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Min Chen and Qianlai Zhuang

Abstract

The authors use a spatially explicit parameterization method and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) to quantify the carbon dynamics of forest ecosystems in the conterminous United States. Six key parameters that govern the rates of carbon and nitrogen dynamics in TEM are selected for calibration. Spatially explicit data for carbon and nitrogen pools and fluxes are used to calibrate the six key parameters to more adequately account for the spatial heterogeneity of ecosystems in estimating regional carbon dynamics. The authors find that a spatially explicit parameterization results in vastly different carbon exchange rates relative to a parameterization conducted for representative ecosystem sites. The new parameterization method estimates that the net ecosystem production (NEP), the annual gross primary production (GPP), and the net primary production (NPP) of the regional forest ecosystems are 61% (0.02 Pg C; 1 Pg = 1015 g) higher and 2% (0.11 Pg C) and 19% (0.45 Pg C) lower, respectively, than the values obtained using the traditional parameterization method for the period 1948–2000. The estimated vegetation carbon and soil organic carbon pool sizes are 51% (18.73 Pg C) lower and 29% (7.40 Pg C) higher. This study suggests that, to more adequately quantify regional carbon dynamics, spatial data for carbon and nitrogen pools and fluxes should be developed and used with the spatially explicit parameterization method.

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Min Chen and Xiang-Yu Huang

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In this paper several configurations of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5), which is implemented at Beijing Institute of Urban Meteorology in China, are used to demonstrate the initial noise problem caused either by interpolating global model fields onto an MM5 grid or by using MM5 objective analysis schemes. An implementation of a digital filter initialization (DFI) package to MM5 is then documented. A heavy rain case study and intermittent data assimilation experiments are used to assess the impact of DFI on MM5 forecasts. It is shown that DFI effectively filters out the noise and produces a balanced initial model state. It is also shown that DFI improves the spinup aspects for precipitation, leading to better scores for short-range precipitation forecasts. The issues related to the initialization of variables that are not observed and/or analyzed, in particular those for nonhydrostatic quantities, are discussed.

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Richard Grotjahn, Min Chen, and Joseph Tribbia

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The eigenvalue problems for the original Eady model and a modified Eady model (the G model) are examined with no friction, Ekman friction only, and both Ekman and interior friction. When both Ekman and interior friction are included in the models, normal modes show little additional change when compared to the case with Ekman friction only, whereas the relevant “continuum modes” have large negative growth rates. Interior friction has a much greater effect on the continuum modes than on the normal modes because inviscid continuum modes have a delta-function vertical profile of potential vorticity q. In contrast, normal modes have much smoother profiles of q in the interior. Streamfunction profiles for the continuum modes are notably different in the two models. The continuum modes in the more realistic G model have sharp peak amplitudes that are not as broad in the vertical as in the Eady model.

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Yu Zhang, Min Chen, and Jiqin Zhong

Abstract

A wind profiler network with a total of 65 profiling radar systems was operated by the China Meteorological Observation Center (MOC) of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) until July 2015. In this study, a quality control procedure is constructed to incorporate the profiler data from the wind-profiling network into the local data assimilation and forecasting systems. The procedure applies a blacklisting check that removes stations with gross errors and an outlier check that rejects data with large deviations from the background. As opposed to the biweight method, which has been commonly implemented in outlier elimination for univariate observations, the outlier elimination method is developed based on the iterated reweighted minimum covariance determinant (IRMCD) for multivariate observations, such as wind profiler data. A quality control experiment is performed separately for subsets containing profiler data tagged with/without rain flags in parallel every 0000 and 1200 UTC from 20 June to 30 September 2015. The results show that with quality control, the frequency distributions of the differences between the observations and the model background meet the requirements of a Gaussian distribution for data assimilation. A further intensive assessment of each quality control step reveals that the stations rejected by the blacklisting contained poor data quality and that the IRMCD rejects outliers in a robust and physically reasonable manner. Detailed comparisons between the IRMCD and the biweight method are performed, and the IRMCD is demonstrated to be more efficient and more comprehensive regarding the dataset used in this study.

