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Chunyong Ma, Siqing Li, Yang Yang, Jie Yang, and Ge Chen

Abstract

The global oceanic transports of energy, plankton, and other tracers by mesoscale eddies can be estimated by combining satellite altimetry and in situ data. However, the revolving channels of particles entrained by mesoscale eddies, which could help explain the dynamic process of eddies entraining materials, are still unknown. In this study, satellite altimeter and drifter data from 1993 to 2016 are adopted, and the normalized trajectory clustering algorithm (N-TRACLUS) is proposed to extract the revolving channels of drifters. First, the trajectories of drifters are normalized and clustered by using the density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN) algorithm. Next, the revolving channels of drifters around the eddy center are extracted. The ring or arc pattern in the middle of a normalized eddy appears when drifters are uninterruptedly entrained by eddies for more than 30 days. Moreover, the revolving channels of drifters in cyclonic eddies are relatively closer to the eddy center than those in anticyclonic eddies. These revolving channels suggest the principal mode of materials’ continuous motion processes that are inside eddies.

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Ruowen Yang, Zhiang Xie, and Jie Cao

Abstract

Based on the ridge line of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) and the theory of gradient wind approximation, a dynamic index for the westward ridge point (WRPI) of the WPSH is defined. Owing to its definition, the new dynamic index can be used to analyze the evolution of the WPSH at various time scales over most isobaric surfaces. The WRPI comprises two dimensions labeled ZWRPI and MWRPI, which depict the zonal and meridional movement, respectively, of the westward ridge point of the WPSH. The rationality and reliability of the dynamic index were validated using reanalysis atmospheric circulation, outgoing longwave radiation, surface air temperature, and rainfall data. The WRPI series revealed that the westward ridge point of the WPSH generally advances poleward while withdrawing eastward. Furthermore, there were close relationships between the WRPI, atmospheric circulation, outgoing longwave radiation, and precipitation over East Asia and the western Pacific in summer. The significant correlation coefficients indicated that the ZWRPI and the MWRPI can reflect the impact of the zonal and meridional movement of the WPSH on the climate over East Asia and the western Pacific. The ZWRPI has no significant linear trend at the interdecadal time scale, indicating that the WPSH did not significantly extend westward in summer. The slight decrease of the MWRPI suggests that the WPSH moves southward but with an insignificant trend. Compared with indices proposed in previous studies, the WRPI showed advantages in objectivity, reliability, predictability, practicability, and therefore extensive potential for application.

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Jie Yang, Qingquan Liu, and Wei Dai

Abstract

Accurate air temperature measurements are demanded for climate change research. However, air temperature sensors installed in a screen or a radiation shield have traditionally resisted observation accuracy due to a number of factors, particularly solar radiation. Here we present a novel temperature sensor array to improve the air temperature observation accuracy. To obtain an optimum design of the sensor array, we perform a series of analyses of the sensor array with various structures based on a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. Then the CFD method is applied to obtain quantitative radiation errors of the optimum temperature sensor array. For further improving the measurement accuracy of the sensor array, an artificial neural network model is developed to learn the relationship between the radiation error and environment variables. To assess the extent to which the actual performance adheres to the theoretical CFD model and the neural network model, air temperature observation experiments are conducted. An aspirated temperature measurement platform with a forced airflow rate up to 20 m s−1 served as an air temperature reference. The average radiation errors of a temperature sensor equipped with a naturally ventilated radiation shield and a temperature sensor installed in a screen are 0.42° and 0.23°C, respectively. By contrast, the mean radiation error of the temperature sensor array is approximately 0.03°C. The mean absolute error (MAE) between the radiation errors provided by the experiments and the radiation errors given by the neural network model is 0.007°C, and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) is 0.009°C.

