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Shengping He, Huijun Wang, and Jiping Liu

Abstract

Interdecadal changes in the relationship between El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and midlatitude atmospheric circulation are investigated in this study. Comparison of associations between ENSO and midlatitude atmospheric circulation anomalies between 1958–76 and 1977–2010 suggest that during 1958–76, ENSO exerted a strong impact on the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and the associated atmospheric circulation pattern was similar to the positive North Pacific Oscillation (NPO). In contrast, during 1977–2010, the NPO-like atmospheric pattern disappeared. Instead, ENSO exerted a strong impact on the eastern North Pacific Ocean (NP) and North America, and the associated atmospheric circulation pattern resembled the Pacific–North America (PNA) teleconnection. Also, significant correlations between ENSO and sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) over the western subtropical NP during 1958–76 became insignificant during 1977–2010, whereas negative correlations between ENSO and SSTAs in the central and northeastern subtropical NP became more significant since the mid-1970s. Further analyses suggest that the interdecadal shift of the Aleutian low, which occurred around the mid-1970s, might be responsible for the identified changes. Before the mid-1970s, warm ENSO events generated an anomalous anticyclone over the western NP, which is a key system bridging ENSO and EAWM-related atmospheric circulation. After the mid-1970s, the Aleutian low intensified and shifted eastward, leading to the impact of ENSO prevailing over the eastern NP. In addition, the weakened (strengthened) ENSO–NPO/EAWM (ENSO–PNA) relationship likely contributed to the weakened (strengthened) relationship between ENSO and SSTAs over the western (central and eastern) subtropical NP.

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Haixia Dai, Ke Fan, and Jiping Liu

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This study focuses on the month-to-month variability of winter temperature anomalies over Northeast China (NECTA), especially the out-of-phase change between December and January–February (colder than normal in December and warmer than normal in January–February, and vice versa), which accounts for 30% of the past 37 years (1980–2016). Our analysis shows that the variability of sea ice concentration (SIC) in the preceding November over the Davis Strait–Baffin Bay (SIC_DSBB) mainly affects NECTA in December, whereas the SIC over the Barents–Kara Sea (SIC_BKS) significantly impacts NECTA in January–February. A possible reason for the different effects of SIC_DSBB and SIC_BKS on NECTA is that the month-to-month increments (here called DM) of SIC over these two areas between October and November are different. A smaller DM of SIC_DSBB in November can generate eastward-propagating Rossby waves toward East Asia, whereas a larger DM of SIC_BKS can affect upward-propagating stationary Rossby waves toward the stratosphere in November. Less than normal SIC_DSBB in November corresponds to a negative phase of the sea surface temperature tripole pattern over the North Atlantic, which contributes to a negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-like geopotential height anomalies via the eddy-feedback mechanism, ultimately favoring cold conditions over Northeast China. However, positive November SIC_BKS anomalies can suppress upward-propagating Rossby waves that originate from the troposphere in November, strengthening the stratospheric polar vortex and leading to a positive phase of an Arctic Oscillation (AO)-like pattern in the stratosphere. Subsequently, these stratospheric anomalies propagate downward, causing the AO-like pattern in the troposphere in January–February, favoring warm conditions in Northeast China, and vice versa.

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Jiping Liu, Tingyin Xiao, and Liqi Chen

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Consistency and discrepancy of air–sea latent and sensible heat fluxes (LHF and SHF, respectively) in the Southern Ocean for current-day flux products are analyzed from climatology and interannual-to-decadal variability perspectives. Five flux products are examined, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton flux dataset version 2 (NOCS2), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/Department of Energy Global Reanalysis 2 (NCEP-2), the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-40), the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data version 3 (HOAPS-3), and the objectively analyzed air–sea fluxes (OAFlux).

Comparisons suggest that most datasets show encouraging agreement in the spatial distribution of the annual-mean LHF, the meridional profile of the zonal-averaged LHF, the leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) mode of the LHF and SHF, and the large-scale response of the LHF and SHF to the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, substantial spatiotemporal discrepancies are noteworthy. The largest across-data scatter is found in the central Indian sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) for the annual-mean LHF, and in the Atlantic and Indian sectors of the ACC for the annual-mean SHF, which is comparable to and even larger than their respective interannual variability. The zonal mean of the SHF varies widely across the datasets in the ACC. There is a large spread in the seasonal cycle for the LHF and SHF among the datasets, particularly in the cold season. The datasets show interannual variability of various amplitudes and decadal trends of different signs. The flux variability of the NOCS2 is substantially different from the other datasets. Possible attributions of the identified discrepancies for these flux products are discussed based on the availability of the input meteorological state variables.

