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Kun Yang
and
Toshio Koike

Abstract

A scheme was proposed by Zhang et al. to estimate soil water content from soil temperature measurements by using an adaptive Kalman filter. Their scheme is based on the fact that soil heat capacity and thermal conductivity are a monotonic function of soil water content. However, thermal diffusivity, a more critical thermal parameter in such an estimation, is not a monotonic function of soil water content in most cases. This could result in multiple solutions in some cases when deriving soil water content from soil temperatures.

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Kun Yang
,
Nobuyuki Tamai
, and
Toshio Koike

Abstract

Turbulent exchange between the surface and the atmosphere strongly depends on the stability of the surface layer. If surface radiometric temperature, rather than aerodynamic temperature, is used to parameterize the surface turbulent fluxes, the solution of the stability parameter is related to the thermal roughness length z T , which is generally not identical to the aerodynamic roughness length z 0. This note derives the exact solution of the stability parameter equation for a stable surface layer and proposes an approximate analytical solution for an unstable surface layer. The solution can improve the computational efficiency of flux parameterization and is applicable in a wide range of z/z 0 (50–104) and z 0/z T (from less than 1 to greater than 104).

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Jun Qin
,
Kun Yang
,
Shunlin Liang
, and
Wenjun Tang

Abstract

Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) is absorbed by plants to carry out photosynthesis. Its estimation is important for many applications such as ecological modeling. In this study, a broadband transmittance scheme for solar radiation at the PAR band is developed to estimate clear-sky PAR values. The influence of clouds is subsequently taken into account through sunshine-duration data. This scheme is examined without local calibration against the observed PAR values under both clear- and cloudy-sky conditions at seven widely distributed Surface Radiation Budget Network (SURFRAD) stations. The results indicate that the scheme can estimate the daily mean PAR at these seven stations under all-sky conditions with root-mean-square error and mean bias error values ranging from 6.03 to 6.83 W m−2 and from −2.86 to 1.03 W m−2, respectively. Further analyses indicate that the scheme can estimate PAR values well with globally available aerosol and ozone datasets. This suggests that the scheme can be applied to regions for which observed aerosol and ozone data are not available.

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Chao Xu
,
Yaoming Ma
,
Kun Yang
, and
Chao You

Abstract

Dust is a major component of atmospheric aerosol worldwide, greatly affecting regional and global climate. In this study dust aerosol optical depth (DAOD) and dust mass fluxes (DMF) were evaluated at different altitudes using measurements by the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) and ERA-Interim data from March through May (MAM) for the period 2007–16. Significantly higher upper-tropospheric (above ~8 km) dust loads and DMF downstream of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) relative to those over other major dust sources of the Northern Hemisphere were found during spring. A DMF magnitude of 1010 g integrated across a 2°-latitude segment during spring was estimated downstream of the TP in the upper troposphere. A dust belt can be clearly seen at altitudes higher than 6 km over the downwind direction of the TP at latitudes of around 30°–40°N, crossing the Pacific Ocean and extending to North America during spring. A pathway for transporting dust aerosols into the upper troposphere is proposed, as follows. Dust is uplifted to the midtroposphere over the source regions; then, frequent, deep, dry convection prevailing over the TP during spring can cause convective overshooting that uplifts the dust aerosols to the upper troposphere. The TP thus acts as a channel for transporting dust from the lower atmosphere to the upper troposphere, enabling the long-range zonal transport of dust around the Northern Hemisphere.

