Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 8 of 8 items for

  • Author or Editor: Kuniaki Inoue x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Kuniaki Inoue and Larissa Back

Abstract

Moist static energy (MSE) budgets on different time scales are analyzed in the TOGA COARE data using Lanczos filters to separate variability with different frequencies. Four different time scales (~2-day, ~5-day, ~10-day, and MJO time scales) are chosen based on the power spectrum of the precipitation and previous TOGA COARE studies. The lag regression-slope technique is utilized to depict characteristic patterns of the variability associated with the MSE budgets on the different time scales.

This analysis illustrates that the MSE budgets behave in significantly different ways on the different time scales. On shorter time scales, the vertical advection acts as a primary driver of the recharge–discharge mechanism of column MSE. As the time scale gets longer, in contrast, the relative contributions of the other budget terms become greater, and consequently, on the MJO time scale all the budget terms have nearly the same amplitude. Specifically, these results indicate that horizontal advection plays an important role in the eastward propagation of the MJO during TOGA COARE. On the MJO time scale, the export of MSE by the vertical advection is in phase with the precipitation. On shorter time scales, the vertical velocity profile transitions from bottom heavy to top heavy, while on longer time scales, the shape becomes more constant and similar to a first-baroclinic-mode structure. This leads to a more-constant gross moist stability on longer time scales, which the authors estimate.

Full access
Kuniaki Inoue and Larissa E. Back

Abstract

Daily averaged TOGA COARE data are analyzed to investigate the convective amplification/decay mechanisms. The gross moist stability (GMS), which represents moist static energy (MSE) export efficiency by large-scale circulations associated with the convection, is studied together with two quantities, called the critical GMS (a ratio of diabatic forcing to the convective intensity) and the drying efficiency [a version of the effective GMS (GMS minus critical GMS)]. The analyses reveal that convection intensifies (decays) via negative (positive) drying efficiency.

The authors illustrate that variability of the drying efficiency during the convective amplifying phase is predominantly explained by the vertical MSE advection (or vertical GMS), which imports MSE via bottom-heavy vertical velocity profiles (associated with negative vertical GMS) and eventually starts exporting MSE via top-heavy profiles (associated with positive vertical GMS). The variability of the drying efficiency during the decaying phase is, in contrast, explained by the horizontal MSE advection. The critical GMS, which is moistening efficiency due to the diabatic forcing, is broadly constant throughout the convective life cycle, indicating that the diabatic forcing always tends to destabilize the convective system in a constant manner.

The authors propose various ways of computing quasi-time-independent “characteristic GMS” and demonstrate that all of them are equivalent and can be interpreted as (i) the critical GMS, (ii) the GMS at the maximum precipitation, and (iii) a combination of feedback constants between the radiation, evaporation, and convection. Those interpretations indicate that each convective life cycle is a fluctuation of rapidly changing GMS around slowly changing characteristic GMS.

Full access
Kuniaki Inoue and Larissa E. Back

Abstract

New diagnostic applications of the gross moist stability (GMS) are proposed with demonstrations using satellite-based data. The plane of the divergence of column moist static energy (MSE) against the divergence of column dry static energy (DSE), referred to as the GMS plane here, is utilized. In this plane, one can determine whether the convection is in the amplifying phase or in the decaying phase; if a data point lies below (above) a critical line in the GMS plane, the convection is in the amplifying (decaying) phase. The GMS plane behaves as a phase plane in which each convective life cycle can be viewed as an orbiting fluctuation around the critical line, and this property is robust even on the MJO time scale. This phase-plane behavior indicates that values of the GMS can qualitatively predict the subsequent convective evolution. This study demonstrates that GMS analyses possess two different aspects: time-dependent and quasi-time-independent aspects. Transitions of time-dependent GMS can be visualized in the GMS plane as an orbiting fluctuation around the quasi-time-independent GMS line. The time-dependent GMS must be interpreted differently from the quasi-time-independent one, and the latter is the GMS relevant to moisture-mode theories. The authors listed different calculations of the quasi-time-independent GMS: (i) as a regression slope from a scatterplot and (ii) as a climatological quantity, which is the ratio of climatological MSE divergence to climatological DSE divergence. It is revealed that the latter, climatological GMS, is less appropriate as a diagnostic tool. Geographic variations in the quasi-time-independent GMS are plotted.

