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Werner Alpers, Andrei Yu. Ivanov, and Knut-Frode Dagestad


Foehn wind blowing through the Kolkhida (Kolkheti) Lowland in the southwestern Caucasus (western Georgia) was observed on an Envisat synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image as it encountered an atmospheric cyclonic eddy over the Black Sea on 13 September 2010. This SAR image reveals unprecedented finescale features of the near-surface wind fields that cannot be resolved by other sensors. It shows, among others, the deflection of the foehn wind by the atmospheric eddy. Quantitative information on the near-surface wind field over the sea is extracted from the SAR image.

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Kajsa M. Parding, Beate G. Liepert, Laura M. Hinkelman, Thomas P. Ackerman, Knut-Frode Dagestad, and Jan Asle Olseth


Observations have revealed strong variability of shortwave (SW) irradiance at Earth’s surface on decadal time scales, referred to as global dimming and brightening. Previous studies have attributed the dimming and brightening to changes in clouds and atmospheric aerosols. This study assesses the influence of atmospheric circulation on clouds and SW irradiance to separate the influence of “natural” SW variability from direct and, to some extent, indirect aerosol effects. The focus is on SW irradiance in northern Europe in summer and spring because there is little high-latitude SW irradiance during winter. As a measure of large-scale circulation the Grosswetterlagen (GWL) dataset, a daily classification of synoptic weather patterns, is used. Empirical models of normalized SW irradiance are constructed based on the GWL, relating the synoptic weather patterns to the local radiative climate. In summer, a temporary SW peak in the 1970s and subsequent dimming is linked to variations in the synoptic patterns over Scandinavia, possibly related to a northward shift in the North Atlantic storm track. In spring, a decrease of anticyclonic and increase of cyclonic weather patterns over northern Europe contributes to the dimming from the 1960s to 1990. At many sites, there is also a residual SW irradiance trend not explained by the GWL model: a weak nonsignificant residual dimming from the 1950s or 1960s to around 1990, followed by a statistically significant residual brightening. It is concluded that factors other than the large-scale circulation (e.g., decreasing aerosol emissions) also play an important role in northern Europe.

Open access
Graig Sutherland, Nancy Soontiens, Fraser Davidson, Gregory C. Smith, Natacha Bernier, Hauke Blanken, Douglas Schillinger, Guillaume Marcotte, Johannes Röhrs, Knut-Frode Dagestad, Kai H. Christensen, and Øyvind Breivik


The water following characteristics of six different drifter types are investigated using two different operational marine environmental prediction systems: one produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the other produced by MET Norway (METNO). These marine prediction systems include ocean circulation models, atmospheric models, and surface wave models. Two leeway models are tested for use in drift object prediction: an implicit leeway model where the Stokes drift is implicit in the leeway coefficient, and an explicit leeway model where the Stokes drift is provided by the wave model. Both leeway coefficients are allowed to vary in direction and time in order to perfectly reproduce the observed drifter trajectory. This creates a time series of the leeway coefficients that exactly reproduce the observed drifter trajectories. Mean values for the leeway coefficients are consistent with previous studies that utilized direct observations of the leeway. For all drifters and models, the largest source of variance in the leeway coefficient occurs at the inertial frequency and the evidence suggests it is related to uncertainties in the ocean inertial currents.

Open access