Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for

  • Author or Editor: M-D. Chou x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
J. Otterman, M-D. Chou, and A. Arking

Abstract

The albedo of a forest with snow on the ground is much less than that of snow-covered low vegetation such as tundra. As a result, simulation of the Northern Hemisphere climate, when fully forested south of a suitably chosen taiga/tundra boundary (ecocline), produces a hemispheric surface air temperature 1.9 K higher than that of an earth devoid of trees. Using variations of the solar constant to force climate changes in the GLAS Multi-Layer Energy Balance Model, the role of snow-albedo feedback in increasing the climate sensitivity to external perturbations is reexamined. The effect of snow-albedo feedback is found to be significantly reduced when a low albedo is used for snow over taiga, south of the fixed latitude of the ecocline. If the ecocline shifts to maintain equilibrium with the new climate—which is presumed to occur in a prolonged perturbation when time is sufficient for trees to grow or die and fall—the feedback is stronger than for a fixed ecocline, especially at high latitudes. However, this snow/vegetation-albedo feedback is still essentially weaker than the snow-albedo feedback in the forest-free case.

The loss of forest to agriculture and other land-use would put the present climate further away from that associated with the fully forested earth south of the ecocline and closer to the forest-free case. Thus, the decrease in nontropical forest cover since prehistoric times has probably affected the climate by reducing the temperatures and by increasing the sensitivity to perturbations, with both effects more pronounced at high latitudes.

Full access
Xiaofan Li, C-H. Sui, K-M. Lau, and M-D. Chou

Abstract

The simulations of tropical convection and thermodynamic states in response to different imposed large-scale forcing are carried out by using a cloud-resolving model and are evaluated with the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment observation. The model is forced either with imposed large-scale vertical velocity and horizontal temperature and moisture advections (model 1) or with imposed total temperature and moisture advections (model 2). The comparison of simulations with observations shows that bias in temperature and moisture simulations by model 1 is smaller than that by model 2. This indicates that the adjustment of the mean thermodynamic stability distribution by vertical advection in model 1 is responsible for better simulations.

Model 1 is used to examine effects of different parameterized solar radiative and cloud microphysical processes. A revised parameterization scheme for cloud single scattering properties in solar radiation calculations is found to generate more solar heating in the upper troposphere and less heating in the middle and lower troposphere. The change in the vertical heating distribution is suggested to stabilize the environment and to cause less stratiform cloud that further induces stabilization through cloud–IR interaction. The revised scheme also causes a drier middle and lower troposphere by weakening vertical moisture flux convergence. Also tested is the effect of a revised parameterization scheme for cloud microphysical processes that tends to generate more ice clouds. The cloud-induced thermal effect in which less ice cloud leads to less infrared cooling at cloud top and more heating below cloud top is similar to the effect of no cloud–radiation interaction shown in a sensitivity experiment. However, the exclusion of cloud–radiation interaction causes drying by enhancing condensation, and the reduction of ice clouds by the microphysics scheme induces moistening by suppressing condensation.

Full access
W-K. Tao, S. Lang, J. Simpson, C-H. Sui, B. Ferrier, and M-D. Chou

Abstract

Radiative forcing and latent heat associated with precipitation are the two most important diabatic processes that drive the circulation of the atmosphere. Clouds can affect radiation and vice versa. It is known that longwave radiative processes can enhance precipitation in cloud systems. This paper concentrates on determining the relative importance of three specific longwave radiative mechanisms by comparing cloud-resolving models with and without one or more of these processes. Three of the ways that longwave radiation is thought to interact with clouds are as follows: 1) cloud-top cooling and cloud-base warming may alter the thermal stratification of cloud layers, 2) differential cooling between clear and cloudy regions might enhance convergence into the cloud system, and 3) large-scale cooling could change the environment. A two-dimensional version of the Goddard Cumulus Ensemble model has been used to perform a series of sensitivity tests to identify which is the dominant cloud-radiative forcing mechanism with respect to the organization, structure, and precipitation processes for both a tropical (EMEX) and a midlatitude (PRE-STORM) mesoscale convective system.

The model results indicate that the dominant process for enhancing the surface precipitation in both the PRE-STORM and EMEX squall cases is the large-scale radiative cooling. However, the overall effect is really to increase the relative humidity and not tie convective available potential energy (CAPE). Because of the high moisture in the Tropics, the increase in relative humidity by radiative cooling can have more of an impact on precipitation in the tropical case than in the midlatitude case. The large-scale cooling led to a 36% increase in rainfall for the tropical cast. The midlatitude model squall with a higher CAPE and lower humidity environment was only slightly affected (8%) by any of the longwave mechanisms. Our results also indicated that the squall systems' overall (convective and stratiform) precipitation is increased by turning off the cloud-top cooling and cloud-base warming. Therefore, the cloud-top cooling-cloud-base warming mechanism was not the responsible cloud-radiative mechanism for enhancing the surface precipitation. However, the circulation as well as the microphysical processes were indeed (slightly) enhanced in the stratiform region by the cloud-top cooling and cloud-base warming mechanism for the midlatitude squall case.

For both cases, the model results show that the mechanism associated with differential cooling between the clear and cloudy regions may or may not enhance precipitation processes. However, this mechanism is definitely less important than the large-scale longwave radiative cooling. Solar heating was run from 0900 to 1300 LST in both environments and was found to decrease the precipitation by 7% in each case compared to the runs with longwave radiation only. This result suggests that solar heating may play a significant role in the daytime minimum/nighttime maximum precipitation cycle found over most oceans.

