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Lorenzo Minola
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
, and
Deliang Chen

Abstract

Multidecadal variability of observed near-surface wind speed from 24 stations across Sweden has been analyzed for 1956–2013, with a focus on 1979–2008 (incorporating an additional 9 stations) for comparison with previous studies. Wind speed data have been subjected to a robust data processing protocol, consisting of quality control, reconstruction, and homogenization, by using geostrophic wind speed series as reference. The homogenized dataset displays a significant (at p < 0.05) downward trend for 1956–2013 (−0.06 m s−1 decade−1) and an even larger decreasing trend for 1979–2008 (−0.14 m s−1 decade−1). However, differences have been observed seasonally, with significant decreasing values in spring, summer, and autumn and a small downward trend in winter for 1956–2013. Most interestingly, a nonsignificant wind speed increase has been detected in winter for 1979–2008, which contrasts with the marked “stilling” reported for this season in much of midlatitude regions. The decreasing rate in wind speed is larger for coastal stations and in the southern part of Sweden. Decreasing trends were found at 91.7% of the stations during summer, whereas 58.3% of the stations displayed decreasing trends in winter. On the contrary, increasing trends occurred in 41.7% of the stations for winter and in only 8.3% for summer. The possible impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index has also been investigated, showing evidence that the small increasing trend in winter for 1979–2008 is hypothetically associated with the positive tendency of the NAO index during the last decades. These results reveal the influence of large-scale atmospheric circulation on wind speed variability across Sweden.

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Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Bernadette H. Connell
, and
Rafael Baena-Calatrava

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify clear air boundaries and to obtain spatial distribution of convective areas associated with the sea breeze over the Iberian Mediterranean zone and the isle of Mallorca, both in Spain. Daytime Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites were collected for May–October 2004. A cloud detection algorithm was used to identify clouds to derive daytime sea-breeze cloud frequency composites over land. The high-resolution composites aided in identifying the location of five preferential sea-breeze convergence zones (SBCZ) in relation to the shape of coastline and orographic effects. Additionally, eight regimes were designated using mean boundary layer wind speed and direction to provide statistics about the effect of prevailing large-scale flows on sea-breeze convection over the five SBCZ. The offshore SW to W and the NW to N regimes were characterized by high cloud frequencies parallel to the coast. Small differences in mean cloud frequency values from morning to afternoon composites were detected with these regimes because sea-breeze fronts tended to form early and persist into the afternoon. Just the opposite occurred under the onshore NE to E and SE to S regimes. It was found that light to moderate (≤5.1 m s−1) winds aloft result in more clouds at the leading edge of sea breezes. In contrast, strong synoptic-scale (>5.1 m s−1) flows weaken boundary layer convergence. The results from this satellite meteorology study could have practical applications for many people including those that forecast the weather and those that use the forecast for making decisions related to energy use, fishing, recreation, or agriculture activities, as well as for estimating pollution or issuing warnings for heavy rain or flash flooding.

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Kaiqiang Deng
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Lorenzo Minola
,
Gangfeng Zhang
, and
Deliang Chen

Abstract

Near-surface (10 m) wind speed (NWS) plays a crucial role in many areas, including hydrological cycles, wind energy production, and air pollution, but what drives its multidecadal changes is still unclear. Using reanalysis datasets and model simulations from phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projection (CMIP6), this study investigates recent trends in the annual mean NWS. The results show that the Northern Hemisphere (NH) terrestrial NWS experienced significant (p < 0.1) decreasing trends during 1980–2010, when the Southern Hemisphere (SH) ocean NWS was characterized by significant (p < 0.1) upward trends. However, during 2010–19, global NWS trends shifted in their sign: NWS trends over the NH land became positive, and trends over the SH tended to be negative. We propose that the strengthening of SH NWS during 1980–2010 was associated with an intensified Hadley cell over the SH, while the declining of NH land NWS could have been caused by changes in atmospheric circulation, alteration of vegetation and/or land use, and the accelerating Arctic warming. The CMIP6 model simulations further demonstrate that the greenhouse gas (GHG) warming plays an important role in triggering the NWS trends over the two hemispheres during 1980–2010 through modulating meridional atmospheric circulation. This study also points at the importance of anthropogenic GHG forcing and the natural Pacific decadal oscillation to the long-term trends and multidecadal variability in global NWS, respectively.

