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Eric D. Rappin
,
Michael C. Morgan
, and
Gregory J. Tripoli

Abstract

In this study, the impacts of regions of weak inertial stability on tropical cyclone intensification and peak strength are examined. It is demonstrated that weak inertial stability in the outflow layer minimizes an energy sink of the tropical cyclone secondary circulation and leads to more rapid intensification to the maximum potential intensity. Using a full-physics, three-dimensional numerical weather prediction model, a symmetric distribution of environmental inertial stability is generated using a variable Coriolis parameter. It is found that the lower the value of the Coriolis parameter, the more rapid the strengthening. The lower-latitude simulation is shown to have a significantly stronger secondary circulation with intense divergent outflow against a comparatively weak environmental resistance. However, the impacts of differences in the gradient wind balance between the different latitudes on the core structure cannot be neglected. A second study is then conducted using an asymmetric inertial stability distribution generated by the presence of a jet stream to the north of the tropical cyclone. The initial intensification is similar, or even perhaps slower, in the presence of the jet as a result of increased vertical wind shear. As the system evolves, convective outflow from the tropical cyclone modifies the jet resulting in weaker shear and more rapid intensification of the tropical cyclone–jet couplet. It is argued that the generation of an outflow channel as the tropical cyclone outflow expands into the region of weak inertial stability on the anticyclonic shear side of the jet stream minimizes the energy expenditure of forced subsidence by ventilating all outflow in one long narrow path, allowing radiational cooling to lessen the work of subsidence. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that evolving conditions in the outflow layer modulate the tropical cyclone core structure in such a way that tropical cyclone outflow can access weak inertial stability in the environment.

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Britton B. Stephens
,
Matthew C. Long
,
Ralph F. Keeling
,
Eric A. Kort
,
Colm Sweeney
,
Eric C. Apel
,
Elliot L. Atlas
,
Stuart Beaton
,
Jonathan D. Bent
,
Nicola J. Blake
,
James F. Bresch
,
Joanna Casey
,
Bruce C. Daube
,
Minghui Diao
,
Ernesto Diaz
,
Heidi Dierssen
,
Valeria Donets
,
Bo-Cai Gao
,
Michelle Gierach
,
Robert Green
,
Justin Haag
,
Matthew Hayman
,
Alan J. Hills
,
Martín S. Hoecker-Martínez
,
Shawn B. Honomichl
,
Rebecca S. Hornbrook
,
Jorgen B. Jensen
,
Rong-Rong Li
,
Ian McCubbin
,
Kathryn McKain
,
Eric J. Morgan
,
Scott Nolte
,
Jordan G. Powers
,
Bryan Rainwater
,
Kaylan Randolph
,
Mike Reeves
,
Sue M. Schauffler
,
Katherine Smith
,
Mackenzie Smith
,
Jeff Stith
,
Gregory Stossmeister
,
Darin W. Toohey
, and
Andrew S. Watt

Abstract

The Southern Ocean plays a critical role in the global climate system by mediating atmosphere–ocean partitioning of heat and carbon dioxide. However, Earth system models are demonstrably deficient in the Southern Ocean, leading to large uncertainties in future air–sea CO2 flux projections under climate warming and incomplete interpretations of natural variability on interannual to geologic time scales. Here, we describe a recent aircraft observational campaign, the O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) study, which collected measurements over the Southern Ocean during January and February 2016. The primary research objective of the ORCAS campaign was to improve observational constraints on the seasonal exchange of atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen with the Southern Ocean. The campaign also included measurements of anthropogenic and marine biogenic reactive gases; high-resolution, hyperspectral ocean color imaging of the ocean surface; and microphysical data relevant for understanding and modeling cloud processes. In each of these components of the ORCAS project, the campaign has significantly expanded the amount of observational data available for this remote region. Ongoing research based on these observations will contribute to advancing our understanding of this climatically important system across a range of topics including carbon cycling, atmospheric chemistry and transport, and cloud physics. This article presents an overview of the scientific and methodological aspects of the ORCAS project and highlights early findings.

