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K. Arpe
,
L. Dümenil
, and
M. A. Giorgetta

Abstract

The variability of the monsoon is investigated using a set of 90-day forecasts [MONEG (Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Monsoon Numerical Experimentation Group) experiments] and a set of AMIP-type (Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project) long-term simulations of the atmospheric circulation with the ECHAM3 model. The large-scale aspects of the summer monsoon circulation as represented by differences of dynamical quantities between the two extreme years 1987 and 1988 were reproduced well by the model in both kinds of experiments forced with observed sea surface temperature (SST). At the regional scale the difference of precipitation over India during summer 1987 and 1988 was well reproduced by the model in the 90-day forecasts using interannually varying SSTs; however, similarly good results were achieved in forecasts using climatological SSTs.

The long-term simulations forced with interannually varying SST at the lower boundary of the atmosphere over a period of 14 years, on the other hand, only partly reproduce the observed differences of precipitation over India between 1987 and 1988. For the ensemble mean of five simulations averaged from June to September and for the whole of India an increase from 1987 to 1988 is simulated by the model as observed but with smaller values. The difference in observed precipitation between 1987 and 1988 is of opposite sign for May to that for September. The simulations and observations agree in the manifestation of this sense of opposing variability within a monsoon season for these two years and also for other years. The simulations and observations differ most during July.

The paper concentrates on the question why the interannual variability in the long-term simulations on one hand and the 90-day forecasts and in the observations of precipitation on the other hand differ so strongly during the peak of the monsoon in July. Large-scale dynamics over India are mainly forced by the anomalies of Pacific SST. For the variability of precipitation over India other forcings than the Pacific SST are important as well. Due to enhanced evaporation, warmer SSTs over the northern Indian Ocean lead to increased precipitation over India. Changes in the SST there within the range of uncertainty (0.5 K) can lead to clear impacts.

As a further boundary forcing, the impact of soil moisture is investigated. The use of realistic soil moisture differences between 1987 and 1988 in the MONEG forecasts resulted in improved skill of precipitation forecasts over India. Also the two individual AMIP simulations with realistic precipitation differences over India had more realistic soil moisture differences over east Asia in the beginning of the monsoon season between the two years than those experiments that failed to produce the correct precipitation differences.

The years 1987 and 1988 were quite different with respect to the phase of the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). As atmospheric circulation models cannot yet reproduce stratospheric QBOs realistically, their impact was tested by nudging observed QBOs into AMIP simulations for July 1987 and 1988. Seven out of eight experiments showed an impact toward a more realistic simulation of precipitation over India; however, during the west phase of the QBO (1987) impacts are very small.

None of these forcings gave a dominant effect. If this finding is confirmed by further experimentation, improvements of practical long-range forecasts may be very difficult as two of these quantities are hardly known with the required accuracy (northern Indian Ocean SSTs and the Eurasian soil moisture) and because models are not yet able to simulate the stratospheric QBO realistically.

This study confirms that El Niño has two direct effects: it reduces the precipitation over India and reduces the surface winds over the Arabian Sea. Due to the latter, the SST of the Arabian Sea can increase as there is less mixing and upwelling in the ocean. Here it is suggested that because of this increased SST there would be more precipitation over India, thus counteracting the expected decrease from the direct El Niño effect.

Sensitivity experiments were carried out with the ECHAM3 model to substantiate this hypothesis. The results may be model-dependent and model deficiencies might influence sensitivities from boundary forcings adversely. Therefore observational data have been investigated as far as possible to seek independent confirmation of the findings obtained through the model simulations.

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T. P. Barnett
,
L. Dümenil
,
U. Schlese
,
E. Roeckner
, and
M. Latif

Abstract

The sensitivity of the global climate system to interannual variability of he Eurasian snow cover has been investigated with numerical models. It was found that heavier than normal Eurasian snow cover in spring leads to a “poor” monsoon over Southeast Asia thereby verifying an idea over 100 years old. The poor monsoon was characterized by reduced rainfall over India and Burma, reduced wind stress over the Indian Ocean, lower than normal temperatures on the Asian land mass and in the overlying atmospheric column, reduced tropical jet, increased soil moisture, and other features associated with poor monsoons. Lighter than normal snow cover led to a “good” monsoon with atmospheric anomalies like those described above but of opposite sign. Remote responses from the snow field perturbation include readjustment of the Northern Hemispheric mass field in midlatitude, an equatorially symmetric response of the tropical geopotential height and temperature field and weak, but significant, perturbations in the surface wind stress and heat flux in the tropical Pacific.

