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R. B. Pierce, W. T. Blackshear, W. L. Grose, R. E. Turner, and T. D. Fairlie

Abstract

An analysis of a spontaneous sudden stratospheric warming that occurred during a 2-year integration of the Langley Research Center Atmospheric Simulation Model is presented. The simulated warming resembles observed “wave 1&rdquo warmings in the Northern Hemisphere stratosphere and provides an opportunity to investigate the radiative and dynamical processes occurring during the warming event. Isentropic analysis of potential vorticity sources and sinks indicates that dynamically induced departures from radiative equilibrium play an important role in the warming event. Enhanced radiative cooling associated with a series of upper stratospheric warm pools leads to radiative dampening within the polar vortex. Within the “surf zone” large-scale radiative cooling leads to diabatic advection of high potential vorticity air from aloft. Lagrangian area diagnostics of the simulated warming agree well with LIMS analyses. Dynamical mixing is shown to account for the majority of the decrease in the size of the polar vortex during the simulated warming. An investigation of the nonlinear deformation of material lines that are initially coincident with diagnosed potential vorticity isopleths is conducted to clarify the relationship between the Lagrangian area diagnostics and potential vorticity advection during wave breaking events.

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S. Kondragunta, P. Lee, J. McQueen, C. Kittaka, A. I. Prados, P. Ciren, I. Laszlo, R. B. Pierce, R. Hoff, and J. J. Szykman

Abstract

NOAA’s operational geostationary satellite retrievals of aerosol optical depths (AODs) were used to verify National Weather Service developmental (research mode) particulate matter (PM2.5) predictions tested during the summer 2004 International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation/New England Air Quality Study (ICARTT/NEAQS) field campaign. The forecast period included long-range transport of smoke from fires burning in Canada and Alaska and a regional-scale sulfate event over the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern United States. Over the 30-day time period for which daytime hourly forecasts were compared with observations, the categorical (exceedance defined as AOD > 0.55) forecast accuracy was between 0% and 20%. Hourly normalized mean bias (forecasts − observations) ranged between −50% and +50% with forecasts being positively biased when observed AODs were small and negatively biased when observed AODs were high. Normalized mean errors are between 50% and 100% with the errors on the lower end during the 18–22 July 2004 time period when a regional-scale sulfate event occurred. Spatially, the errors are small over the regions where sulfate plumes were present. The correlation coefficient also showed similar features (spatially and temporally) with a peak value of ∼0.6 during the 18–22 July 2004 time period. The dominance of long-range transport of smoke into the United States during the summer of 2004, neglected in the model predictions, skewed the model forecast performance. Enhanced accuracy and reduced normalized mean errors during the time period when a sulfate event prevailed show that the forecast system has skill in predicting PM2.5 associated with urban/industrial pollution events.

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Miles A. Sundermeyer, Daniel A. Birch, James R. Ledwell, Murray D. Levine, Stephen D. Pierce, and Brandy T. Kuebel Cervantes

Abstract

Results are presented from two dye release experiments conducted in the seasonal thermocline of the Sargasso Sea, one in a region of low horizontal strain rate (~10−6 s−1), the second in a region of intermediate horizontal strain rate (~10−5 s−1). Both experiments lasted ~6 days, covering spatial scales of 1–10 and 1–50 km for the low and intermediate strain rate regimes, respectively. Diapycnal diffusivities estimated from the two experiments were κ z = (2–5) × 10−6 m2 s−1, while isopycnal diffusivities were κ H = (0.2–3) m2 s−1, with the range in κ H being less a reflection of site-to-site variability, and more due to uncertainties in the background strain rate acting on the patch combined with uncertain time dependence. The Site I (low strain) experiment exhibited minimal stretching, elongating to approximately 10 km over 6 days while maintaining a width of ~5 km, and with a notable vertical tilt in the meridional direction. By contrast, the Site II (intermediate strain) experiment exhibited significant stretching, elongating to more than 50 km in length and advecting more than 150 km while still maintaining a width of order 3–5 km. Early surveys from both experiments showed patchy distributions indicative of small-scale stirring at scales of order a few hundred meters. Later surveys show relatively smooth, coherent distributions with only occasional patchiness, suggestive of a diffusive rather than stirring process at the scales of the now larger patches. Together the two experiments provide important clues as to the rates and underlying processes driving diapycnal and isopycnal mixing at these scales.

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H. G. Hidalgo, T. Das, M. D. Dettinger, D. R. Cayan, D. W. Pierce, T. P. Barnett, G. Bala, A. Mirin, A. W. Wood, C. Bonfils, B. D. Santer, and T. Nozawa

Abstract

This article applies formal detection and attribution techniques to investigate the nature of observed shifts in the timing of streamflow in the western United States. Previous studies have shown that the snow hydrology of the western United States has changed in the second half of the twentieth century. Such changes manifest themselves in the form of more rain and less snow, in reductions in the snow water contents, and in earlier snowmelt and associated advances in streamflow “center” timing (the day in the “water-year” on average when half the water-year flow at a point has passed). However, with one exception over a more limited domain, no other study has attempted to formally attribute these changes to anthropogenic increases of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Using the observations together with a set of global climate model simulations and a hydrologic model (applied to three major hydrological regions of the western United States—the California region, the upper Colorado River basin, and the Columbia River basin), it is found that the observed trends toward earlier “center” timing of snowmelt-driven streamflows in the western United States since 1950 are detectably different from natural variability (significant at the p < 0.05 level). Furthermore, the nonnatural parts of these changes can be attributed confidently to climate changes induced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols, ozone, and land use. The signal from the Columbia dominates the analysis, and it is the only basin that showed a detectable signal when the analysis was performed on individual basins. It should be noted that although climate change is an important signal, other climatic processes have also contributed to the hydrologic variability of large basins in the western United States.

