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Véronique Bugnion, Chris Hill, and Peter H. Stone

Abstract

Using the adjoint of a fully three-dimensional primitive equation ocean model in an idealized geometry, spatial variations in the sensitivity to surface boundary forcing of the meridional overturning circulation’s strength are studied. Steady-state sensitivities to diapycnal mixing, wind stress, freshwater, and heat forcing are examined. Three different, commonly used, boundary-forcing scenarios are studied, both with and without wind forcing. Almost identical circulation is achieved in each scenario, but the sensitivity patterns show major (quantitative and qualitative) differences. Sensitivities to surface forcing and diapycnal mixing are substantially larger under mixed boundary conditions, in which fluxes of freshwater and heat are supplemented by a temperature relaxation term or under flux boundary conditions, in which climatological fluxes alone drive the circulation, than under restoring boundary conditions. The sensitivity pattern to diapycnal mixing, which peaks in the Tropics is similar both with and without wind forcing. Wind does, however, increase the sensitivity to diapycnal mixing in the regions of Ekman upwelling and decreases it in the regions of Ekman downwelling. Wind stress in the Southern Oceans plays a crucial role in restoring boundary conditions, but the effect is largely absent under mixed or flux boundary conditions. The results highlight how critical a careful formulation of the surface forcing terms is to ensuring a proper response to changes in forcing in ocean models.

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Véronique Bugnion, Chris Hill, and Peter H. Stone

Abstract

Multicentury sensitivities in a realistic geometry global ocean general circulation model are analyzed using an adjoint technique. This paper takes advantage of the adjoint model’s ability to generate maps of the sensitivity of a diagnostic (i.e., the meridional overturning’s strength) to all model parameters. This property of adjoints is used to review several theories, which have been elaborated to explain the strength of the North Atlantic’s meridional overturning. This paper demonstrates the profound impact of boundary conditions in permitting or suppressing mechanisms within a realistic model of the contemporary ocean circulation. For example, the so-called Drake Passage Effect in which wind stress in the Southern Ocean acts as the main driver of the overturning’s strength, is shown to be an artifact of boundary conditions that restore the ocean’s surface temperature and salinity toward prescribed climatologies. Advective transports from the Indian and Pacific basins play an important role in setting the strength of the overturning circulation under “mixed” boundary conditions, in which a flux of freshwater is specified at the ocean’s surface.

The most “realistic” regime couples an atmospheric energy and moisture balance model to the ocean. In this configuration, inspection of the global maps of sensitivity to wind stress and diapycnal mixing suggests a significant role for near-surface Ekman processes in the Tropics. Buoyancy also plays an important role in setting the overturning’s strength, through direct thermal forcing near the sites of convection, or through the advection of salinity anomalies in the Atlantic basin.

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Peter J. Robinson and Howard L. Hill

Abstract4

Current increases in the understanding of climatic processes, the availability of climate predictions, and the assessment of climatic impacts indicate that development of public policy to mitigate adverse impacts and enhance beneficial ones is becoming possible. A review of policy needs and of existing atmosphere-related policies leads to the development of a functional model for a climatic impacts policy. This policy contains long-term planning, continuous monitoring, and short-term response elements. It is akin to current strategies used to deal with short-term events such as tornadoes. Effective operation of the policy requires continuing research to enhance understanding of both climatic processes and climatic impacts.

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Alan Condron, Peter Winsor, Chris Hill, and Dimitris Menemenlis

Abstract

The authors investigate the response of the Arctic Ocean freshwater budget to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) using a regional-ocean configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology GCM (MITgcm) and carry out several different 10-yr and 30-yr integrations. At 1/6° (∼18 km) resolution the model resolves the major Arctic transport pathways, including Bering Strait and the Canadian Archipelago. Two main calculations are performed by repeating the wind fields of two contrasting NAO years in each run for the extreme negative and positive NAO phases of 1969 and 1989, respectively. These calculations are compared both with a control run and the compiled observationally based freshwater budget estimate of Serreze et al.