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Yongyun Hu, Ka Kit Tung, and Jiping Liu

Abstract

Decadal trends are compared in various fields between Northern Hemisphere early winter, November–December (ND), and late-winter, February–March (FM), months using reanalysis data. It is found that in the extratropics and polar region the decadal trends display nearly opposite tendencies between ND and FM during the period from 1979 to 2003. Dynamical trends in late winter (FM) reveal that the polar vortex has become stronger and much colder and wave fluxes from the troposphere to the stratosphere are weaker, consistent with the positive trend of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) as found in earlier studies, while trends in ND appear to resemble a trend toward the low-index polarity of the AO. In the Tropics, the Hadley circulation shows significant intensification in both ND and FM, with stronger intensification in FM. Unlike the Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell shows opposite trends between ND and FM, with weakening in ND and strengthening in FM. Comparison of the observational results with general circulation model simulations is also discussed.

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Ping Zhao, Zijiang Zhou, and Jiping Liu

Abstract

Using station observations of the number of days covered by snow (SCD) and snowfall over the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis, and precipitation from rain gauge stations in China for the period of 1973–2001, temporal/spatial variations of SCD over the TP and its associations with the hemispheric extratropical atmospheric circulation and East Asian summer monsoon rainfall are investigated.

An increase of spring (April–May) SCD over the TP is associated with decreases of local tropospheric temperature and geopotential height in the spring and early summer (June). The anomalies in the tropospheric temperature and geopotential height show a westward propagation from the TP to western Asia as a result of the westward propagation of the anomalous wave energy. These tropospheric anomalies over the TP are connected with changes in the hemispheric extratropical atmospheric circulation along the westerly jet stream that acts as a waveguide.

The increase of the spring SCD is also associated with the variation of the East Asian summer monsoon rainfall. Soil moisture in May–June might act as a bridge linking the spring snow anomaly and the subsequent summer monsoon. Corresponding to the increase of SCD, there is a significant decrease of the June 500-mb geopotential height from the TP to the western North Pacific. Meanwhile, the anomalous northeasterlies extend from Japan, through the east coast of China, to central-eastern China, which weaken the East Asian summer monsoon, leading to a decrease of surface air temperature and rainfall in the Yangtze and Hwai Rivers and an increase of rainfall in southeastern China.

Additionally, the spring SCD anomaly is likely due to a variation of local synchronous snowfall, rather than previous winter SCD conditions. The spring SCD is not related to previous winter El Niño/La Niña events, but is associated with the equatorial central and eastern Pacific sea surface temperature from the subsequent summer through winter. The climatic implications for this relationship are not clear.

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Jun Inoue, Jiping Liu, James O. Pinto, and Judith A. Curry

Abstract

To improve simulations of the Arctic climate and to quantify climate model errors, four regional climate models [the Arctic Regional Climate System Model (ARCSYM), the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS), the High-Resolution Limited-Area Model (HIRHAM), and the Rossby Center Atmospheric Model (RCA)] have simulated the annual Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) under the Arctic Regional Climate Model Intercomparison Project (ARCMIP). The same lateral boundary and ocean surface boundary conditions (i.e., ice concentration and surface temperature) drive all of the models. This study evaluated modeled surface heat fluxes and cloud fields during May 1998, a month that included the onset of the surface icemelt. In general, observations agreed with simulated surface pressure and near-surface air properties. Simulation errors due to surface fluxes and cloud effects biased the net simulated surface heat flux, which in turn affected the timing of the simulated icemelt. Modeled cloud geometry and precipitation suggest that the RCA model produced the most accurate cloud scheme, followed by the HIRHAM model. Evaluation of a relationship between cloud water paths and radiation showed that a radiative transfer scheme in ARCSYM was closely matched with the observation when liquid clouds were dominant. Clouds and radiation are of course closely linked, and an additional comparison of the radiative transfer codes for ARCSYM and COAMPS was performed for clear-sky conditions, thereby excluding cloud effects. Overall, the schemes for radiative transfer in ARCSYM and for cloud microphysics in RCA potentially have some advantages for modeling the springtime Arctic.

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Zhe Han, Shuanglin Li, Jiping Liu, Yongqi Gao, and Ping Zhao

Abstract

Both Arctic sea ice loss and La Niña events can result in cold conditions in midlatitude Eurasia in winter. Since the two forcings sometimes occur simultaneously, determining whether they are independent of each other is undertaken first. The result suggests an overall independence. Considering possible interactions between them, their coordinated impacts on the Northern Hemisphere winter climate are then investigated based on observational data analyses, historical simulation analyses from one coupled model (MPI-ESM-LR) contributing to CMIP5, and atmospheric general circulation model sensitive experiments in ECHAM5. The results show that the impacts of the two forcings are overall linearly accumulated. In comparison with one single forcing, there is intensified cooling response in midlatitude Eurasia along with northern warmer–southern cooler dipolar temperature responses over North America. Despite the additive linearity, additive nonlinearity between the two forcings is identifiable. The nonlinearity causes midlatitude Eurasian cooling weakened by one-tenth to one-fifth as much as their individual impacts in combination. The underlying mechanisms for the weak additive nonlinearity are finally explored by transient adjustment AGCM runs with one single forcing or both the forcings switched on suddenly. The day-to-day evolution of responses suggests that the additive nonlinearity may arise initially from the forced wave dynamics and then be amplified because of the involvement of transient eddy feedbacks.

