
D. Sheil
,
A. D. Nobre
,
P. Bunyard
, and
B.-L. Li

Abstract

Precipitation generates small-scale turbulent air flows—the energy of which ultimately dissipates to heat. The power of this process has previously been estimated to be around 2–4 W m−2 in the tropics: a value comparable in magnitude to the dynamic power of global atmospheric circulation. Here it is suggested that the true value is approximately half the value of this previous estimate. The result reflects a revised evaluation of the mean precipitation pathlength HP . The dependence of HP on surface temperature, relative humidity, temperature lapse rate, and degree of condensation in the ascending air were investigated. These analyses indicate that the degree of condensation, defined as the relative change of the saturated water vapor mixing ratio in the region of condensation, is a major factor determining HP . From this theory the authors develop an estimate indicating that the mean large-scale rate of frictional dissipation associated with total precipitation in the tropics lies between 1 and 2 W m−2 and show empirical evidence in support of this estimate. Under terrestrial conditions frictional dissipation is found to constitute a minor fraction of the dynamic power of condensation-induced atmospheric circulation, which is estimated to be at least 2.5 times larger. However, because HP increases with increasing surface temperature Ts , the rate of frictional dissipation would exceed the power of condensation-induced dynamics, and thus block major circulation, at Ts ≳ 320 K in a moist adiabatic atmosphere.

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A. M. Makarieva
,
V. G. Gorshkov
,
A. V. Nefiodov
,
D. Sheil
,
A. D. Nobre
, and
B.-L. Li

Abstract

In their paper “The tropospheric land–sea warming contrast as the driver of tropical sea level pressure changes,” Bayr and Dommenget proposed a simple model of temperature-driven air redistribution to quantify the ratio between changes of sea level pressure p s and mean tropospheric temperature T a in the tropics. This model assumes that the height of the tropical troposphere is isobaric. Here problems with this model are identified. A revised relationship between p s and T a is derived governed by two parameters—the isobaric and isothermal heights—rather than just one. Further insight is provided by the earlier model of Lindzen and Nigam, which was the first to use the concept of isobaric height to relate tropical p s to air temperature, and they did this by assuming that isobaric height is always around 3 km and isothermal height is likewise near constant. Observational data, presented here, show that neither of these heights is spatially universal nor does their mean values match previous assumptions. Analyses show that the ratio of the long-term changes in p s and T a associated with land–sea temperature contrasts in a warming climate—the focus of Bayr and Dommenget’s work—is in fact determined by the corresponding ratio of spatial differences in the annual mean p s and T a . The latter ratio, reflecting lower pressure at higher temperature, is significantly impacted by the meridional pressure and temperature differences. Considerations of isobaric heights are shown to be unable to predict either spatial or temporal variation in p s . As noted by Bayr and Dommenget, the role of moisture dynamics in generating sea level pressure variation remains in need of further theoretical investigations.

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A. M. Makarieva
,
V. G. Gorshkov
,
D. Sheil
,
A. D. Nobre
,
P. Bunyard
, and
B.-L. Li

Abstract

The influence of forest loss on rainfall remains poorly understood. Addressing this challenge, Spracklen et al. recently presented a pantropical study of rainfall and land cover that showed that satellite-derived rainfall measures were positively correlated with the degree to which model-derived air trajectories had been exposed to forest cover. This result confirms the influence of vegetation on regional rainfall patterns suggested in previous studies. However, the conclusion of Spracklen et al.—that differences in rainfall reflect air moisture content resulting from evapotranspiration while the circulation pattern remains unchanged—appears undermined by methodological inconsistencies. Here methodological problems are identified with the underlying analyses and the quantitative estimates for rainfall change predicted if forest cover is lost in the Amazon. Alternative explanations are presented that include the distinct role of forest evapotranspiration in creating low-pressure systems that draw moisture from the oceans to the continental hinterland. A wholly new analysis of meteorological data from three regions in Brazil, including the central Amazon forest, reveals a tendency for rainy days during the wet season with column water vapor (CWV) exceeding 50 mm to have higher pressure than rainless days, while at lower CWV, rainy days tend to have lower pressure than rainless days. The coupling between atmospheric moisture content and circulation dynamics underlines that the danger posed by forest loss is greater than suggested by consideration of moisture recycling alone.

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Comments on “An Evaluation of Hurricane Superintensity in Axisymmetric Numerical Models”

A. M. Makarieva
,
A. V. Nefiodov
,
D. Sheil
,
A. D. Nobre
,
A. V. Chikunov
,
G. Plunien
, and
B.-L. Li

Abstract

In a recent paper Rousseau-Rizzi and Emanuel (2019) presented a derivation of an upper limit on maximum hurricane velocity at the ocean surface. This derivation was based on a consideration of an infinitely narrow (differential) Carnot cycle with the warmer isotherm at the point of the maximum wind velocity. Here we show that this derivation neglected a significant term describing the kinetic energy change in the outflow. Additionally, we highlight the importance of a proper accounting for the power needed to lift liquid water. Finally, we provide a revision to the formula for surface fluxes of heat and momentum showing that, if we accept the assumptions adopted by Rousseau-Rizzi and Emanuel (2019), the resulting velocity estimate does not depend on the flux of sensible heat.

Open access
A. M. Makarieva
,
V. G. Gorshkov
,
A. D. Nobre
,
A. V. Nefiodov
,
D. Sheil
,
P. Nobre
, and
B.-L. Li

Abstract

Here we respond to Jaramillo et al.’s recent critique of condensation-induced atmospheric dynamics (CIAD). We show that CIAD is consistent with Newton’s laws while Jaramillo et al.’s analysis is invalid. To address implied objections, we explain our different formulations of “evaporative force.” The essential concept of CIAD is condensation’s role in powering atmospheric circulation. We briefly highlight why this concept is necessary and useful.

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Z. Q. Li
,
H. Xu
,
K. T. Li
,
D. H. Li
,
Y. S. Xie
,
L. Li
,
Y. Zhang
,
X. F. Gu
,
W. Zhao
,
Q. J. Tian
,
R. R. Deng
,
X. L. Su
,
B. Huang
,
Y. L. Qiao
,
W. Y. Cui
,
Y. Hu
,
C. L. Gong
,
Y. Q. Wang
,
X. F. Wang
,
J. P. Wang
,
W. B. Du
,
Z. Q. Pan
,
Z. Z. Li
, and
D. Bu

Abstract

An overview of Sun–Sky Radiometer Observation Network (SONET) measurements in China is presented. Based on observations at 16 distributed SONET sites in China, atmospheric aerosol parameters are acquired via standardization processes of operational measurement, maintenance, calibration, inversion, and quality control implemented since 2010. A climatology study is performed focusing on total columnar atmospheric aerosol characteristics, including optical (aerosol optical depth, ÅngstrÖm exponent, fine-mode fraction, single-scattering albedo), physical (volume particle size distribution), chemical composition (black carbon; brown carbon; fine-mode scattering component, coarse-mode component; and aerosol water), and radiative properties (aerosol radiative forcing and efficiency). Data analyses show that aerosol optical depth is low in the west but high in the east of China. Aerosol composition also shows significant spatial and temporal variations, leading to noticeable diversities in optical and physical property patterns. In west and north China, aerosols are generally affected by dust particles, while monsoon climate and human activities impose remarkable influences on aerosols in east and south China. Aerosols in China exhibit strong light-scattering capability and result in significant radiative cooling effects.

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