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Lihong Zhou
,
Zhenzhong Zeng
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Yi Liu
,
Jie Wu
,
Dashan Wang
,
Dan Li
,
Alan D. Ziegler
, and
Li Dong

Abstract

To investigate changes in global wind speed phenomena, we constructed homogenized monthly time series (1980–2018) for 4722 meteorological stations. Through examining monthly averaged wind speeds (MWS), we found that seasonal wind speed range (SWSR; calculated as the difference between maximum and minimum MWS) has declined significantly by 10% since 1980 (p < 0.001). This global SWSR reduction was primarily influenced by decreases in Europe (−19%), South America (−16%), Australia (−14%), and Asia (−13%), with corresponding rate reductions of −0.13, −0.08, −0.09, and −0.06 m s−1 decade−1, respectively (p < 0.01). In contrast, the SWSR in North America rose 3%. Important is that the decrease in SWSR occurred regardless of the stilling or reversal of annual wind speed. The shrinking SWSR in Australia and South America was characterized by continuous decreases in maximum MWS and increases in the minimum. For Europe and Asia, maximum and minimum MWS declined initially after 1980, followed by substantial increases in minimum MWS (about 2000 and 2012, respectively) that preserved the long-term reduction in the range. Most reanalysis products (ERA5, ERA-Interim, and MERRA-2) and climate model simulations (AMIP6 and CMIP6) fail to reproduce the observed trends. However, some ocean–atmosphere indices (seasonality characteristics) were correlated significantly with these trends, including the Western Hemisphere warm pool, East Atlantic pattern, Pacific decadal oscillation, and others. These findings are important for increasing the understanding of mechanisms behind wind speed variations that influence a multitude of other biogeophysical processes and the development of efficient wind power generation, now and in the future.

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Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Jose A. Guijarro
,
Blair Trewin
,
Andrew J. Frost
,
Gangfeng Zhang
,
Lorenzo Minola
,
Seok-Woo Son
,
Kaiqiang Deng
, and
Deliang Chen

Abstract

Wind gusts represent one of the main natural hazards due to their increasing socioeconomic and environmental impacts on, for example, human safety, maritime–terrestrial–aviation activities, engineering and insurance applications, and energy production. However, the existing scientific studies focused on observed wind gusts are relatively few compared to those on mean wind speed. In Australia, previous studies found a slowdown of near-surface mean wind speed, termed “stilling,” but a lack of knowledge on the multidecadal variability and trends in the magnitude (wind speed maxima) and frequency (exceeding the 90th percentile) of wind gusts exists. A new homogenized daily peak wind gusts (DPWG) dataset containing 548 time series across Australia for 1941–2016 is analyzed to determine long-term trends in wind gusts. Here we show that both the magnitude and frequency of DPWG declined across much of the continent, with a distinct seasonality: negative trends in summer–spring–autumn and weak negative or nontrending (even positive) trends in winter. We demonstrate that ocean–atmosphere oscillations such as the Indian Ocean dipole and the southern annular mode partly modulate decadal-scale variations of DPWG. The long-term declining trend of DPWG is consistent with the “stilling” phenomenon, suggesting that global warming may have reduced Australian wind gusts.

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Gangfeng Zhang
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Deliang Chen
,
Jose A. Guijarro
,
Feng Kong
,
Lorenzo Minola
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Seok-Woo Son
, and
Peijun Shi

Abstract

Assessing change in daily maximum wind speed and its likely causes is crucial for many applications such as wind power generation and wind disaster risk governance. Multidecadal variability of observed near-surface daily maximum wind speed (DMWS) from 778 stations over China is analyzed for 1975–2016. A robust homogenization protocol using the R package Climatol was applied to the DMWS observations. The homogenized dataset displayed a significant (p < 0.05) declining trend of −0.038 m s−1 decade−1 for all China annually, with decreases in winter (−0.355 m s−1 decade−1, p < 0.05) and autumn (−0.108 m s−1 decade−1; p < 0.05) and increases in summer (+0.272 m s−1 decade−1, p < 0.05) along with a weak recovery in spring (+0.032 m s−1 decade−1; p > 0.10); that is, DMWS declined during the cold semester (October–March) and increased during the warm semester (April–September). Correlation analysis of the Arctic Oscillation, the Southern Oscillation, and the west Pacific modes exhibited significant correlation with DMWS variability, unveiling their complementarity in modulating DMWS. Further, we explored potential physical processes relating to the atmospheric circulation changes and their impacts on DMWS and found that 1) overall weakened horizontal airflow [large-scale mean horizontal pressure gradient (from −0.24 to +0.02 hPa decade−1) and geostrophic wind speed (from −0.6 to +0.6 m s−1 decade−1)], 2) widely decreased atmospheric vertical momentum transport [atmospheric stratification thermal instability (from −3 to +1.5 decade−1) and vertical wind shear (from −0.4 to +0.2 m s−1 decade−1)], and 3) decreased extratropical cyclones frequency (from −0.3 to 0 month decade−1) are likely causes of DMWS change.

