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L. C. Jackson and R. A. Wood

Abstract

Different strategies have been proposed in previous studies for monitoring the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). As well as arrays to directly monitor the AMOC strength, various fingerprints have been suggested to represent an aspect of the AMOC based on properties such as temperature and density. The additional value of fingerprints potentially includes the ability to detect a change earlier than a change in the AMOC itself, the ability to extend a time series back into the past, and the ability to detect crossing a threshold. In this study we select metrics that have been proposed as fingerprints in previous studies and evaluate their ability to detect AMOC changes in a number of scenarios (internal variability, weakening from increased greenhouse gases, weakening from hosing and hysteresis) in the eddy-permitting coupled climate model HadGEM3-GC2. We find that the metrics that perform best are the temperature metrics based on large-scale differences, the large-scale meridional density gradient, and the vertical density difference in the Labrador Sea. The best metric for monitoring the AMOC depends somewhat on the processes driving the change. Hence the best strategy would be to consider multiple fingerprints to provide early detection of all likely AMOC changes.

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Rex C. Wood, Richard K. Olson, and Andrew R. McFarland

Abstract

The air ejector filter sampler is a balloon-borne device designed to collect particulate matter from very large volumes (105 ft2) of stratospheric air at altitudes between 50,000 and 130,000 ft. This equipment utilize an ejector pump to pull air through 2 ft2 of Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC) #1478 filter paper at rates on the order of 1000 cfm. Use of this unit has permitted an extension of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission operational sampling program to higher attitudes than previously allowed by battery powered electro-mechanical systems. Performance of the sampler during a successful operational series conducted in 1965 by the U.S. Air Force at San Angelo, Texas, and Eielson AFB, Alaska, has confirmed pre-program estimates of system reliability.

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R. Wood, I. M. Stromberg, P. R. Jonas, and C. S. Mill

Abstract

A system has been developed for use on a light aircraft for the measurement of the turbulent wind vector components that does not rely on the use of either an inertial navigation system (INS) or Doppler radar. The system described here uses a five-hole probe to measure the wind vector relative to the aircraft. A GPS system, a vertical gyroscope for aircraft pitch and roll angles, a gyrocompass system, and a strap-down three-axis accelerometer system are used to obtain aircraft motion. Flight tests and results of an intercomparison with the United Kingdom Meteorological Office C-130 are presented. Under conditions of straight and level flight, the estimated rms errors are 0.3 m s−1 for the vertical wind component and 2 m s−1 for the horizontal components.

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R. B. Thorpe, J. M. Gregory, T. C. Johns, R. A. Wood, and J. F. B. Mitchell

Abstract

Models of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) show a range of responses to the high-latitude warming and freshening characteristic of global warming scenarios. Most simulate a weakening of the THC, with some suggesting possible interruption of the circulation, but others exhibit little change. The mechanisms of the THC response to climate change using the HadCM3 coupled ocean–atmosphere general circulation model, which gives a good simulation of the present-day THC and does not require flux adjustment, were studied. In a range of climate change simulations, the strength of the THC in HadCM3 is proportional to the meridional gradient of steric height (equivalent to column-integrated density) between 30°S and 60°N. During an integration in which CO2 increases at 2% per year for 70 yr, the THC weakens by about 20%, and it stabilizes at this level if the CO2 is subsequently held constant. Changes in surface heat and water fluxes are the cause of the reduction in the steric height gradient that derives the THC weakening, 60% being due to temperature change (greater warming at high latitudes) and 40% to salinity change (decreasing at high latitude, increasing at low latitude). The level at which the THC stabilizes is determined by advective feedbacks. As the circulation slows down, less heat is advected northward, which counteracts the in situ warming. At the same time, northward salinity advection increases because of a strong increase in salinity in the subtropical Atlantic, due to a greater atmospheric export of freshwater from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This change in interbasin transport means that salinity effects stabilize the circulation, in contrast to a single basin model of the THC, where salinity effects are destabilizing. These results suggest that the response of the Atlantic THC to anthropogenic forcing may be partly determined by events occurring outside the Atlantic basin.

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C. R. Wood, R. D. Kouznetsov, R. Gierens, A. Nordbo, L. Järvi, M. A. Kallistratova, and J. Kukkonen

Abstract

Two commercial large-aperture scintillometers, Scintec BLS900, were tested on pathlengths of 1840 and 4200 m at about 45–65 m above ground in Helsinki, Finland. From July 2011 through June 2012, large variability in diurnal and annual cycles of both the temperature structure parameter and sensible heat flux were observed. Scintillometer data were compared with data from two eddy-covariance stations. A robust method was developed for the calculation of from raw sonic-anemometer data. In contrast to many earlier studies that solely present the values of , the main focus here is on comparisons of itself. This has advantages, because optical-wavelength scintillometers measure with few assumptions, while the determination of implies the applicability of the Monin–Obukhov similarity theory, which has several inherent limitations. The histograms of compare well between sonic and scintillometer. In-depth analysis is focused on one of the scintillometer paths: both and comparisons gave similar and surprisingly high correlation coefficients (0.85 for and 0.84–0.95 for in unstable conditions), given the differences between the two measurement techniques, substantial sensor separation, and different source areas.

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LAURENCE W. FOSKETT, NORMAN B. FOSTER, WILLIAM R. THICKSTUN, and REX C. WOOD

Abstract

A recording infrared absorption hygrometer which measures the absolute humidity in a 1-meter light path is described. Record is obtained on a remote self-balancing potentiometer. Use is made of the 1.37 µ water vapor absorption band and a 1.24 µ reference band. Isolation is by means of transmission type interference band-pass light filters. Infrared detection is by means of a lead sulfide photocell and amplifier. Isolation filters are contained on a sector wheel which is rotated to chop an infrared beam. A self-balancing null system is employed whereby the energy in the absorption band is kept equal to the energy in the reference band at all times. Balance is maintained by automatically varying the temperature of the lamp supplying the infrared energy, and the temperature of the lamp is a measure of the water vapor in the sensing path. An index of the lamp temperature is obtained by means of a monitor photocell, and meter or recorder. Included is a discussion on the calibration and field tests made on the instrument at the Weather Bureau Laboratories, Washington, D. C.