The physics responsible for the regional response involves all elements of both the surface heat budget and heat budget of the full atmospheric column. In essence, the snow, soil and atmospheric moisture all act to keep the land and overlying atmospheric column colder than normal during a heavy snow simulation thus reducing the land–ocean temperature contrast needed to initiate the monsoon. The remote responses are driven by heating anomalies associated with both large scale air-sea interactions and precipitation events.

The model winds from the heavy snow experiment were used to drive an ocean model. The SST field in that model developed a weak El Niño in the equatorial Pacific. A coupled ocean-atmosphere model simulation perturbed only by anomalous Eurasian snow cover was also run and it developed a much stranger El Niño in the Pacific. The coupled system clearly amplified the wind stress anomaly associated with the poor monsoon. These results show the important role of an evolving (not specified) sea surface temperature in numerical experiments and the real climate system. Our general results also demonstrate the importance of land processes in global climate dynamics and their possible role as one of the factors that could trigger ENSO events.

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J-P. Schulz
,
L. Dümenil
,
J. Polcher
,
C. A. Schlosser
, and
Y. Xue

Abstract

Three different land surface schemes that are designed for use in atmospheric general circulation models are compared. They were run in offline mode with identical atmospheric forcing values that were observed at Cabauw. This procedure allows one to analyze differences in the simulations that are not caused by different atmospheric conditions and to relate them to certain model characteristics. The intercomparison shows that the models produced similar results for surface temperature and total net radiation, which are also in good agreement with the observations. But they underestimate latent heat flux and overestimate sensible heat flux in summer. Differences in the components of energy and hydrological cycle as simulated by the schemes can be related to differences in model structures. The calculation of the surface temperature is of major importance, particularly on a diurnal timescale. Depending on the scheme chosen, the simulated surface temperature is closer to the observed radiative surface temperature or the observed soil temperature at a depth of a few centimeters. If a land surface scheme is going to be coupled to an atmospheric model, this needs to be considered. The simulation of the surface energy fluxes can be improved by careful calibration of the relevant parameters according to the conditions at the observational site. The stomatal resistance was found to be an essential parameter in determining the evolution of evapotranspiration for the Cabauw simulations.

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Weiqing Qu
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
A. J. Pitman
,
T. H. Chen
,
F. Abramopoulos
,
A. Boone
,
S. Chang
,
F. Chen
,
Y. Dai
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
L. Dümenil
,
M. Ek
,
N. Gedney
,
Y. M. Gusev
,
J. Kim
,
R. Koster
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
J. Lean
,
D. Lettenmaier
,
X. Liang
,
J.-F. Mahfouf
,
H.-T. Mengelkamp
,
K. Mitchell
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Noilhan
,
A. Robock
,
C. Rosenzweig
,
J. Schaake
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
J.-P. Schulz
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
D. L. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
,
E. F. Wood
,
Z.-L. Yang
, and
Q. Zeng

Abstract

In the PILPS Phase 2a experiment, 23 land-surface schemes were compared in an off-line control experiment using observed meteorological data from Cabauw, the Netherlands. Two simple sensitivity experiments were also undertaken in which the observed surface air temperature was artificially increased or decreased by 2 K while all other factors remained as observed. On the annual timescale, all schemes show similar responses to these perturbations in latent, sensible heat flux, and other key variables. For the 2-K increase in temperature, surface temperatures and latent heat fluxes all increase while net radiation, sensible heat fluxes, and soil moistures all decrease. The results are reversed for a 2-K temperature decrease. The changes in sensible heat fluxes and, especially, the changes in the latent heat fluxes are not linearly related to the change of temperature. Theoretically, the nonlinear relationship between air temperature and the latent heat flux is evident and due to the convex relationship between air temperature and saturation vapor pressure. A simple test shows that, the effect of the change of air temperature on the atmospheric stratification aside, this nonlinear relationship is shown in the form that the increase of the latent heat flux for a 2-K temperature increase is larger than its decrease for a 2-K temperature decrease. However, the results from the Cabauw sensitivity experiments show that the increase of the latent heat flux in the +2-K experiment is smaller than the decrease of the latent heat flux in the −2-K experiment (we refer to this as the asymmetry). The analysis in this paper shows that this inconsistency between the theoretical relationship and the Cabauw sensitivity experiments results (or the asymmetry) is due to (i) the involvement of the β g formulation, which is a function of a series stress factors that limited the evaporation and whose values change in the ±2-K experiments, leading to strong modifications of the latent heat flux; (ii) the change of the drag coefficient induced by the changes in stratification due to the imposed air temperature changes (±2 K) in parameterizations of latent heat flux common in current land-surface schemes. Among all stress factors involved in the β g formulation, the soil moisture stress in the +2-K experiment induced by the increased evaporation is the main factor that contributes to the asymmetry.