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Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Sonia Jerez
,
Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo
,
Juan-I. López-Moreno
,
Jesus Revuelto
,
Ricardo M. Trigo
,
Joan A. Lopez-Bustins
, and
Fátima Espírito-Santo

Abstract

Near-surface wind speed trends recorded at 67 land-based stations across Spain and Portugal for 1961–2011, also focusing on the 1979–2008 subperiod, were analyzed. Wind speed series were subjected to quality control, reconstruction, and homogenization using a novel procedure that incorporated the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5)-simulated series as reference. The resultant series show a slight downward trend for both 1961–2011 (−0.016 m s−1 decade−1) and 1979–2008 (−0.010 m s−1 decade−1). However, differences between seasons with declining values in winter and spring, and increasing trends in summer and autumn, were observed. Even though wind stilling affected 77.8% of the stations in winter and 66.7% in spring, only roughly 40% of the declining trends were statistically significant at the p < 0.10 level. On the contrary, increasing trends appeared in 51.9% of the stations in summer and 57.4% in autumn, with also around 40% of the positive trends statistically significant at the p < 0.10 level. In this article, the authors also investigated (i) the possible impact of three atmospheric indices on the observed trends and (ii) the role played by the urbanization growth in the observed decline. An accurate homogenization and assessment of the long-term trends of wind speed is crucial for many fields such as wind energy (e.g., power generation) and agriculture–hydrology (e.g., evaporative demand).

Full access
Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Fernando Domínguez-Castro
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Ahmed El Kenawy
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Miquel Tomás-Burguera
,
Santiago Beguería
,
Marco Maneta
, and
Marina Peña-Gallardo

Abstract

This article developed and implemented a new methodology for calculating the standardized evapotranspiration deficit index (SEDI) globally based on the log-logistic distribution to fit the evaporation deficit (ED), the difference between actual evapotranspiration (ETa) and atmospheric evaporative demand (AED). Our findings demonstrate that, regardless of the AED dataset used, a log-logistic distribution most optimally fitted the ED time series. As such, in many regions across the terrestrial globe, the SEDI is insensitive to the AED method used for calculation, with the exception of winter months and boreal regions. The SEDI showed significant correlations (p < 0.05) with the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) across a wide range of regions, particularly for short (<3 month) SPEI time scales. This work provides a robust approach for calculating spatially and temporally comparable SEDI estimates, regardless of the climate region and land surface conditions, and it assesses the performance and the applicability of the SEDI to quantify drought severity across varying crop and natural vegetation areas.

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Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano
,
Santiago Beguería
,
Jorge Lorenzo-Lacruz
,
Jesús Julio Camarero
,
Juan I. López-Moreno
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Jesús Revuelto
,
Enrique Morán-Tejeda
, and
Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo

Abstract

In this study, the authors provide a global assessment of the performance of different drought indices for monitoring drought impacts on several hydrological, agricultural, and ecological response variables. For this purpose, they compare the performance of several drought indices [the standardized precipitation index (SPI); four versions of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI); and the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI)] to predict changes in streamflow, soil moisture, forest growth, and crop yield. The authors found a superior capability of the SPEI and the SPI drought indices, which are calculated on different time scales than the Palmer indices to capture the drought impacts on the aforementioned hydrological, agricultural, and ecological variables. They detected small differences in the comparative performance of the SPI and the SPEI indices, but the SPEI was the drought index that best captured the responses of the assessed variables to drought in summer, the season in which more drought-related impacts are recorded and in which drought monitoring is critical. Hence, the SPEI shows improved capability to identify drought impacts as compared with the SPI. In conclusion, it seems reasonable to recommend the use of the SPEI if the responses of the variables of interest to drought are not known a priori.

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Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Freya Aldred
,
Nadine Gobron
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
R. P. Allan
,
John Anderson
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Argüez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
Aman Basu
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Gerald Bove
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Laura Carrea
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nava Fedaeff
,
David Fereday
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Matthew Gentry
,
Steven Goodman
,
Qiqi Gou
,
Nikolay Granin
,
Mauro Guglielmin
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Debbie L. Hemming
,
Martin Hirschi
,
Shu-pen (Ben) Ho
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Daan Hubert
,
Petra Hulsman
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Richard Kidd
,
Hyungiun Kim
,
Zak Kipling
,
Akash Koppa
,
Jan Henning L’Abée-Lund
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
David Lavers
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
Remi Madelon
,
Hilmar J. Malmquist
,
Wlodzimierz Marszelewski
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Leander Mösinger
,
Jens Mühle
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Tiina Nõges
,
Ben Noll
,
John O’Keefe
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
Taejin Park
,
Cecile Pellet
,
Maury S. Pelto
,
Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
Coda Phillips
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
Dominik G. Rains
,
William J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Nemesio J. Rodríguez-Fernández
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Chris Roth
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
This Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Udo Schneider
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Carolina Siso
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Kenton Stewart
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Hagen Telg
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Michael Todt
,
Daisuke Tokuda
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Mendy van der Vliet
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
Arnold. van Vliet
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastiàn Vivero
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Markus Weber
,
David Wiese
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Earle Williams
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. I. Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Ye Yuan
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
, and
Ruxandra M. Zotta
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