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H. Nguyen
,
C. Lucas
,
A. Evans
,
B. Timbal
, and
L. Hanson

Abstract

Changes of the Southern Hemisphere Hadley cell over the twentieth century are investigated using the Twentieth Century Reanalysis (20CR) and coupled model simulations from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Trends computed on a 30-yr sliding window on the 20CR dataset reveal a statistically significant expansion of the Hadley cell from 1968 forced by an increasing surface global warming. This expansion is strongly associated with the intensification and poleward shift of the subtropical dry zone, which potentially explain the increasing trends of droughts in the subtropical regions such as southern Australia, South America, and Africa. Coupled models from the CMIP5 do not adequately simulate the observed amount of the Hadley expansion, only showing an average of one-fourth of the expansion as determined from the 20CR and only when simulations include greenhouse gas forcing as opposed to simulations including natural forcing only.

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Nguyen Minh Truong
,
Tran Tan Tien
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
,
Christopher L. Castro
, and
Giovanni Leoncini

Abstract

From 24 to 26 November 2004, an extreme heavy rainfall event occurred in the mountainous provinces of central Vietnam, resulting in severe flooding along local rivers. The Regional Atmospheric Modeling System, version 4.4, is used to simulate this event. In the present study, the convective parameterization scheme includes the original Kain–Fritsch scheme and a modified one in which a new diagnostic equation to compute updraft velocity, closure assumption, and trigger function are developed. These modifications take the vertical gradient of the Exner function perturbation into account, with an on–off coefficient to account for the role of the advective terms. According to the event simulations, the simulated precipitation shows that the modified scheme with the new trigger function gives much better results than the original one. Moreover, the interaction between convection and the larger-scale environment is much stronger near the midtroposphere where the return flow associated with lower-level winter monsoon originates. As a result, the modified scheme produces larger and deeper stratiform clouds and leads to a significant amount of resolvable precipitation. On the contrary, the resolvable precipitation is small when the original scheme is used. The improvement in the simulated precipitation is caused by a more explicit physical mechanism of the new trigger function and suggests that the trigger function needs to be developed along with other components of the scheme, such as closure assumption and cloud model, as a whole. The formalistic inclusion of the advective terms in the new equation gives almost no additional improvement of the simulated precipitation.

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Shashi K. Gupta
,
David P. Kratz
,
Anne C. Wilber
, and
L. Cathy Nguyen

Abstract

Parameterized shortwave and longwave algorithms developed at the Langley Research Center have been used to derive surface radiative fluxes in the processing of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) data obtained from flight aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Retrieved fluxes were validated on an instantaneous–footprint basis using coincident surface measurements obtained from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program's Southern Great Plains (SGP) central facility, the ARM/SGP network of extended facilities, and a number of surface sites of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) and the Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL). Validation was carried out separately for clear-sky and all-sky conditions. For the shortwave, systematic errors varied from −12 to 10 W m−2 for clear skies and from −5 to 35 W m−2 for all-sky conditions. Random errors varied from 20 to 40 W m−2 for clear skies but were much larger (45–85 W m−2) for all-sky conditions. For the longwave, systematic errors were comparatively small for both clear-sky and all-sky conditions (0 to −10 W m−2) and random errors were within about 20 W m−2. In general, comparisons with surface data from the ARM/SGP site (especially the central facility) showed the best agreement. Large systematic errors in shortwave comparisons for some sites were related to flaws in the surface measurements. Larger errors in longwave fluxes for some footprints were found to be related to the errors in cloud mask retrievals, mostly during the nighttime. Smaller longwave errors related to potential errors in the operational analysis products used in satellite retrievals were also found. Still, longwave fluxes obtained with the present algorithm nearly meet the accuracy requirements for climate research.

