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M. Kubota

Abstract

A mechanism for the accumulation of floating marine debris in the North Pacific, especially north of the Hawaiian Islands, is investigated. First, about 50 pseudo marine debris markers floating at the sea surface are arranged in the North Pacific. Their trajectories are simulated by surface currents consisting of Stokes drift, Ekman drift, and geostrophic currents. The simulation by Ekman drift alone shows remarkable convergence at midlatitudes and moderate convergence north of the Hawaiian Islands. On the other hand, that by Stokes drift or geostrophic currents does not present any remarkable high-density area and shows basin-scale movement of marine debris. However, from the simulation by combined surface currents, marine debris gathers north of the Hawaiian Islands. This can be explained by a simple mechanism consisting of a three-step process. First, marine debris accumulates in the Ekman convergence zone related to westerly and trade winds. Second, the debris moves eastward by geostrophic currents. Finally, the debris accumulates north of the Hawaiian Islands by Ekman drift due to the atmospheric North Pacific subtropical high.

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Hiroki Tokinaga, Shang-Ping Xie, Axel Timmermann, Shayne McGregor, Tomomichi Ogata, Hisayuki Kubota, and Yuko M. Okumura

Abstract

Regional patterns of tropical Indo-Pacific climate change are investigated over the last six decades based on a synthesis of in situ observations and ocean model simulations, with a focus on physical consistency among sea surface temperature (SST), cloud, sea level pressure (SLP), surface wind, and subsurface ocean temperature. A newly developed bias-corrected surface wind dataset displays westerly trends over the western tropical Pacific and easterly trends over the tropical Indian Ocean, indicative of a slowdown of the Walker circulation. This pattern of wind change is consistent with that of observed SLP change showing positive trends over the Maritime Continent and negative trends over the central equatorial Pacific. Suppressed moisture convergence over the Maritime Continent is largely due to surface wind changes, contributing to observed decreases in marine cloudiness and land precipitation there.

Furthermore, observed ocean mixed layer temperatures indicate a reduction in zonal contrast in the tropical Indo-Pacific characterized by larger warming in the tropical eastern Pacific and western Indian Ocean than in the tropical western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean. Similar changes are successfully simulated by an ocean general circulation model forced with the bias-corrected wind stress. Whereas results from major SST reconstructions show no significant change in zonal gradient in the tropical Indo-Pacific, both bucket-sampled SSTs and nighttime marine air temperatures (NMAT) show a weakening of the zonal gradient consistent with the subsurface temperature changes. All these findings from independent observations provide robust evidence for ocean–atmosphere coupling associated with the reduction in the Walker circulation over the last six decades.

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Takuji Kubota, Shinta Seto, Masaki Satoh, Tomoe Nasuno, Toshio Iguchi, Takeshi Masaki, John M. Kwiatkowski, and Riko Oki

Abstract

An assumption related to clouds is one of uncertain factors in precipitation retrievals by the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on board the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. While an attenuation due to cloud ice is negligibly small for Ku and Ka bands, attenuation by cloud liquid water is larger in the Ka band and estimating precipitation intensity with high accuracy from Ka-band observations can require developing a method to estimate the attenuation due to cloud liquid water content (CLWC). This paper describes a CLWC database used in the DPR level-2 algorithm for the GPM V06A product. In the algorithm, the CLWC value is assumed using the database with inputs of precipitation-related variables, temperature, and geolocation information. A calculation of the database was made using the 3.5-km-mesh global atmospheric simulation derived from the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM) global cloud-system-resolving model. Impacts of current CLWC assumptions for surface precipitation estimates were evaluated by comparisons of precipitation retrieval results between default values and 0 mg m−3 of the CLWC. The impacts were quantified by the normalized mean absolute difference (NMAD) and the NMAD values showed 2.3% for the Ku, 9.9% for the Ka, and 6.5% for the dual-frequency algorithms in global averages, while they were larger in the tropics than in high latitudes. Effects of the precipitation estimates from the CLWC assumption were examined further in terms of retrieval processes affected by the CLWC assumption. This study emphasizes the CLWC assumption provided more effects on the precipitation estimates through estimating path-integrated attenuation due to rain.