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T. Keenan, P. Joe, J. Wilson, C. Collier, B. Golding, D. Burgess, P. May, C. Pierce, J. Bally, A. Crook, A. Seed, D. Sills, L. Berry, R. Potts, I. Bell, N. Fox, E. Ebert, M. Eilts, K. O'Loughlin, R. Webb, R. Carbone, K. Browning, R. Roberts, and C. Mueller

The first World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) Forecast Demonstration Project (FDP), with a focus on nowcasting, was conducted in Sydney, Australia, from 4 September to 21 November 2000 during a period associated with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Through international collaboration, nine nowcasting systems from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia were deployed at the Sydney Office of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to demonstrate the capability of modern forecast systems and to quantify the associated benefits in the delivery of a real-time nowcast service. On-going verification and impact studies supported by international committees assisted by the WWRP formed an integral part of this project. A description is given of the project, including component systems, the weather, and initial outcomes. Initial results show that the nowcasting systems tested were transferable and able to provide valuable information enhancing BOM nowcasts. The project provided for unprecedented interchange of concepts and ideas between forecasters, researchers, and end users in an operational framework where they all faced common issues relevant to real time nowcast decision making. A training workshop sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was also held in conjunction with the project so that other member nations could benefit from the FDP.

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S. Pawson, K. Kodera, K. Hamilton, T. G. Shepherd, S. R. Beagley, B. A. Boville, J. D. Farrara, T. D. A. Fairlie, A. Kitoh, W. A. Lahoz, U. Langematz, E. Manzini, D. H. Rind, A. A. Scaife, K. Shibata, P. Simon, R. Swinbank, L. Takacs, R. J. Wilson, J. A. Al-Saadi, M. Amodei, M. Chiba, L. Coy, J. de Grandpré, R. S. Eckman, M. Fiorino, W. L. Grose, H. Koide, J. N. Koshyk, D. Li, J. Lerner, J. D. Mahlman, N. A. McFarlane, C. R. Mechoso, A. Molod, A. O'Neill, R. B. Pierce, W. J. Randel, R. B. Rood, and F. Wu

To investigate the effects of the middle atmosphere on climate, the World Climate Research Programme is supporting the project “Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate” (SPARC). A central theme of SPARC, to examine model simulations of the coupled troposphere–middle atmosphere system, is being performed through the initiative called GRIPS (GCM-Reality Intercomparison Project for SPARC). In this paper, an overview of the objectives of GRIPS is given. Initial activities include an assessment of the performance of middle atmosphere climate models, and preliminary results from this evaluation are presented here. It is shown that although all 13 models evaluated represent most major features of the mean atmospheric state, there are deficiencies in the magnitude and location of the features, which cannot easily be traced to the formulation (resolution or the parameterizations included) of the models. Most models show a cold bias in all locations, apart from the tropical tropopause region where they can be either too warm or too cold. The strengths and locations of the major jets are often misrepresented in the models. Looking at three-dimensional fields reveals, for some models, more severe deficiencies in the magnitude and positioning of the dominant structures (such as the Aleutian high in the stratosphere), although undersampling might explain some of these differences from observations. All the models have shortcomings in their simulations of the present-day climate, which might limit the accuracy of predictions of the climate response to ozone change and other anomalous forcing.

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L. L. Pan, E. L. Atlas, R. J. Salawitch, S. B. Honomichl, J. F. Bresch, W. J. Randel, E. C. Apel, R. S. Hornbrook, A. J. Weinheimer, D. C. Anderson, S. J. Andrews, S. Baidar, S. P. Beaton, T. L. Campos, L. J. Carpenter, D. Chen, B. Dix, V. Donets, S. R. Hall, T. F. Hanisco, C. R. Homeyer, L. G. Huey, J. B. Jensen, L. Kaser, D. E. Kinnison, T. K. Koenig, J.-F. Lamarque, C. Liu, J. Luo, Z. J. Luo, D. D. Montzka, J. M. Nicely, R. B. Pierce, D. D. Riemer, T. Robinson, P. Romashkin, A. Saiz-Lopez, S. Schauffler, O. Shieh, M. H. Stell, K. Ullmann, G. Vaughan, R. Volkamer, and G. Wolfe