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Min Gan, Yongping Chen, Shunqi Pan, Jiangxia Li, and Zijun Zhou

Abstract

Influenced by river discharge, the tidal properties of estuarine tides can be more complex than those of oceanic tides, which makes the tidal prediction less accurate when using a classical tidal harmonic analysis approach, such as the T_TIDE model. Although the nonstationary tidal harmonic analysis model NS_TIDE can improve the accuracy for the analysis of tides in a river-dominated estuary, it becomes less satisfactory when applying the NS_TIDE model to a mesotidal estuary like the Yangtze estuary. Through the error source analysis, it is found that the main errors originate from the low frequency of tidal fluctuation. The NS_TIDE model is then modified by replacing the stage model with the frequency-expanded tidal–fluvial model so that more subtidal constituents, especially the “atmospheric tides,” can be taken into account. The results show that the residuals from tidal harmonic analysis are significantly reduced by using the modified NS_TIDE model, with the yearly root-mean-square-error values being only 0.04–0.06 m for the Yangtze estuarine tides.

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James W. Wilson, Yerong Feng, Min Chen, and Rita D. Roberts

Abstract

The Beijing 2008 Forecast Demonstration Project (B08FDP) included a variety of nowcasting systems from China, Australia, Canada, and the United States. A goal of the B08FDP was to demonstrate state-of-the-art nowcasting systems within a mutual operational setting. The nowcasting systems were a mix of radar echo extrapolation methods, numerical models, techniques that blended numerical model and extrapolation methods, and systems incorporating forecaster input. This paper focuses on the skill of the nowcasting systems to forecast convective storms that threatened or affected the Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing, China. The topography surrounding Beijing provided unique challenges in that it often enhanced the degree and extent of storm initiation, growth, and dissipation, which took place over short time and space scales. The skill levels of the numerical techniques were inconsistent from hour to hour and day to day and it was speculated that without assimilation of real-time radar reflectivity and Doppler velocity fields to support model initialization, particularly for weakly forced convective events, it would be very difficult for models to provide accurate forecasts on the nowcasting time and space scales. Automated blending techniques tended to be no more skillful than extrapolation since they depended heavily on the models to provide storm initiation, growth, and dissipation. However, even with the cited limitations among individual nowcasting systems, the Chinese Olympic forecasters considered the B08FDP human consensus forecasts to be useful. Key to the success of the human forecasts was the development of nowcasting rules predicated on the character of Beijing convective weather realized over the previous two summers. Based on the B08FDP experience, the status of nowcasting convective storms and future directions are presented.

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Yaling Liu, Dongdong Chen, Soukayna Mouatadid, Xiaoliang Lu, Min Chen, Yu Cheng, Zhenghui Xie, Binghao Jia, Huan Wu, and Pierre Gentine

Abstract

Soil moisture (SM) links the water and energy cycles over the land–atmosphere interface and largely determines ecosystem functionality, positioning it as an essential player in the Earth system. Despite its importance, accurate estimation of large-scale SM remains a challenge. Here we leverage the strength of neural network (NN) and fidelity of long-term measurements to develop a daily multilayer cropland SM dataset for China from 1981 to 2013, implemented for a range of different cropping patterns. The training and testing of the NN for the five soil layers (0–50 cm, 10-cm depth each) yield R 2 values of 0.65–0.70 and 0.64–0.69, respectively. Our analysis reveals that precipitation and soil properties are the two dominant factors determining SM, but cropping pattern is also crucial. In addition, our simulations of alternative cropping patterns indicate that winter wheat followed by fallow will largely alleviate the SM depletion in most parts of China. On the other hand, cropping patterns of fallow in the winter followed by maize/soybean seem to further aggravate SM decline in the Huang-Huai-Hai region and southwestern China, relative to prevalent practices of double cropping. This may be due to their low soil porosity, which results in more soil water drainage, as opposed to the case that winter crop roots help maintain SM. This multilayer cropland SM dataset with granularity of cropping patterns provides an important alternative and is complementary to modeled and satellite-retrieved products.