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Zhiqiang Chen, Jiping Liu, Mirong Song, Qinghua Yang, and Shiming Xu

Abstract

Here sea ice concentration derived from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder and thickness derived from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity and CryoSat-2 satellites are assimilated in the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System using a localized error subspace transform ensemble Kalman filter (LESTKF). Three ensemble-based hindcasts are conducted to examine impacts of the assimilation on Arctic sea ice prediction, including CTL (without any assimilation), LESTKF-1 (with initial sea ice assimilation only), and LESTKF-E5 (with every 5-day sea ice assimilation). Assessment with the assimilated satellite products and independent sea ice thickness datasets shows that assimilating sea ice concentration and thickness leads to improved Arctic sea ice prediction. LESTKF-1 improves sea ice forecast initially. The initial improvement gradually diminishes after ~3-week integration for sea ice extent but remains quite steady through the integration for sea ice thickness. Large biases in both the ice extent and thickness in CTL are remarkably reduced through the hindcast in LESTKF-E5. Additional numerical experiments suggest that the hindcast with sea ice thickness assimilation dramatically reduces systematic bias in the predicted ice thickness compared with sea ice concentration assimilation only or without any assimilation, which also benefits the prediction of sea ice extent and concentration due to their covariability. Hence, the corrected state of sea ice thickness would aid in the forecast procedure. Increasing the number of ensemble members or extending the integration period to generate estimates of initial model states and uncertainties seems to have small impacts on sea ice prediction relative to LESTKF-E5.

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Xinyu Li, Riyu Lu, Jiping Liu, and Shaoyin Wang

Abstract

Arctic sea ice in summer shows both interannual and long-term variations, and atmospheric circulation anomalies are known to play an important role. This study compares the summertime large-scale circulation anomalies associated with Arctic sea ice on interannual and decadal time scales. The results indicate that the circulation anomalies associated with decreased sea ice on an interannual time scale are characterized by a barotropic anticyclonic anomaly in the central Arctic, and the thermodynamic process is important for the circulation–sea ice coupling. On one hand, the descending adiabatic warming in low levels associated with the central Arctic anticyclonic anomaly leads to decreased sea ice by enhancing the downwelling longwave radiation. On the other hand, the anticyclonic anomaly also induces more moisture in low levels. The enhanced moisture and temperature (coupled with each other) further favor the reduction of sea ice by emitting more downwelling longwave radiation. By contrast, associated with the decadal sea ice decline, there is an anticyclonic anomaly over Greenland and a cyclonic anomaly over northern Siberia, and the wind-driven sea ice drift dominates the sea ice decline. The transpolar circulation anomalies between the anticyclonic and cyclonic anomalies promote transport of the ice away from the coasts of Siberia toward the North Pole, and drive the ice out of the Arctic Ocean to the North Atlantic. These circulation anomalies also induce sea ice decline through thermodynamic process, but it is not as significant as that on an interannual time scale.

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Wenfeng Lai, Jianping Gan, Ye Liu, Zhiqiang Liu, Jiping Xie, and Jiang Zhu

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To improve the forecasting performance in dynamically active coastal waters forced by winds, tides, and river discharges in a coupled estuary–shelf model off Hong Kong, a multivariable data assimilation (DA) system using the ensemble optimal interpolation method has been developed and implemented. The system assimilates the conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) profilers, time series buoy measurement, and remote sensing sea surface temperature (SST) data into a high-resolution estuary–shelf ocean model around Hong Kong. We found that the time window selection associated with the local dynamics and the number of observation samples are two key factors in improving assimilation in the unique estuary–shelf system. DA with a varied assimilation time window that is based on the intratidal variation in the local dynamics can reduce the errors in the estimation of the innovation vector caused by the model–observation mismatch at the analysis time and improve simulation greatly in both the estuary and coastal regions. Statistically, the overall root-mean-square error (RMSE) between the DA forecasts and not-yet-assimilated observations for temperature and salinity has been reduced by 33.0% and 31.9% in the experiment period, respectively. By assimilating higher-resolution remote sensing SST data instead of lower-resolution satellite SST, the RMSE of SST is improved by ~18%. Besides, by assimilating real-time buoy mooring data, the model bias can be continuously corrected both around the buoy location and beyond. The assimilation of the combined buoy, CTD, and SST data can provide an overall improvement of the simulated three-dimensional solution. A dynamics-oriented assimilation scheme is essential for the improvement of model forecasting in the estuary–shelf system under multiple forcings.

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