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Xiaoming Zhai, Richard J. Greatbatch, and Jinyu Sheng

Abstract

On the spherical earth, and in the absence of a background flow, the poleward propagation of near-inertial oscillations is restricted by the turning latitude. A background flow, on the other hand, provides a way to increase the apparent frequency of near-inertial waves through Doppler shifting. In this note, it is shown that near-inertial oscillations can be advected to latitudes higher than their turning latitude. Associated with the poleward advection there is a squeezing of the meridional wavelength. A numerical model is used to verify this result. The squeezed inertial oscillations are vulnerable to nonlinear interactions, which could eventually lead to small-scale dissipation and mixing.

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Ping Zhai, Larry J. Pratt, and Amy Bower

Abstract

The west-to-east crossover of boundary currents has been seen in mean circulation schemes from several past models of the Red Sea. This study investigates the mechanisms that produce and control the crossover in an idealized, eddy-resolving numerical model of the Red Sea. The authors also review the observational evidence and derive an analytical estimate for the crossover latitude. The surface buoyancy loss increases northward in the idealized model, and the resultant mean circulation consists of an anticyclonic gyre in the south and a cyclonic gyre in the north. In the midbasin, the northward surface flow crosses from the western boundary to the eastern boundary. Numerical experiments with different parameters indicate that the crossover latitude of the boundary currents changes with f 0, β, and the meridional gradient of surface buoyancy forcing. In the analytical estimate, which is based on quasigeostrophic, β-plane dynamics, the crossover is predicted to lie at the latitude where the net potential vorticity advection (including an eddy component) is zero. Various terms in the potential vorticity budget can be estimated using a buoyancy budget, a thermal wind balance, and a parameterization of baroclinic instability.

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Xiaoming Zhai, Richard J. Greatbatch, Carsten Eden, and Toshiyuki Hibiya

Abstract

Wind-induced near-inertial energy has been believed to be an important source for generating the ocean mixing required to maintain the global meridional overturning circulation. In the present study, the near-inertial energy budget in a realistic model of the North Atlantic Ocean driven by synoptically varying wind forcing is examined. The authors find that nearly 70% of the wind-induced near-inertial energy at the sea surface is lost to turbulent mixing within the top 200 m and, hence, is not available to generate diapycnal mixing at greater depth. Assuming this result can be extended to the global ocean, it is estimated that the wind-induced near-inertial energy available for ocean mixing at depth is, at most, 0.1 TW. This confirms a recent suggestion that the role of wind-induced near-inertial energy in sustaining the global overturning circulation might have been overemphasized.

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L. Huang, J. Zhai, C. Y. Sun, J. Y. Liu, J. Ning, and G.S. Zhao

Abstract

Land-use changes (LUCs) strongly influence regional climates through both the biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. However, many studies have ignored the biogeophysical processes, which in some cases can offset the biogeochemical impacts. We integrated the field observations, satellite-retrieved data, and a conceptual land surface energy balance model to provide new evidence to fill our knowledge gap concerning how regional warming or cooling is affected by the three main types of LUCs (afforestation, cropland expansion, and urbanization) in different climate zones of China. According to our analyses, similar LUCs presented varied, even reverse, biogeophysical forcing on local temperatures across different climate regimes. Afforestation in arid and semiarid regions has caused increased net radiation that has typically outweighed increased latent evapotranspiration, thus warming has been the net biogeophysical effect. However, it has resulted in cooling in subtropical zones because the increase in net radiation has been exceeded by the increase in latent evapotranspiration. Cropland expansion has decreased the net radiation more than latent evapotranspiration, which has resulted in biogeophysical cooling in arid and semiarid regions. Conversely, it has caused warming in subtropical zones as a result of increases in net radiation and decreases in latent evapotranspiration. In all climatic regions, the net biogeophysical effects of urbanization have generally resulted in more or less warming because urbanization has led to smaller net radiation decreases than latent evapotranspiration. This study reinforces the need to adjust land-use policies to consider biogeophysical effects across different climate regimes and to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

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Oleg A. Saenko, Xiaoming Zhai, William J. Merryfield, and Warren G. Lee