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Chelsea R. Thompson
,
Steven C. Wofsy
,
Michael J. Prather
,
Paul A. Newman
,
Thomas F. Hanisco
,
Thomas B. Ryerson
,
David W. Fahey
,
Eric C. Apel
,
Charles A. Brock
,
William H. Brune
,
Karl Froyd
,
Joseph M. Katich
,
Julie M. Nicely
,
Jeff Peischl
,
Eric Ray
,
Patrick R. Veres
,
Siyuan Wang
,
Hannah M. Allen
,
Elizabeth Asher
,
Huisheng Bian
,
Donald Blake
,
Ilann Bourgeois
,
John Budney
,
T. Paul Bui
,
Amy Butler
,
Pedro Campuzano-Jost
,
Cecilia Chang
,
Mian Chin
,
Róisín Commane
,
Gus Correa
,
John D. Crounse
,
Bruce Daube
,
Jack E. Dibb
,
Joshua P. DiGangi
,
Glenn S. Diskin
,
Maximilian Dollner
,
James W. Elkins
,
Arlene M. Fiore
,
Clare M. Flynn
,
Hao Guo
,
Samuel R. Hall
,
Reem A. Hannun
,
Alan Hills
,
Eric J. Hintsa
,
Alma Hodzic
,
Rebecca S. Hornbrook
,
L. Greg Huey
,
Jose L. Jimenez
,
Ralph F. Keeling
,
Michelle J. Kim
,
Agnieszka Kupc
,
Forrest Lacey
,
Leslie R. Lait
,
Jean-Francois Lamarque
,
Junhua Liu
,
Kathryn McKain
,
Simone Meinardi
,
David O. Miller
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Fred L. Moore
,
Eric J. Morgan
,
Daniel M. Murphy
,
Lee T. Murray
,
Benjamin A. Nault
,
J. Andrew Neuman
,
Louis Nguyen
,
Yenny Gonzalez
,
Andrew Rollins
,
Karen Rosenlof
,
Maryann Sargent
,
Gregory Schill
,
Joshua P. Schwarz
,
Jason M. St. Clair
,
Stephen D. Steenrod
,
Britton B. Stephens
,
Susan E. Strahan
,
Sarah A. Strode
,
Colm Sweeney
,
Alexander B. Thames
,
Kirk Ullmann
,
Nicholas Wagner
,
Rodney Weber
,
Bernadett Weinzierl
,
Paul O. Wennberg
,
Christina J. Williamson
,
Glenn M. Wolfe
, and
Linghan Zeng

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the NASA Atmospheric Tomography (ATom) mission and a summary of selected scientific findings to date. ATom was an airborne measurements and modeling campaign aimed at characterizing the composition and chemistry of the troposphere over the most remote regions of the Pacific, Southern, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans, and examining the impact of anthropogenic and natural emissions on a global scale. These remote regions dominate global chemical reactivity and are exceptionally important for global air quality and climate. ATom data provide the in situ measurements needed to understand the range of chemical species and their reactions, and to test satellite remote sensing observations and global models over large regions of the remote atmosphere. Lack of data in these regions, particularly over the oceans, has limited our understanding of how atmospheric composition is changing in response to shifting anthropogenic emissions and physical climate change. ATom was designed as a global-scale tomographic sampling mission with extensive geographic and seasonal coverage, tropospheric vertical profiling, and detailed speciation of reactive compounds and pollution tracers. ATom flew the NASA DC-8 research aircraft over four seasons to collect a comprehensive suite of measurements of gases, aerosols, and radical species from the remote troposphere and lower stratosphere on four global circuits from 2016 to 2018. Flights maintained near-continuous vertical profiling of 0.15–13-km altitudes on long meridional transects of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean basins. Analysis and modeling of ATom data have led to the significant early findings highlighted here.

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