Full access
W. -K. Tao, J. Simpson, C. H. Sui, B. Ferrier, S. Lang, J. Scala, M. D. Chou, and K. Pickering

Abstract

A two-dimensional, time-dependent, and nonhydrostatic numerical cloud model is used to estimate the heating (Q 1, moisture (Q 2), and water budgets in the convective and stratiform regions for a tropical and a midlatitude squall line (EMEX and PRE-STORM). The model is anelastic and includes a parameterized three-class ice-phase microphysical scheme and longwave radiative transfer processes. A quantitative estimate of the impact of the longwave radiative cooling on the total surface precipitation as well as on the development and structure of these two squall lines is presented.

It was found that the vertical eddy moisture fluxes are a major contribution to the model-derived Q 2 budgets in both squall cases. A distinct midlevel minimum in the Q 2 profile for the EMEX case is due to vertical eddy transport in the convective region. On the other hand, the contribution to the Q 1 budget by the cloud-scale fluxes is minor for the EMEX case. In contrast, the vertical eddy heat flux is relatively important for the PRE-STORM case due to the stronger vertical velocities present in the PRE-STORM convective cells. It was found that the convective region plays an important role in the generation of stratiform rainfall for both cases. Although the EMEX case has more stratiform rainfall than its PRE-STORM counterpart, the relative contribution to the stratiform water budget made by the horizontal transfer of hydrometeors from the convective region is less. But the transfer of condensate from the convective region became relatively less important with time in the stratiform water budget of the PRE-STORM system as it developed from its initial stage, such that the relative contribution to the stratiform water budget made by the horizontal transfer of hydrometeors from the convective region is similar at the mature stages of both systems.

Longwave radiative cooling enhanced the total surface precipitation about 14% and 31% over a 16-h simulation time for the PRE-STORM and EMEX cases, respectively. The relative contribution to the stratiform water budget from the convective region is, however, more sensitive to the longwave radiative cooling for the PRE-STORM case than for the EMEX case. These results are due to the relatively moist environment and comparatively earlier development of the stratiform cloud in the EMEX squall system. Nevertheless, the effect of radiative cooling is shown to increase as systems age in both cases. It was also determined that the Q 1 and Q 2 budgets in the convective and stratiform regions are only quantitatively, not qualitatively, altered by the inclusion or exclusion of longwave radiative transfer processes.

Full access
Y. P. Zhou, W.-K. Tao, A. Y. Hou, W. S. Olson, C.-L. Shie, K.-M. Lau, M.-D. Chou, X. Lin, and M. Grecu

Abstract

Cloud and precipitation simulated using the three-dimensional (3D) Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) model are compared to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) rainfall measurements and Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) single scanner footprint (SSF) radiation and cloud retrievals. Both the model simulation and retrieved parameters are based upon observations made during the South China Sea Monsoon Experiment (SCSMEX) field campaign. The model-simulated cloud and rain systems are evaluated by systematically examining important parameters such as the surface rain rate, convective/stratiform percentage, rain profiles, cloud properties, and precipitation efficiency.

It is demonstrated that the GCE model is capable of simulating major convective system development and reproduces the total surface rainfall amount as compared to rainfall estimated from the SCSMEX sounding network. The model yields a slightly higher total convective rain/stratiform rain ratio than the TMI and PR observations. The GCE rainfall spectrum exhibits a greater contribution from heavy rains than those estimated from PR or TMI observations. In addition, the GCE simulation produces much greater amounts of snow and graupel than the TRMM retrievals. The model’s precipitation efficiency of convective rain is close to the observations, but the precipitation efficiency of stratiform rain is much lower than the observations because of large amounts of slowly falling simulated snow and graupel. Compared to observations, the GCE produces more compact areas of intense convection and less anvil cloud, which are consistent with a smaller total cloud fraction and larger domain-averaged outgoing longwave radiation.

Full access
J. A. Curry, A. Bentamy, M. A. Bourassa, D. Bourras, E. F. Bradley, M. Brunke, S. Castro, S. H. Chou, C. A. Clayson, W. J. Emery, L. Eymard, C. W. Fairall, M. Kubota, B. Lin, W. Perrie, R. A. Reeder, I. A. Renfrew, W. B. Rossow, J. Schulz, S. R. Smith, P. J. Webster, G. A. Wick, and X. Zeng

High-resolution surface fluxes over the global ocean are needed to evaluate coupled atmosphere–ocean models and weather forecasting models, provide surface forcing for ocean models, understand the regional and temporal variations of the exchange of heat between the atmosphere and ocean, and provide a large-scale context for field experiments. Under the auspices of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Radiation Panel, the SEAFLUX Project has been initiated to investigate producing a high-resolution satellite-based dataset of surface turbulent fluxes over the global oceans to complement the existing products for surface radiation fluxes and precipitation. The SEAFLUX Project includes the following elements: a library of in situ data, with collocated satellite data to be used in the evaluation and improvement of global flux products; organized intercomparison projects, to evaluate and improve bulk flux models and determination from the satellite of the input parameters; and coordinated evaluation of the flux products in the context of applications, such as forcing ocean models and evaluation of coupled atmosphere–ocean models. The objective of this paper is to present an overview of the status of global ocean surface flux products, the methodology being used by SEAFLUX, and the prospects for improvement of satellite-derived flux products.

Full access