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Bingyi Wu
,
Kun Yang
, and
Jennifer A. Francis

Abstract

Through both observational analyses and simulation experiments, this study investigates the intraseasonal evolution of atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with a persistent cold event in the Asian continent during late January–early February 2012, and the possible association with Arctic sea ice loss and Arctic atmospheric circulation during the preceding summer. The results suggest that the northeastern Pacific–Aleutian region and central Eurasia are two critical areas where the atmospheric circulation evolution contributed to the development of this cold event. A persistent increase in sea level pressure (SLP) over the Aleutian region was a predominant feature prior to the cold event, and then decreasing SLP over this region was concurrent with both occurrence of a polar blocking high aloft and rapid strengthening of the Siberian high, triggering outbreaks of Arctic air over the Asian continent. Consequently, the influence of the Aleutian region on this cold event (i.e., the downstream effect of the atmospheric circulation) played a critical role. Simulation experiments demonstrate that Arctic atmospheric circulation conditions in the summer of 2011 significantly enhanced a negative feedback of Arctic sea ice loss on atmospheric circulation over the Aleutian region and central Eurasia during the ensuing wintertime, which could have led to the favorable atmospheric circulation that facilitated the occurrence of cold events resembling the one in 2012. This study also implies that the Aleutian low and disturbances in the midlatitudes over the northeastern Pacific may provide precursors that could increase skill in predicting the intraseasonal evolution of extreme cold events over Eurasia.

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Changgui Lin
,
Kun Yang
,
Jun Qin
, and
Rong Fu

Abstract

Previous studies indicated that surface wind speed over China declined during past decades, and several explanations exist in the literature. This study presents long-term (1960–2009) changes of both surface and upper-air wind speeds over China and addresses observed evidence to interpret these changes. It is found that surface wind over China underwent a three-phase change over the past 50 yr: (i) it step changed to a strong wind level at the end of the 1960s, (ii) it declined until the beginning of the 2000s, and (iii) it seemed to be steady and even recovering during the very recent years. The variability of surface wind speed is greater at higher elevations and less at lower elevations. In particular, surface wind speed over the elevated Tibetan Plateau has changed more significantly. Changes in upper-air wind speed observed from rawinsonde are similar to surface wind changes. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis indicates that wind speed changes correspond to changes in geopotential height gradient at 500 hPa. The latter are further correlated with the changes of latitudinal surface temperature gradient, with a correlation coefficient of 0.88 for the past 50 yr over China. This strongly suggests that the spatial gradient of surface global warming or cooling may significantly change surface wind speed at a regional scale through atmospheric thermal adaption. The recovery of wind speed since the beginning of the 2000s over the Tibetan Plateau might be a precursor of the reversal of wind speed trends over China, as wind over high elevations can respond more rapidly to the warming gradient and atmospheric circulation adjustment.

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Kun Yang
,
Toshio Koike
,
Ichirow Kaihotsu
, and
Jun Qin

Abstract

This study examines the capability of a new microwave land data assimilation system (LDAS) for estimating soil moisture in semiarid regions, where soil moisture is very heterogeneous. This system assimilates the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) 6.9- and 18.7-GHz brightness temperatures into a land surface model (LSM), with a radiative transfer model as an observation operator. To reduce errors caused by uncertainties of system parameters, the LDAS uses a dual-pass assimilation algorithm, with a calibration pass to estimate major model parameters from satellite data and an assimilation pass to estimate the near-surface soil moisture. Validation data of soil moisture were collected in a Mongolian semiarid region. Results show that (i) the LDAS-estimated soil moistures are comparable to areal averages of in situ measurements, though the measured soil moistures were highly variable from site to site; (ii) the LSM-simulated soil moistures show less biases when the LSM uses LDAS-calibrated parameter values instead of default parameter values, indicating that the satellite-based calibration does contribute to soil moisture estimations; and (iii) compared to the LSM, the LDAS produces more robust and reliable soil moisture when forcing data become worse. The lower sensitivity of the LDAS output to precipitation is particularly encouraging for applying this system to regions where precipitation data are prone to errors.