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Roberta D’Agostino
,
Josephine R. Brown
,
Aurel Moise
,
Hanh Nguyen
,
Pedro L. Silva Dias
, and
Johann Jungclaus

Abstract

Past changes of Southern Hemisphere (SH) monsoons are less investigated than their northern counterpart because of relatively scarce paleodata. In addition, projections of SH monsoons are less robust than in the Northern Hemisphere. Here, we use an energetic framework to shed lights on the mechanisms determining SH monsoonal response to external forcing: precession change at the mid-Holocene versus future greenhouse gas increase (RCP8.5). Mechanisms explaining the monsoon response are investigated by decomposing the moisture budget in thermodynamic and dynamic components. SH monsoons weaken and contract in the multimodel mean of midHolocene simulations as a result of decreased net energy input and weakening of the dynamic component. In contrast, SH monsoons strengthen and expand in the RCP8.5 multimodel mean, as a result of increased net energy input and strengthening of the thermodynamic component. However, important regional differences on monsoonal precipitation emerge from the local response of Hadley and Walker circulations. In the midHolocene, the combined effect of Walker–Hadley changes explains the land–ocean precipitation contrast. Conversely, the increased local gross moist stability explains the increased local precipitation and net energy input under circulation weakening in RCP8.5.

Open access
Jacques Verron
,
Dominique Renouard
,
Gabriel Chabert D'Hieres
,
Thong Nguyen
,
Henri Didelle
, and
Don L. Boyer

Abstract

Alongshore oscillatory flows over an elongated topographic feature next to a vertical wall for a homogeneous, rotating fluid were investigated by means of numerical and laboratory experiments. The physical experiments were conducted in the Grenoble 13-m diameter rotating tank, in which an elongated obstacle of limited longitudinal extent was placed along the vertical sidewall. The background oscillating motion was obtained by periodically varying the platform angular velocity. Fluid motions were visualized and quantified by direct velocity measurements and particle tracking. The numerical model employed was a tridimensional model developed by Haidvogel et al. It consists of the traditional primitive equations, that is, the Navier-Stokes equations for a rotating fluid with the addition of the hydrostatic, Boussinesq, and incompressibility approximations. (The experiments described here employ the homogeneous version.) The numerical formulation uses finite differences in the horizontal and spectral representation in the vertical dimensions.

Both the laboratory and numerical experiments show that in the range of dimensionless parameters considered, two distinct flow regimes, based on general properties of the rectified flow patterns observed, can be defined. It is further shown that the flow regime designation depends principally on the magnitude of the temporal Rossby number, Ro t , defined as the ratio of the flow oscillation to the background rotation frequency. Good qualitative and quantitative agreement is found between the laboratory experiments and the numerical model for such observables as the spatial distribution of rectified flow patterns. Several other flow observables are defined and their relation with the system parameters delineated.

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William L. Smith Jr.
,
Patrick Minnis
,
Cecilia Fleeger
,
Douglas Spangenberg
,
Rabindra Palikonda
, and
Louis Nguyen

Abstract

An algorithm is developed to determine the flight icing threat to aircraft utilizing quantitative information on clouds derived from meteorological satellite data as input. Algorithm inputs include the satellite-derived cloud-top temperature, thermodynamic phase, water path, and effective droplet size. The icing-top and -base altitude boundaries are estimated from the satellite-derived cloud-top and -base altitudes using the freezing level obtained from numerical weather analyses or a lapse-rate approach. The product is available at the nominal resolution of the satellite pixel. Aircraft pilot reports (PIREPs) over the United States and southern Canada provide direct observations of icing and are used extensively in the algorithm development and validation on the basis of correlations with Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite imager data. Verification studies using PIREPs, Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting, and NASA Icing Remote Sensing System data indicate that the satellite algorithm performs reasonably well, particularly during the daytime. The algorithm is currently being run routinely using data taken from a variety of satellites across the globe and is providing useful information on icing conditions at high spatial and temporal resolutions that are unavailable from any other source.

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David R. Doelling
,
Moguo Sun
,
Le Trang Nguyen
,
Michele L. Nordeen
,
Conor O. Haney
,
Dennis F. Keyes
, and
Pamela E. Mlynczak

Abstract

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project has provided the climate community 15 years of globally observed top-of-the-atmosphere fluxes critical for climate and cloud feedback studies. To accurately monitor the earth’s radiation budget, the CERES instrument footprint fluxes must be spatially and temporally averaged properly. The CERES synoptic 1° (SYN1deg) product incorporates derived fluxes from the geostationary satellites (GEOs) to account for the regional diurnal flux variations in between Terra and Aqua CERES measurements. The Edition 4 CERES reprocessing effort has provided the opportunity to reevaluate the derivation of longwave (LW) fluxes from GEO narrowband radiances by examining the improvements from incorporating 1-hourly versus 3-hourly GEO data, additional GEO infrared (IR) channels, and multichannel GEO cloud properties. The resultant GEO LW fluxes need to be consistent across the 16-satellite climate data record. To that end, the addition of the water vapor channel, available on all GEOs, was more effective than using a reanalysis dataset’s column-weighted relative humidity combined with the window channel radiance. The benefit of the CERES LW angular directional model to derive fluxes was limited by the inconsistency of the GEO cloud retrievals. Greater success was found in the direct conversion of window and water vapor channel radiances into fluxes. Incorporating 1-hourly GEO fluxes had the greatest impact on improving the accuracy of high-temporal-resolution fluxes, and normalizing the GEO LW fluxes with CERES greatly reduced the monthly regional LW flux bias.