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Jee-Hoon Jeong, Hans W. Linderholm, Sung-Ho Woo, Chris Folland, Baek-Min Kim, Seong-Joong Kim, and Deliang Chen

Abstract

The present study examines the impacts of snow initialization on surface air temperature by a number of ensemble seasonal predictability experiments using the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3) AGCM with and without snow initialization. The study attempts to isolate snow signals on surface air temperature. In this preliminary study, any effects of variations in sea ice extent are ignored and do not explicitly identify possible impacts on atmospheric circulation. The Canadian Meteorological Center (CMC) daily snow depth analysis was used in defining initial snow states, where anomaly rescaling was applied in order to account for the systematic bias of the CAM3 snow depth with respect to the CMC analysis. Two suites of seasonal (3 months long) ensemble hindcasts starting at each month in the colder part of the year (September–April) with and without the snow initialization were performed for 12 recent years (1999–2010), and the predictability skill of surface air temperature was estimated. Results show that considerable potential predictability increases up to 2 months ahead can be attained using snow initialization. Relatively large increases are found over East Asia, western Russia, and western Canada in the later part of this period. It is suggested that the predictability increases are sensitive to the strength of snow–albedo feedback determined by given local climate conditions; large gains tend to exist over the regions of strong snow–albedo feedback. Implications of these results for seasonal predictability over the extratropical Northern Hemisphere and future direction for this research are discussed.

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Yaodeng Chen, Hongli Wang, Jinzhong Min, Xiang-Yu Huang, Patrick Minnis, Ruizhi Zhang, Julie Haggerty, and Rabindra Palikonda

Abstract

Analysis of the cloud components in numerical weather prediction models using advanced data assimilation techniques has been a prime topic in recent years. In this research, the variational data assimilation (DA) system for the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model (WRFDA) is further developed to assimilate satellite cloud products that will produce the cloud liquid water and ice water analysis. Observation operators for the cloud liquid water path and cloud ice water path are developed and incorporated into the WRFDA system. The updated system is tested by assimilating cloud liquid water path and cloud ice water path observations from Global Geostationary Gridded Cloud Products at NASA. To assess the impact of cloud liquid/ice water path data assimilation on short-term regional numerical weather prediction (NWP), 3-hourly cycling data assimilation and forecast experiments with and without the use of the cloud liquid/ice water paths are conducted. It is shown that assimilating cloud liquid/ice water paths increases the accuracy of temperature, humidity, and wind analyses at model levels between 300 and 150 hPa after 5 cycles (15 h). It is also shown that assimilating cloud liquid/ice water paths significantly reduces forecast errors in temperature and wind at model levels between 300 and 150 hPa. The precipitation forecast skills are improved as well. One reason that leads to the improved analysis and forecast is that the 3-hourly rapid update cycle carries over the impact of cloud information from the previous cycles spun up by the WRF Model.

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Paul A. Levine, James T. Randerson, Yang Chen, Michael S. Pritchard, Min Xu, and Forrest M. Hoffman

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important driver of climate and carbon cycle variability in the Amazon. Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the equatorial Pacific drive teleconnections with temperature directly through changes in atmospheric circulation. These circulation changes also impact precipitation and, consequently, soil moisture, enabling additional indirect effects on temperature through land–atmosphere coupling. To separate the direct influence of ENSO SST anomalies from the indirect effects of soil moisture, a mechanism-denial experiment was performed to decouple their variability in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) forced with observed SSTs from 1982 to 2016. Soil moisture variability was found to amplify and extend the effects of SST forcing on eastern Amazon temperature and carbon fluxes in E3SM. During the wet season, the direct, circulation-driven effect of ENSO SST anomalies dominated temperature and carbon cycle variability throughout the Amazon. During the following dry season, after ENSO SST anomalies had dissipated, soil moisture variability became the dominant driver in the east, explaining 67%–82% of the temperature difference between El Niño and La Niña years, and 85%–91% of the difference in carbon fluxes. These results highlight the need to consider the interdependence between temperature and hydrology when attributing the relative contributions of these factors to interannual variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle. Specifically, when offline models are forced with observations or reanalysis, the contribution of temperature may be overestimated when its own variability is modulated by hydrology via land–atmosphere coupling.

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