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Achim Stössel
,
Kun Yang
, and
Seong-Joong Kim

Abstract

An earlier estimate regarding the possible impact of sea ice on deep-ocean water mass properties and the global thermohaline circulation in a coupled sea ice–ocean general circulation model (OGCM) is updated. Compared to the earlier application, the main upgrade is a subgrid-scale plume-convection parameterization that replaces conventional grid-cell-wide convective adjustment. The different treatment of convection leads to some noticeable differences in some of the repeated sensitivity experiments. For example, in an experiment where sea ice salinity is assumed to be that of the upper ocean, thus neglecting the primary effect of sea ice formation and melting on the ocean's buoyancy forcing, Antarctic Bottom Water formation comes essentially to a halt, the global deep-ocean properties and thermohaline circulation thus being almost solely determined by North Atlantic Deep Water. The much weaker impact in the earlier estimate turns out to be mainly due to excessive open-ocean convection in the Southern Ocean, rendering that region susceptible to the open-ocean polynya mode. The associated melting in such polynyas leads to an enhancement of convection in a salty sea ice experiment, thus obscuring the effect of neglected brine release in coastal polynyas. Besides underscoring the necessity of a careful treatment of sea ice and convection in the Southern Ocean of a global OGCM, this study indicates that new-ice formation around Antarctica has a much larger effect on global deep-ocean properties and circulation than previously estimated.

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Xingwen Jiang
,
Yueqing Li
,
Song Yang
,
Kun Yang
, and
Junwen Chen

Abstract

The impacts of summer atmospheric heat source over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on regional climate variation have attracted extensive attention. However, few studies have focused on possible causes of the interannual variation of atmospheric heat source over the TP. Total heat (TH) is generally composed of three components: surface sensible heat, latent heat release of condensation (LH), and radiative convergence. In this study, it is found that interannual variation of summer TH is dominated by LH in the central and eastern TP. The atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the TH over the TP in June are different from those in July and August. Large TH is accompanied by a cyclone centered over the South China Sea in June, which is replaced by an anticyclone in July and August. The interannual variation of July–August TH over the central and eastern TP is significantly affected by convection around the western Maritime Continent (WMC) that modulates the LH over the southeastern TP. Enhanced WMC convection induces an anticyclone to the south of the TP, which favors water vapor transport to the southeastern TP and thus an increase in precipitation. Enhanced convection over the southeastern TP may exert a positive feedback on local precipitation through pumping more water vapor from the southern boundary. Both observations and model simulations indicate that the enhanced WMC convection can induce the anticyclone to the south of the TP and convection–circulation is important for maintenance of the anticyclone.

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Kun Zhang
,
Qiang Wang
,
Baoshu Yin
,
Dezhou Yang
, and
Lina Yang

Abstract

Deep vertical velocity is a critical factor causing deficiencies in Sverdrup theory. However, few studies have focused on its influence in the low-latitude western Pacific. Through multiple analyses of observational, reanalysis, and simulation data, this study explored the contribution of deep nonzero vertical velocity to the Sverdrup transport inaccuracy in the low-latitude North Pacific. The vertical velocities inducing relatively small non-Sverdrup transport exist within 1500–2500 m, which exhibit similar patterns with opposite values to the south and north of 13°N. The zonally integrated meridional volume transport associated with these vertical velocities displays nonnegligible dipolar zonal bands west of approximately 150°W. The positive and negative transport bands, centered at 11° and 17°N, can reach an amplitude of approximately 8.0 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) when integrated from the eastern boundary to 140°E. On average, such integrated meridional transport makes up roughly half of the prominent Sverdrup transport discrepancies in the central-western Pacific. Further investigation indicated that the spatial pattern of these vertical velocities is modulated by ocean topography and deep meridional currents. Moreover, a near-global test suggested that the meridional non-Sverdrup transport related to deep vertical velocity is widespread and undergoes remarkable multidecadal variation. This study reveals the disruptive role of deep vertical velocity in disturbing the Sverdrup balance and emphasizes the consideration of its long-term variation when diagnosing wind-driven circulation changes using Sverdrup theory.

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