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T. H. Chen
,
A. Henderson-Sellers
,
P. C. D. Milly
,
A. J. Pitman
,
A. C. M. Beljaars
,
J. Polcher
,
F. Abramopoulos
,
A. Boone
,
S. Chang
,
F. Chen
,
Y. Dai
,
C. E. Desborough
,
R. E. Dickinson
,
L. Dümenil
,
M. Ek
,
J. R. Garratt
,
N. Gedney
,
Y. M. Gusev
,
J. Kim
,
R. Koster
,
E. A. Kowalczyk
,
K. Laval
,
J. Lean
,
D. Lettenmaier
,
X. Liang
,
J.-F. Mahfouf
,
H.-T. Mengelkamp
,
K. Mitchell
,
O. N. Nasonova
,
J. Noilhan
,
A. Robock
,
C. Rosenzweig
,
J. Schaake
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
J.-P. Schulz
,
Y. Shao
,
A. B. Shmakin
,
D. L. Verseghy
,
P. Wetzel
,
E. F. Wood
,
Y. Xue
,
Z.-L. Yang
, and
Q. Zeng

Abstract

In the Project for Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes phase 2a experiment, meteorological data for the year 1987 from Cabauw, the Netherlands, were used as inputs to 23 land-surface flux schemes designed for use in climate and weather models. Schemes were evaluated by comparing their outputs with long-term measurements of surface sensible heat fluxes into the atmosphere and the ground, and of upward longwave radiation and total net radiative fluxes, and also comparing them with latent heat fluxes derived from a surface energy balance. Tuning of schemes by use of the observed flux data was not permitted. On an annual basis, the predicted surface radiative temperature exhibits a range of 2 K across schemes, consistent with the range of about 10 W m−2 in predicted surface net radiation. Most modeled values of monthly net radiation differ from the observations by less than the estimated maximum monthly observational error (±10 W m−2). However, modeled radiative surface temperature appears to have a systematic positive bias in most schemes; this might be explained by an error in assumed emissivity and by models’ neglect of canopy thermal heterogeneity. Annual means of sensible and latent heat fluxes, into which net radiation is partitioned, have ranges across schemes of30 W m−2 and 25 W m−2, respectively. Annual totals of evapotranspiration and runoff, into which the precipitation is partitioned, both have ranges of 315 mm. These ranges in annual heat and water fluxes were approximately halved upon exclusion of the three schemes that have no stomatal resistance under non-water-stressed conditions. Many schemes tend to underestimate latent heat flux and overestimate sensible heat flux in summer, with a reverse tendency in winter. For six schemes, root-mean-square deviations of predictions from monthly observations are less than the estimated upper bounds on observation errors (5 W m−2 for sensible heat flux and 10 W m−2 for latent heat flux). Actual runoff at the site is believed to be dominated by vertical drainage to groundwater, but several schemes produced significant amounts of runoff as overland flow or interflow. There is a range across schemes of 184 mm (40% of total pore volume) in the simulated annual mean root-zone soil moisture. Unfortunately, no measurements of soil moisture were available for model evaluation. A theoretical analysis suggested that differences in boundary conditions used in various schemes are not sufficient to explain the large variance in soil moisture. However, many of the extreme values of soil moisture could be explained in terms of the particulars of experimental setup or excessive evapotranspiration.

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