The results show a clear response in the Arctic freshwater budget to NAO forcing, that is, repeat NAO negative wind forcing results in virtually all freshwater being retained in the Arctic, with the bulk of the freshwater content being pooled in the Beaufort gyre. In contrast, repeat NAO positive forcing accelerates the export of freshwater out of the Arctic to the North Atlantic, primarily via Fram Strait (∼900 km3 yr−1) and the Canadian Archipelago (∼500 km3 yr−1), with a total loss in freshwater storage of ∼13 000 km3 (15%) after 10 yr. The large increase in freshwater export through the Canadian Archipelago highlights the important role that this gateway plays in redistributing the freshwater of the Arctic to subpolar seas, by providing a direct pathway from the Arctic basin to the Labrador Sea, Gulf Stream system, and Atlantic Ocean.

The authors discuss the sensitivity of the Arctic Ocean to long-term fixed extreme NAO states and show that the freshwater content of the Arctic is able to be restored to initial values from a depleted freshwater state after ∼20 yr.

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Matthew O. G. Hills, Dale R. Durran, and Peter N. Blossey

Abstract

Decaying trapped waves exert a drag on the large-scale flow. The two most studied mechanisms for such decay are boundary layer dissipation and leakage into the stratosphere. If the waves dissipate in the boundary layer, they exert a drag near the surface, whereas, if they leak into the stratosphere, the drag is exerted at the level where the waves dissipate aloft. Although each of these decay mechanisms has been studied in isolation, their relative importance has not been previously assessed.

Here, numerical simulations are conducted showing that the relative strength of these two mechanisms depends on the details of the environment supporting the waves. During actual trapped-wave events, the environment often includes elevated inversions and strong winds aloft. Such conditions tend to favor leakage into the stratosphere, although boundary layer dissipation becomes nonnegligible in cases with shorter resonant wavelengths and higher tropopause heights. In contrast, idealized two-layer profiles with constant wind speeds and high static stability beneath a less stable upper troposphere support lee waves that are much more susceptible to boundary dissipation and relatively unaffected by the presence of a stratosphere. One reason that trapped waves in the two-layer case do not leak much energy upward is that the resonant wavelength is greatly reduced in the presence of surface friction. This reduction in wavelength is well predicted by the linear inviscid equations if the basic-state profile is modified a posteriori to include the shallow ground-based shear layer generated by surface friction.

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BANNER I. MILLER, ELBERT C. HILL, and PETER P. CHASE

Abstract

The NHC-64 statistical equations for predicting the movement of hurricanes have been in operational use for 4 yr. These equations have continued to perform well. Following the 1966 hurricane season, however, it was apparent that the equations could be improved. A new forecast technique, based on additional data and additional predictors, has been derived. Tests on independent data for 1966 and on an operational basis during 1967 indicate that the 1967 method is slightly superior to NHC-64.

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Dale R. Durran, Matthew O. G. Hills, and Peter N. Blossey

Abstract

Leaky trapped mountain lee waves are investigated by examining the structure of individual linear modes in multilayer atmospheres. When the static stability and cross-mountain wind speed are constant in the topmost unbounded layer, modes that decay exponentially downstream also grow exponentially with height. This growth with height occurs because packets containing relatively large-amplitude waves follow ray paths through the stratosphere, placing them above packets entering the stratosphere farther downstream that contain relatively low-amplitude waves. Nevertheless, if the trapped wave train is generated by a compact source, all waves disappear above some line parallel to the group velocity that passes just above the source region.

The rate of downstream decay due to leakage into the stratosphere is strongly dependent on the atmospheric structure. Downstream dissipation is often significant under realistic atmospheric conditions, which typically include elevated inversions and strong upper-tropospheric winds. On the other hand, idealized profiles with constant Scorer parameters throughout each of two tropospheric layers can exhibit a wide range of behaviors when capped by a third stratospheric layer with typical real-world static stability. Assuming the Scorer parameter in the stratosphere is a little larger than the minimum value necessary to allow a particular mode to propagate vertically, the rate of downstream decay is more sensitive to changes in the height of the tropopause than to further increases in the stability of the stratosphere. Downstream decay is minimized when the tropopause is high and the horizontal wavelength is short.