Open access
J. S. Chowdary, Shang-Ping Xie, Hiroki Tokinaga, Yuko M. Okumura, Hisayuki Kubota, Nat Johnson, and Xiao-Tong Zheng

Abstract

Slow modulation of interannual variability and its relationship to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is investigated for the period of 1870–2007 using shipboard surface meteorological observations along a frequently traveled track across the north Indian Ocean (NIO; from the Gulf of Aden through Malacca Strait) and the South China Sea (to Luzon Strait). During the decades in the late nineteenth–early twentieth century and in the late twentieth century, the El Niño–induced NIO warming persists longer than during the 1910s–mid-1970s, well into the summer following the peak of El Niño. During the epochs of the prolonged NIO warming, rainfall drops and sea level pressure rises over the tropical northwest Pacific in summer following El Niño. Conversely, during the period when the NIO warming dissipates earlier, these atmospheric anomalies are not well developed. This supports the Indian Ocean capacitor concept as a mechanism prolonging El Niño influence into summer through the persistent Indian Ocean warming after El Niño itself has dissipated.

The above centennial modulation of ENSO teleconnection to the Indo–northwest Pacific region is reproduced in an atmospheric general circulation model forced by observed SST. The modulation is correlated not with the Pacific decadal oscillation but rather with the ENSO variance itself. When ENSO is strong, its effect in the Indo–northwest Pacific strengthens and vice versa. The fact that enhanced ENSO teleconnections occurred 100 years ago during the late nineteenth–early twentieth century indicates that the recent strengthening of the ENSO correlation over the Indo–western Pacific may not entirely be due to global warming but reflect natural variability.

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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.

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A. J. Illingworth, H. W. Barker, A. Beljaars, M. Ceccaldi, H. Chepfer, N. Clerbaux, J. Cole, J. Delanoë, C. Domenech, D. P. Donovan, S. Fukuda, M. Hirakata, R. J. Hogan, A. Huenerbein, P. Kollias, T. Kubota, T. Nakajima, T. Y. Nakajima, T. Nishizawa, Y. Ohno, H. Okamoto, R. Oki, K. Sato, M. Satoh, M. W. Shephard, A. Velázquez-Blázquez, U. Wandinger, T. Wehr, and G.-J. van Zadelhoff

Abstract

The collective representation within global models of aerosol, cloud, precipitation, and their radiative properties remains unsatisfactory. They constitute the largest source of uncertainty in predictions of climatic change and hamper the ability of numerical weather prediction models to forecast high-impact weather events. The joint European Space Agency (ESA)–Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Earth Clouds, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite mission, scheduled for launch in 2018, will help to resolve these weaknesses by providing global profiles of cloud, aerosol, precipitation, and associated radiative properties inferred from a combination of measurements made by its collocated active and passive sensors. EarthCARE will improve our understanding of cloud and aerosol processes by extending the invaluable dataset acquired by the A-Train satellites CloudSat, Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO), and Aqua. Specifically, EarthCARE’s cloud profiling radar, with 7 dB more sensitivity than CloudSat, will detect more thin clouds and its Doppler capability will provide novel information on convection, precipitating ice particle, and raindrop fall speeds. EarthCARE’s 355-nm high-spectral-resolution lidar will measure directly and accurately cloud and aerosol extinction and optical depth. Combining this with backscatter and polarization information should lead to an unprecedented ability to identify aerosol type. The multispectral imager will provide a context for, and the ability to construct, the cloud and aerosol distribution in 3D domains around the narrow 2D retrieved cross section. The consistency of the retrievals will be assessed to within a target of ±10 W m–2 on the (10 km)2 scale by comparing the multiview broadband radiometer observations to the top-of-atmosphere fluxes estimated by 3D radiative transfer models acting on retrieved 3D domains.

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P. W. Thorne, R. J. Allan, L. Ashcroft, P. Brohan, R. J. H Dunn, M. J. Menne, P. R. Pearce, J. Picas, K. M. Willett, M. Benoy, S. Bronnimann, P. O. Canziani, J. Coll, R. Crouthamel, G. P. Compo, D. Cuppett, M. Curley, C. Duffy, I. Gillespie, J. Guijarro, S. Jourdain, E. C. Kent, H. Kubota, T. P. Legg, Q. Li, J. Matsumoto, C. Murphy, N. A. Rayner, J. J. Rennie, E. Rustemeier, L. C. Slivinski, V. Slonosky, A. Squintu, B. Tinz, M. A. Valente, S. Walsh, X. L. Wang, N. Westcott, K. Wood, S. D. Woodruff, and S. J. Worley

Abstract

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. Yet, currently available land meteorological data are highly fractured into various global, regional, and national holdings for different variables and time scales, from a variety of sources, and in a mixture of formats. Added to this, many data are still inaccessible for analysis and usage. To meet modern scientific and societal demands as well as emerging needs such as the provision of climate services, it is essential that we improve the management and curation of available land-based meteorological holdings. We need a comprehensive global set of data holdings, of known provenance, that is truly integrated both across essential climate variables (ECVs) and across time scales to meet the broad range of stakeholder needs. These holdings must be easily discoverable, made available in accessible formats, and backed up by multitiered user support. The present paper provides a high-level overview, based upon broad community input, of the steps that are required to bring about this integration. The significant challenge is to find a sustained means to realize this vision. This requires a long-term international program. The database that results will transform our collective ability to provide societally relevant research, analysis, and predictions in many weather- and climate-related application areas across much of the globe.