Abstract

Several recent studies have shown that ocean western boundaries are the primary regions of eddy energy dissipation. Globally, the eddy energy sinks have been estimated to integrate to about 0.2 TW. This is a sizable fraction of the tidal energy dissipation in the deep oceanic interior, estimated at about 1.0 TW and contributing to diapycnal mixing. The authors conduct sensitivity experiments with an ocean general circulation model assuming that the eddy energy is scattered into high-wavenumber vertical modes, resulting in energy dissipation and locally enhanced diapycnal mixing. When only the tidal energy dissipation maintains diapycnal mixing, the overturning circulation, and stratification in the deep ocean are too weak. With the addition of the eddy dissipation, the deep-ocean thermal structure becomes closer to that observed and the overturning circulation and stratification in the abyss become stronger. Furthermore, the mixing associated with the eddy dissipation can, on its own, drive a relatively strong overturning. The stratification and overturning in the deep ocean are sensitive to the vertical structure of diapycnal mixing. When most of this energy dissipates within 300 m above the bottom, the abyssal overturning and stratification are too weak. Allowing for the dissipation to penetrate higher in the water column, such as suggested by recent observations, results in stronger stratification and meridional circulation. Zonal circulation is also affected. In particular, the Drake Passage transport becomes closer to its observational estimates with the increase in the vertical scale for turbulence above topography. Consistent with some theoretical models, the Drake Passage transport increases with the increase in the mean upper-ocean diffusivity.

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Jonathan H. Jiang, Hui Su, Chengxing Zhai, T. Janice Shen, Tongwen Wu, Jie Zhang, Jason N. S. Cole, Knut von Salzen, Leo J. Donner, Charles Seman, Anthony Del Genio, Larissa S. Nazarenko, Jean-Louis Dufresne, Masahiro Watanabe, Cyril Morcrette, Tsuyoshi Koshiro, Hideaki Kawai, Andrew Gettelman, Luis Millán, William G. Read, Nathaniel J. Livesey, Yasko Kasai, and Masato Shiotani

Abstract

Upper-tropospheric ice cloud measurements from the Superconducting Submillimeter Limb Emission Sounder (SMILES) on the International Space Station (ISS) are used to study the diurnal cycle of upper-tropospheric ice cloud in the tropics and midlatitudes (40°S–40°N) and to quantitatively evaluate ice cloud diurnal variability simulated by 10 climate models. Over land, the SMILES-observed diurnal cycle has a maximum around 1800 local solar time (LST), while the model-simulated diurnal cycles have phases differing from the observed cycle by −4 to 12 h. Over ocean, the observations show much smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes than over land with a peak at 1200 LST, while the modeled diurnal cycle phases are widely distributed throughout the 24-h period. Most models show smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes over ocean than over land, which is in agreement with the observations. However, there is a large spread of modeled diurnal cycle amplitudes ranging from 20% to more than 300% of the observed over both land and ocean. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis on the observed and model-simulated variations of ice clouds finds that the first EOF modes over land from both observation and model simulations explain more than 70% of the ice cloud diurnal variations and they have similar spatial and temporal patterns. Over ocean, the first EOF from observation explains 26.4% of the variance, while the first EOF from most models explains more than 70%. The modeled spatial and temporal patterns of the leading EOFs over ocean show large differences from observations, indicating that the physical mechanisms governing the diurnal cycle of oceanic ice clouds are more complicated and not well simulated by the current climate models.

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Cher M. Page, Neville Nicholls, Neil Plummer, Blair Trewin, Mike Manton, Lisa Alexander, Lynda E. Chambers, Youngeun Choi, Dean A. Collins, Ashmita Gosai, Paul Della-Marta, Malcolm R. Haylock, Kasis Inape, Victoire Laurent, Luc Maitrepierre, Erwin E.P. Makmur, Hiroshi Nakamigawa, Nongnat Ouprasitwong, Simon McGree, Janita Pahalad, M.J. Salinger, Lourdes Tibig, Trong D. Tran, Kaliapan Vediapan, and Panmao Zhai
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