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Qianzi Yang, Yingying Zhao, Qin Wen, Jie Yao, and Haijun Yang

Abstract

The Bjerknes compensation (BJC) under global warming is studied using a simple box model and a coupled Earth system model. The BJC states the out-of-phase changes in the meridional atmosphere and ocean heat transports. Results suggest that the BJC can occur during the transient period of global warming. During the transient period, the sea ice melting in the high latitudes can cause a significant weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), resulting in a cooling in the North Atlantic. The meridional contrast of sea surface temperature would be enhanced, and this can eventually enhance the Hadley cell and storm-track activities in the Northern Hemisphere. Accompanied by changes in both ocean and atmosphere circulations, the northward ocean heat transport in the Atlantic is decreased while the northward atmosphere heat transport is increased, and the BJC occurs in the Northern Hemisphere. Once the freshwater influx into the North Atlantic Ocean stops, or the ocean even loses freshwater because of strong heating in the high latitudes, the AMOC would recover. Both the atmosphere and ocean heat transports would be enhanced, and they can eventually recover to the state of the control run, leading to the BJC to become invalid. The above processes are clearly demonstrated in the coupled model CO2 experiment. Since it is difficult to separate the freshwater effect from the heating effect in the coupled model, a simple box model is used to understand the BJC mechanism and freshwater’s role under global warming. In a warming climate, the freshwater flux into the ocean can cool the global surface temperature, mitigating the temperature rise. Box model experiments indicate clearly that it is the freshwater flux into the North Atlantic that causes out-of-phase changes in the atmosphere and ocean heat transports, which eventually plays a stabilizing role in global climate change.

Open access
Jie Yang, Qingquan Liu, Feng Ding, and Renhui Ding

Abstract

The observation accuracy of the surface air temperature less than 0.1 K is a requirement, stated by the meteorological and climatological community. However, the accuracy of a temperature sensor inside a shield is affected by a number of factors including solar radiation, wind speed, upwelling longwave radiation, air density, sun elevation angle, sun azimuth angle, underlying surface, precipitation, moisture, structure, and coating of the radiation shield. Due to these factors, the temperature error of the temperature sensor may be much larger than 1 K under adverse conditions. To improve the observation accuracy, this paper proposed a spherical temperature sensor array. A series of analytical calculations based on a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method is performed to verify the design principle of this sensor array. The calculation results show that the temperature error ratio can be assumed as a constant. To verify the accuracy of this sensor array, simulations and observation experiments are conducted. The simulation results show that the mean difference between the temperature provided by this sensor array and the reference air temperature is 0.072 K. The field experiment results show that a root-mean-square error (RMSE) and a mean absolute error (MAE) between the temperature provided by this sensor array and the reference air temperature are 0.173 and 0.153 K, respectively.

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Kun Yang, Xiaofeng Guo, Jie He, Jun Qin, and Toshio Koike

Abstract

Atmospheric heating over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) enhances the Asian summer monsoon. This study presents a state-of-the-art estimate of the heating components and their total over the TP, with the aid of high-accuracy experimental data, an updated land surface model, and carefully selected satellite data.

The new estimate differs from previous estimates in three aspects: 1) different seasonality—the new estimation shows the maximum total heat source occurs in July (the mature period of the monsoon), rather than in the previously reported month of May or June (around the onset of the monsoon), because previous studies greatly overestimated radiative cooling during the monsoon season [June–August (JJA)]; 2) different regional pattern—the eastern TP exhibits stronger heating than the western TP in summer, whereas previous studies gave either an opposite spatial pattern because of overestimated sensible heat flux over the western TP or an overall weaker heat source because of overestimated radiative cooling; and 3) different trend—sensible heat, radiative convergence, and the total heat source have decreased since the 1980s, but their weakening trends were overestimated in a recent study. These biases in previous studies are due to fairly empirical methods and data that were not evaluated against experimental data.

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Jie Cao, Shu Gui, Qin Su, and Yali Yang

Abstract

The interannual zonal movement of the interface between the Indian summer monsoon and the East Asian summer monsoon (IIE), associated with the spring sea surface temperature (SST) seesaw mode (SSTSM) over the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) and the tropical central-western Pacific (TCWP), is studied for the period 1979–2008. The observational analysis is based on Twentieth Century Reanalysis data (version 2) of atmospheric circulations, Extended Reconstructed SST data (version 3), and the Climate Prediction Center Merged Analysis of Precipitation. The results indicate that the IIE’s zonal movement is significantly and persistently correlated with the TIO–TCWP SSTSM, from spring to summer. The results of two case studies resemble those obtained by regression analysis. Experiments using an atmospheric general circulation model (ECHAM6) substantiate the key physical processes revealed in the observational analysis. When warmer (colder) SSTs appear in the TIO and colder (warmer) SSTs occur in the TCWP, the positive (negative) SSTSM forces anomalous easterly (westerly) winds over the Bay of Bengal (BOB), South China Sea (SCS), and western North Pacific (WNP). The anomalous easterly (westerly) winds further result in a weakened (strengthened) southwest summer monsoon over the BOB and a strengthened (weakened) southeast summer monsoon over the SCS and WNP. This causes the IIE to shift farther eastward (westward) than normal.