Full access
Kuniaki Inoue, Michela Biasutti, and Ann M. Fridlind

Abstract

The column moist static energy (MSE) budget equation approximates the processes associated with column moistening and drying in the tropics, and is therefore predictive of precipitation amplification and decay. We use ERA-Interim (ERA-I) and TRMM 3B42 data to investigate day-to-day convective variability and distinguish the roles of horizontal MSE (or moisture) advection versus vertical advection, sources, and sinks. Over tropical convergence zones, results suggest that horizontal moisture advection is a primary driver of day-to-day precipitation fluctuations; when drying via horizontal moisture advection is smaller (greater) than Chikira’s “column process,” precipitation tends to amplify (decay). In the absence of horizontal moisture advection, precipitation tends to increase spontaneously almost universally through a positive column process feedback. This bulk positive feedback is characterized by negative effective gross moist stability (GMS), which is maintained throughout the tropical convergence zones. How this positive feedback is achieved varies geographically, depending on the shape of vertical velocity (omega) profiles. In regions where omega profiles are top-heavy, the effective GMS is negative primarily owing to strong feedbacks between convection and diabatic MSE sources (radiative and surface fluxes). In these regions, vertical MSE advection stabilizes the atmosphere (positive vertical GMS). Where omega profiles are bottom-heavy, by contrast, a positive feedback is primarily driven by import of MSE through a shallow circulation (negative vertical GMS). The diabatic feedback and vertical GMS are in a seesaw balance, offsetting one another. Our results suggest that ubiquitous convective variability is amplified by the same mechanism as moisture-mode instability.

Restricted access
Kuniaki Inoue, Ángel F. Adames, and Kazuaki Yasunaga

Abstract

A new diagnostic framework is developed and applied to ERA-Interim to quantitatively assess vertical velocity (omega) profiles in the wavenumber–frequency domain. Two quantities are defined with the first two EOF–PC pairs of omega profiles in the tropical ocean: a top-heaviness ratio and a tilt ratio. The top-heaviness and tilt ratios are defined, respectively, as the cospectrum and quadrature spectrum of PC1 and PC2 divided by the power spectrum of PC1. They represent how top-heavy an omega profile is at the convective maximum, and how much tilt omega profiles contain in the spatiotemporal evolution of a wave. The top-heaviness ratio reveals that omega profiles become more top-heavy as the time scale (spatial scale) becomes longer (larger). The MJO has the most top-heavy profile while the eastward inertio-gravity (EIG) and westward inertio-gravity (WIG) waves have the most bottom-heavy profiles. The tilt ratio reveals that the Kelvin, WIG, EIG, and mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) waves, categorized as convectively coupled gravity waves, have significant tilt in the omega profiles, while the equatorial Rossby (ER) wave and MJO, categorized as slow-moving moisture modes, have less tilt. The gross moist stability (GMS), cloud–radiation feedback, and effective GMS were also computed for each wave. The MJO with the most top-heavy omega profile exhibits high GMS, but has negative effective GMS due to strong cloud–radiation feedbacks. Similarly, the ER wave also exhibits negative effective GMS with a top-heavy omega profile. These results may indicate that top-heavy omega profiles build up more moist static energy via strong cloud–radiation feedbacks, and as a result, are more preferable for the moisture mode instability.

Restricted access
Kazuaki Yasunaga, Satoru Yokoi, Kuniaki Inoue, and Brian E. Mapes