Open access
Silvio N. Figueroa, José P. Bonatti, Paulo Y. Kubota, Georg A. Grell, Hugh Morrison, Saulo R. M. Barros, Julio P. R. Fernandez, Enver Ramirez, Leo Siqueira, Graziela Luzia, Josiane Silva, Juliana R. Silva, Jayant Pendharkar, Vinicius B. Capistrano, Débora S. Alvim, Diego P. Enoré, Fábio L. R. Diniz, Praki Satyamurti, Iracema F. A. Cavalcanti, Paulo Nobre, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Celso L. Mendes, and Jairo Panetta

Abstract

This article describes the main features of the Brazilian Global Atmospheric Model (BAM), analyses of its performance for tropical rainfall forecasting, and its sensitivity to convective scheme and horizontal resolution. BAM is the new global atmospheric model of the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Research [Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC)], which includes a new dynamical core and state-of-the-art parameterization schemes. BAM’s dynamical core incorporates a monotonic two-time-level semi-Lagrangian scheme, which is carried out completely on the model grid for the tridimensional transport of moisture, microphysical prognostic variables, and tracers. The performance of the quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) from two convective schemes, the Grell–Dévényi (GD) scheme and its modified version (GDM), and two different horizontal resolutions are evaluated against the daily TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis over different tropical regions. Three main results are 1) the QPF skill was improved substantially with GDM in comparison to GD; 2) the increase in the horizontal resolution without any ad hoc tuning improves the variance of precipitation over continents with complex orography, such as Africa and South America, whereas over oceans there are no significant differences; and 3) the systematic errors (dry or wet biases) remain virtually unchanged for 5-day forecasts. Despite improvements in the tropical precipitation forecasts, especially over southeastern Brazil, dry biases over the Amazon and La Plata remain in BAM. Improving the precipitation forecasts over these regions remains a challenge for the future development of the model to be used not only for numerical weather prediction over South America but also for global climate simulations.

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L. C. Slivinski, G. P. Compo, P. D. Sardeshmukh, J. S. Whitaker, C. McColl, R. J. Allan, P. Brohan, X. Yin, C. A. Smith, L. J. Spencer, R. S. Vose, M. Rohrer, R. P. Conroy, D. C. Schuster, J. J. Kennedy, L. Ashcroft, S. Brönnimann, M. Brunet, D. Camuffo, R. Cornes, T. A. Cram, F. Domínguez-Castro, J. E. Freeman, J. Gergis, E. Hawkins, P. D. Jones, H. Kubota, T. C. Lee, A. M. Lorrey, J. Luterbacher, C. J. Mock, R. K. Przybylak, C. Pudmenzky, V. C. Slonosky, B. Tinz, B. Trewin, X. L. Wang, C. Wilkinson, K. Wood, and P. Wyszyński

Abstract

The performance of a new historical reanalysis, the NOAA–CIRES–DOE Twentieth Century Reanalysis version 3 (20CRv3), is evaluated via comparisons with other reanalyses and independent observations. This dataset provides global, 3-hourly estimates of the atmosphere from 1806 to 2015 by assimilating only surface pressure observations and prescribing sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and radiative forcings. Comparisons with independent observations, other reanalyses, and satellite products suggest that 20CRv3 can reliably produce atmospheric estimates on scales ranging from weather events to long-term climatic trends. Not only does 20CRv3 recreate a “best estimate” of the weather, including extreme events, it also provides an estimate of its confidence through the use of an ensemble. Surface pressure statistics suggest that these confidence estimates are reliable. Comparisons with independent upper-air observations in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrate that 20CRv3 has skill throughout the twentieth century. Upper-air fields from 20CRv3 in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century correlate well with full-input reanalyses, and the correlation is predicted by the confidence fields from 20CRv3. The skill of analyzed 500-hPa geopotential heights from 20CRv3 for 1979–2015 is comparable to that of modern operational 3–4-day forecasts. Finally, 20CRv3 performs well on climate time scales. Long time series and multidecadal averages of mass, circulation, and precipitation fields agree well with modern reanalyses and station- and satellite-based products. 20CRv3 is also able to capture trends in tropospheric-layer temperatures that correlate well with independent products in the twentieth century, placing recent trends in a longer historical context.

Open access