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Haijun Yang, Xingchen Shen, Jie Yao, and Qin Wen

Abstract

As the most extensive highland in the world, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) plays an important role in shaping the global climate. Quantifying the effect of the TP on global climate is the first step for a full understanding of the TP’s standing on planet Earth. Through coupled model sensitivity experiments, we draw a panorama of the TP’s global impact in this paper. Our model results show that the absence of the TP would result in a 4°C colder and 10% drier climate in the Northern Hemisphere (NH). The TP has a striking remote effect on the North Atlantic. Removing the TP would enhance the westerlies in the mid- to high latitudes of the NH and weaken the easterlies over the tropical Pacific. More moisture would be relocated from the tropical Pacific to the North Atlantic, shutting down the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, which would eventually result in more than 15°C colder and 20% drier climate over the North Atlantic. Our model results suggest that the presence of the TP may have contributed greatly to the hospitable modern climate in the NH, by promoting the establishment of the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic, and therefore enhancing the northward ocean heat transport and atmosphere moisture transport across the equator.

Open access
Haijun Yang, Qin Wen, Jie Yao, and Yuxing Wang

Abstract

Using a coupled Earth climate model, freshwater forcing experiments are performed to study the Bjerknes compensation (BJC) between meridional atmosphere heat transport (AHT) and meridional ocean heat transport (OHT). Freshwater hosing in the North Atlantic weakens the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and thus reduces the northward OHT in the Atlantic significantly, leading to a cooling (warming) in the surface layer in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere. This results in an enhanced Hadley cell and northward AHT. Meanwhile, the OHT in the Indo-Pacific is increased in response to the Hadley cell change, partially offsetting the reduced OHT in the Atlantic. Two compensations occur here: compensation between the AHT and the Atlantic OHT, and that between the Indo-Pacific OHT and the Atlantic OHT. The AHT change undercompensates the OHT change by about 60% in the extratropics, while the former overcompensates the latter by about 30% in the tropics due to the Indo-Pacific change. The BJC can be understood from the viewpoint of large-scale circulation change. However, the intrinsic mechanism of BJC is related to the climate feedback of the Earth system. The authors’ coupled model experiments confirm that the occurrence of BJC is an intrinsic requirement of local energy balance, and local climate feedback determines the extent of BJC, consistent with previous theoretical results. Even during the transient period of climate change, the BJC is well established when the ocean heat storage is slowly varying and its change is much weaker than the net local heat flux change at the ocean surface. The BJC can be deduced from the local climate feedback. Under the freshwater forcing, the overcompensation in the tropics is mainly caused by the positive longwave feedback related to clouds, and the undercompensation in the extratropics is due to the negative longwave feedback related to surface temperature change. Different dominant feedbacks determine different BJC scenarios in different regions, which are in essence constrained by local energy balance.

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Qin Wen, Jie Yao, Kristofer Döös, and Haijun Yang

Abstract

The global temperature changes under global warming result from two effects: one is the pure radiative heating effect caused by a change in greenhouse gases, and the other is the freshwater effect related to changes in precipitation, evaporation, and sea ice. The two effects are separated in a coupled climate model through sensitivity experiments in this study. It is indicated that freshwater change has a significant cooling effect that can mitigate the global surface warming by as much as ~30%. Two significant regional cooling centers occur: one in the subpolar Atlantic and one in the Southern Ocean. The subpolar Atlantic cooling, also known as the “warming hole,” is triggered by sea ice melting and the southward cold-water advection from the Arctic Ocean, and is sustained by the weakened Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. The Southern Ocean surface cooling is triggered by sea ice melting along the Antarctic and is maintained by the enhanced northward Ekman flow. In these two regions, the effect of freshwater flux change dominates over that of radiation flux change, controlling the sea surface temperature change in the warming climate. The freshwater flux change also results in the Bjerknes compensation, with the atmosphere heat transport change compensating the ocean heat transport change by about 80% during the transient stage of global warming. In terms of global temperature and Earth’s energy balance, the freshwater change plays a stabilizing role in a warming climate.

Open access