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David R. Doelling
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Dennis F. Keyes
,
Michele L. Nordeen
,
Daniel Morstad
,
Cathy Nguyen
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
,
David F. Young
, and
Moguo Sun

Abstract

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments on board the Terra and Aqua spacecraft continue to provide an unprecedented global climate record of the earth’s top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energy budget since March 2000. A critical step in determining accurate daily averaged flux involves estimating the flux between CERES Terra or Aqua overpass times. CERES employs the CERES-only (CO) and the CERES geostationary (CG) temporal interpolation methods. The CO method assumes that the cloud properties at the time of the CERES observation remain constant and that it only accounts for changes in albedo with solar zenith angle and diurnal land heating, by assuming a shape for unresolved changes in the diurnal cycle. The CG method enhances the CERES data by explicitly accounting for changes in cloud and radiation between CERES observation times using 3-hourly imager data from five geostationary (GEO) satellites. To maintain calibration traceability, GEO radiances are calibrated against Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the derived GEO fluxes are normalized to the CERES measurements. While the regional (1° latitude × 1° longitude) monthly-mean difference between the CG and CO methods can exceed 25 W m−2 over marine stratus and land convection, these regional biases nearly cancel in the global mean. The regional monthly CG shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) flux uncertainty is reduced by 20%, whereas the daily uncertainty is reduced by 50% and 20%, respectively, over the CO method, based on comparisons with 15-min Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) data.

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John l. Mcbride
,
Sandeep Sahany
,
Muhammad E. E. Hassim
,
Chi Mai Nguyen
,
See-Yee Lim
,
Raizan Rahmat
, and
Wee-Kiong Cheong
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Michelle L. L’Heureux
,
Michael K. Tippett
,
Matthew C. Wheeler
,
Hanh Nguyen
,
Sugata Narsey
,
Nathaniel Johnson
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Andrew B. Watkins
,
Chris Lucas
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Emily Becker
,
Wanqiu Wang
, and
Tom Di Liberto

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is often characterized through the use of sea surface temperature (SST) departures from their climatological values, as in the Niño-3.4 index. However, this approach is problematic in a changing climate when the climatology itself is varying. To address this issue, van Oldenborgh et al. proposed a relative Niño-3.4 SST index, which subtracts the tropical mean SST anomaly from the Niño-3.4 index and multiplies by a scaling factor. We extend their work by providing a simplified calculation procedure for the scaling factor, and confirm that the relative index demonstrates reduced sensitivity to climate change and multidecadal variability. In particular, we show in three observational SST datasets that the relative index provides a more consistent classification of historical El Niño and La Niña oceanic conditions that is more robust across climatological periods compared to the nonrelative index. Forecast skill of the relative Niño-3.4 index in the North American Multimodel Ensemble (NMME) and ACCESS-S2 is slightly reduced for targets during the first half of the year because subtracting the tropical mean removes a source of additional skill. For targets in the second half of the year, the relative and nonrelative indices are equally skillful. Observed ENSO teleconnections in 200-hPa geopotential height and precipitation during key seasons are sharper and explain more variability over Australia and the contiguous United States when computed with the relative index. Overall, the relative Niño-3.4 index provides a more robust option for real-time monitoring and forecasting ENSO in a changing climate.

Significance Statement

The goal of this study is to further explore a relative sea surface temperature index for monitoring and prediction of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Sea surface temperature indices are typically computed as a difference from a 30-yr climatological average, and El Niño and La Niña events occur when values exceed a certain threshold. This method is suitable when the climate is stationary. However, because of climate change and other lower-frequency variations, historical El Niño and La Niña events are reclassified depending on which climatological period is selected. A relative index is investigated to ameliorate this problem.

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