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John E. Walsh, David H. Bromwich, James. E. Overland, Mark C. Serreze, and Kevin R. Wood

Abstract

The polar regions present several unique challenges to meteorology, including remoteness and a harsh environment. We summarize the evolution of polar meteorology in both hemispheres, beginning with measurements made during early expeditions and concluding with the recent decades in which polar meteorology has been central to global challenges such as the ozone hole, weather prediction, and climate change. Whereas the 1800s and early 1900s provided data from expeditions and only a few subarctic stations, the past 100 years have seen great advances in the observational network and corresponding understanding of the meteorology of the polar regions. For example, a persistent view in the early twentieth century was of an Arctic Ocean dominated by a permanent high pressure cell, a glacial anticyclone. With increased observations, by the 1950s it became apparent that, while anticyclones are a common feature of the Arctic circulation, cyclones are frequent and may be found anywhere in the Arctic. Technology has benefited polar meteorology through advances in instrumentation, especially autonomously operated instruments. Moreover, satellite remote sensing and computer models revolutionized polar meteorology. We highlight the four International Polar Years and several high-latitude field programs of recent decades. We also note outstanding challenges, which include understanding of the role of the Arctic in variations of midlatitude weather and climate, the ability to model surface energy exchanges over a changing Arctic Ocean, assessments of ongoing and future trends in extreme events in polar regions, and the role of internal variability in multiyear-to-decadal variations of polar climate.

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C. R. Mechoso, R. Wood, R. Weller, C. S. Bretherton, A. D. Clarke, H. Coe, C. Fairall, J. T. Farrar, G. Feingold, R. Garreaud, C. Grados, J. McWilliams, S. P. de Szoeke, S. E. Yuter, and P. Zuidema

The present paper describes the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean–Cloud–Atmosphere–Land Study (VOCALS), an international research program focused on the improved understanding and modeling of the southeastern Pacific (SEP) climate system on diurnal to interannual time scales. In the framework of the SEP climate, VOCALS has two fundamental objectives: 1) improved simulations by coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (CGCMs), with an emphasis on reducing systematic errors in the region; and 2) improved estimates of the indirect effects of aerosols on low clouds and climate, with an emphasis on the more precise quantification of those effects. VOCALS major scientific activities are outlined, and selected achievements are highlighted. Activities described include monitoring in the region, a large international field campaign (the VOCALS Regional Experiment), and two model assessments. The program has already produced significant advances in the understanding of major issues in the SEP: the coastal circulation and the diurnal cycle, the ocean heat budget, factors controlling precipitation and formation of pockets of open cells in stratocumulus decks, aerosol impacts on clouds, and estimation of the first aerosol indirect effect. The paper concludes with a brief presentation on VOCALS contributions to community capacity building before a summary of scientific findings and remaining questions.

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H.H. Jonsson, J.C. Wilson, C.A. Brock, R.G. Knollenberg, T.R. Newton, J.E. Dye, D. Baumgardner, S. Borrmann, G.V. Ferry, R. Pueschel, Dave C. Woods, and Mike C. Pitts

Abstract

A focused cavity aerosol spectrometer aboard a NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft provided high-resolution measurements of the size of the stratospheric particles in the 0.06–2.0-µm-diameter range in flights following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Effects of anisokinetic sampling and evaporation in the sampling system were accounted for by means adapted and specifically developed for this instrument. Calibrations with monodisperse aerosol particles provided the instrument's response matrix, which upon inversion during data reduction yielded the particle size distributions. The resultant dataset is internally consistent and generally shows agreement to within a factor of 2 with comparable measurements simultaneously obtained by a condensation nuclei counter, a forward-scattering spectrometer probe, and aerosol particle impactors, as well as with nearby extinction profiles obtained by satellite measurements and with lidar measurements of backscatter.

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C. R. Wood, L. Järvi, R. D. Kouznetsov, A. Nordbo, S. Joffre, A. Drebs, T. Vihma, A. Hirsikko, I. Suomi, C. Fortelius, E. O'Connor, D. Moiseev, S. Haapanala, J. Moilanen, M. Kangas, A. Karppinen, T. Vesala, and J. Kukkonen

The Helsinki Urban Boundary-Layer Atmosphere Network (UrBAN: http://urban.fmi.fi) is a dedicated research-grade observational network where the physical processes in the atmosphere above the city are studied. Helsinki UrBAN is the most poleward intensive urban research observation network in the world and thus will allow studying some unique features such as strong seasonality. The network's key purpose is for the understanding of the physical processes in the urban boundary layer and associated fluxes of heat, momentum, moisture, and other gases. A further purpose is to secure a research-grade database, which can be used internationally to validate and develop numerical models of air quality and weather prediction. Scintillometers, a scanning Doppler lidar, ceilometers, a sodar, eddy-covariance stations, and radiometers are used. This equipment is supplemented by auxiliary measurements, which were primarily set up for general weather and/or air-quality mandatory purposes, such as vertical soundings and the operational Doppler radar network. Examples are presented as a testimony to the potential of the network for urban studies, such as (i) evidence of a stable boundary layer possibly coupled to an urban surface, (ii) the comparison of scintillometer data with sonic anemometry above an urban surface, (iii) the application of scanning lidar over a city, and (iv) combination of sodar and lidar to give a fuller range of sampling heights for boundary layer profiling.

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