Abstract

The budget of column-integrated moist static energy (MSE) is examined in wavenumber–frequency transforms of longitude–time sections over the tropical belt. Cross-spectra with satellite-derived precipitation (TRMM-3B42) are used to emphasize precipitation-coherent signals in reanalysis [ERA-Interim (ERAI)] estimates of each term in the budget equation. Results reveal different budget balances in convectively coupled equatorial waves (CCEWs) as well as in the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and tropical depression (TD)-type disturbances. The real component (expressing amplification or damping of amplitude) for horizontal advection is modest for most wave types but substantially damps the MJO. Its imaginary component is hugely positive (it acts to advance phase) in TD-type disturbances and is positive for MJO and equatorial Rossby (ERn1) wave disturbances (almost negligible for the other CCEWs). The real component of vertical advection is negatively correlated (damping effect) with precipitation with a magnitude of approximately 10% of total latent heat release for all disturbances except for TD-type disturbance. This effect is overestimated by a factor of 2 or more if advection is computed using the time–zonal mean MSE, suggesting that nonlinear correlations between ascent and humidity would be positive (amplification effect). ERAI-estimated radiative heating has a positive real part, reinforcing precipitation-correlated MSE excursions. The magnitude is up to 14% of latent heating for the MJO and much less for other waves. ERAI-estimated surface flux has a small effect but acts to amplify MJO and ERn1 waves. The imaginary component of budget residuals is large and systematically positive, suggesting that the reanalysis model’s physical MSE sources would not act to propagate the precipitation-associated MSE anomalies properly.

Open access
Ángel F. Adames, Daehyun Kim, Spencer K. Clark, Yi Ming, and Kuniaki Inoue

Abstract

Observations and theory of convectively coupled equatorial waves suggest that they can be categorized into two distinct groups. Moisture modes are waves whose thermodynamics are governed by moisture fluctuations. The thermodynamics of the gravity wave group, on the other hand, are rooted in buoyancy (temperature) fluctuations. On the basis of scale analysis, it is found that a simple nondimensional parameter—akin to the Rossby number—can explain the processes that lead to the existence of these two groups. This parameter, defined as N mode, indicates that moisture modes arise when anomalous convection lasts sufficiently long so that dry gravity waves eliminate the temperature anomalies in the convective region, satisfying weak temperature gradient (WTG) balance. This process causes moisture anomalies to dominate the distribution of moist enthalpy (or moist static energy), and hence the evolution of the wave. Conversely, convectively coupled gravity waves arise when anomalous convection eliminates the moisture anomalies more rapidly than dry gravity waves can adjust the troposphere toward WTG balance, causing temperature to govern the moist enthalpy distribution and evolution. Spectral analysis of reanalysis data indicates that slowly propagating waves (c p ~ 3 m s−1) are likely to be moisture modes while fast waves (c p ~ 30 m s−1) exhibit gravity wave behavior, with “mixed moisture–gravity” waves existing in between. While these findings are obtained from a highly idealized framework, it is hypothesized that they can be extended to understand simulations of convectively coupled waves in GCMs and the thermodynamics of more complex phenomena.

Free access
Larissa Back, Karen Russ, Zhengyu Liu, Kuniaki Inoue, Jiaxu Zhang, and Bette Otto-Bliesner

Abstract

This study analyzes the response of global water vapor to global warming in a series of fully coupled climate model simulations. The authors find that a roughly 7% K−1 rate of increase of water vapor with global surface temperature is robust only for rapid anthropogenic-like climate change. For slower warming that occurred naturally in the past, the Southern Ocean has time to equilibrate, producing a different pattern of surface warming, so that water vapor increases at only 4.2% K−1. This lower rate of increase of water vapor with warming is not due to relative humidity changes or differences in mean lower-tropospheric temperature. A temperature of over 80°C would be required in the Clausius–Clapeyron relationship to match the 4.2% K−1 rate of increase. Instead, the low rate of increase is due to spatially heterogeneous warming. During slower global warming, there is enhanced warming at southern high latitudes, and hence less warming in the tropics per kelvin of global surface temperature increase. This leads to a smaller global water vapor increase, because most of the atmospheric water vapor is in the tropics. A formula is proposed that applies to general warming scenarios. This study also examines the response of global-mean precipitation and the meridional profile of precipitation minus evaporation and compares the latter to thermodynamic scalings. It is found that global-mean precipitation changes are remarkably robust between rapid and slow warming. Thermodynamic scalings for the rapid- and slow-warming zonal-mean precipitation are similar, but the precipitation changes are significantly different, suggesting that circulation changes are important in driving these differences.

Full access