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Peter G. Hill, Richard P. Allan, J. Christine Chiu, Alejandro Bodas-Salcedo, and Peter Knippertz

Abstract

The contribution of cloud to the radiation budget of southern West Africa (SWA) is poorly understood and yet it is important for understanding regional monsoon evolution and for evaluating and improving climate models, which have large biases in this region. Radiative transfer calculations applied to atmospheric profiles obtained from the CERES–CloudSat–CALIPSO–MODIS (CCCM) dataset are used to investigate the effects of 12 different cloud types (defined by their vertical structure) on the regional energy budget of SWA (5°–10°N, 8°W–8°E) during June–September. We show that the large regional mean cloud radiative effect in SWA is due to nonnegligible contributions from many different cloud types; eight cloud types have a cloud fraction larger than 5% and contribute at least 5% of the regional mean shortwave cloud radiative effect at the top of the atmosphere. Low clouds, which are poorly observed by passive satellite measurements, were found to cause net radiative cooling of the atmosphere, which reduces the heating from other cloud types by approximately 10%. The sensitivity of the radiation budget to underestimating low-cloud cover is also investigated. The radiative effect of missing low cloud is found to be up to approximately −25 W m−2 for upwelling shortwave irradiance at the top of the atmosphere and 35 W m−2 for downwelling shortwave irradiance at the surface.

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Harvey S. J. Hill, James W. Mjelde, Wesley Rosenthal, and Peter J. Lamb

Abstract

Economic decision models incorporating biophysical simulation models are used to examine the impact of the use of Southern Oscillation (SO) information on sorghum production in Texas. Production for 18 sites is aggregated to examine the impact of the use of SO information on the aggregate supply curve and other production and economic variables. Two information scenarios are examined. For all expected prices, the use of SO information increased producers’ net returns over the scenario in which SO information is not used. Depending on price, the expected Texas aggregate sorghum supply curve using SO information shifted both left and right of the without SO information supply curve. Changes in nitrogen use based on the SO information is a major factor causing the shift in the supply curves. Further, the use of SO information decreased aggregate expected costs per metric ton of production. Changes associated with the use of SO information can be summarized as follows: the use of SO information provides producers a method to use inputs more efficiently. This more efficient use has implications for both the environment and for the agricultural sector.

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Anthony J. Baran, Peter Hill, Kalli Furtado, Paul Field, and James Manners

Abstract

A new coupled cloud physics–radiation parameterization of the bulk optical properties of ice clouds is presented. The parameterization is consistent with assumptions in the cloud physics scheme regarding particle size distributions (PSDs) and mass–dimensional relationships. The parameterization is based on a weighted ice crystal habit mixture model, and its bulk optical properties are parameterized as simple functions of wavelength and ice water content (IWC). This approach directly couples IWC to the bulk optical properties, negating the need for diagnosed variables, such as the ice crystal effective dimension. The parameterization is implemented into the Met Office Unified Model Global Atmosphere 5.0 (GA5) configuration. The GA5 configuration is used to simulate the annual 20-yr shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), as well as the temperature structure of the atmosphere, under various microphysical assumptions. The coupled parameterization is directly compared against the current operational radiation parameterization, while maintaining the same cloud physics assumptions. In this experiment, the impacts of the two parameterizations on the SW and LW radiative effects at TOA are also investigated and compared against observations. The 20-yr simulations are compared against the latest observations of the atmospheric temperature and radiative fluxes at TOA. The comparisons demonstrate that the choice of PSD and the assumed ice crystal shape distribution are as important as each other. Moreover, the consistent radiation parameterization removes a long-standing tropical troposphere cold temperature bias but slightly warms the southern midlatitudes by about 0.5 K.

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