Abstract

The Convective Transport of Active Species in the Tropics (CONTRAST) experiment was conducted from Guam (13.5°N, 144.8°E) during January–February 2014. Using the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V research aircraft, the experiment investigated the photochemical environment over the tropical western Pacific (TWP) warm pool, a region of massive deep convection and the major pathway for air to enter the stratosphere during Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter. The new observations provide a wealth of information for quantifying the influence of convection on the vertical distributions of active species. The airborne in situ measurements up to 15-km altitude fill a significant gap by characterizing the abundance and altitude variation of a wide suite of trace gases. These measurements, together with observations of dynamical and microphysical parameters, provide significant new data for constraining and evaluating global chemistry–climate models. Measurements include precursor and product gas species of reactive halogen compounds that impact ozone in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere. High-accuracy, in situ measurements of ozone obtained during CONTRAST quantify ozone concentration profiles in the upper troposphere, where previous observations from balloonborne ozonesondes were often near or below the limit of detection. CONTRAST was one of the three coordinated experiments to observe the TWP during January–February 2014. Together, CONTRAST, Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), and Coordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics (CAST), using complementary capabilities of the three aircraft platforms as well as ground-based instrumentation, provide a comprehensive quantification of the regional distribution and vertical structure of natural and pollutant trace gases in the TWP during NH winter, from the oceanic boundary to the lower stratosphere.

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Charles O. Stanier, R. Bradley Pierce, Maryam Abdi-Oskouei, Zachariah E. Adelman, Jay Al-Saadi, Hariprasad D. Alwe, Timothy H. Bertram, Gregory R. Carmichael, Megan B. Christiansen, Patricia A. Cleary, Alan C. Czarnetzki, Angela F. Dickens, Marta A. Fuoco, Dagen D. Hughes, Joseph P. Hupy, Scott J. Janz, Laura M. Judd, Donna Kenski, Matthew G. Kowalewski, Russell W. Long, Dylan B. Millet, Gordon Novak, Behrooz Roozitalab, Stephanie L. Shaw, Elizabeth A. Stone, James Szykman, Lukas Valin, Michael Vermeuel, Timothy J. Wagner, Andrew R. Whitehill, and David J. Williams

Abstract

The Lake Michigan Ozone Study 2017 (LMOS 2017) was a collaborative multiagency field study targeting ozone chemistry, meteorology, and air quality observations in the southern Lake Michigan area. The primary objective of LMOS 2017 was to provide measurements to improve air quality modeling of the complex meteorological and chemical environment in the region. LMOS 2017 science questions included spatiotemporal assessment of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission sources and their influence on ozone episodes; the role of lake breezes; contribution of new remote sensing tools such as GeoTASO, Pandora, and TEMPO to air quality management; and evaluation of photochemical grid models. The observing strategy included GeoTASO on board the NASA UC-12 aircraft capturing NO2 and formaldehyde columns, an in situ profiling aircraft, two ground-based coastal enhanced monitoring locations, continuous NO2 columns from coastal Pandora instruments, and an instrumented research vessel. Local photochemical ozone production was observed on 2 June, 9–12 June, and 14–16 June, providing insights on the processes relevant to state and federal air quality management. The LMOS 2017 aircraft mapped significant spatial and temporal variation of NO2 emissions as well as polluted layers with rapid ozone formation occurring in a shallow layer near the Lake Michigan surface. Meteorological characteristics of the lake breeze were observed in detail and measurements of ozone, NOx, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, VOC, oxygenated VOC (OVOC), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) composition were conducted. This article summarizes the study design, directs readers to the campaign data repository, and presents a summary of findings.

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Charles O. Stanier, R. Bradley Pierce, Maryam Abdi-Oskouei, Zachariah E. Adelman, Jay Al-Saadi, Hariprasad D. Alwe, Timothy H. Bertram, Gregory R. Carmichael, Megan B. Christiansen, Patricia A. Cleary, Alan C. Czarnetzki, Angela F. Dickens, Marta A. Fuoco, Dagen D. Hughes, Joseph P. Hupy, Scott J. Janz, Laura M. Judd, Donna Kenski, Matthew G. Kowalewski, Russell W. Long, Dylan B. Millet, Gordon Novak, Behrooz Roozitalab, Stephanie L. Shaw, Elizabeth A. Stone, James Szykman, Lukas Valin, Michael Vermeuel, Timothy J. Wagner, Andrew R. Whitehill, and David J. Williams

Abstract

The Lake Michigan Ozone Study 2017 (LMOS 2017) was a collaborative multi-agency field study targeting ozone chemistry, meteorology, and air quality observations in the southern Lake Michigan area. The primary objective of LMOS 2017 was to provide measurements to improve air quality modeling of the complex meteorological and chemical environment in the region. LMOS 2017 science questions included spatiotemporal assessment of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission sources and their influence on ozone episodes, the role of lake breezes, contribution of new remote sensing tools such as GeoTASO, Pandora, and TEMPO to air quality management, and evaluation of photochemical grid models. The observing strategy included GeoTASO on board the NASA UC-12 capturing NO2 and formaldehyde columns, an in situ profiling aircraft, two ground-based coastal enhanced monitoring locations, continuous NO2 columns from coastal Pandora instruments, and an instrumented research vessel. Local photochemical ozone production was observed on 2 June, 9–12 June, and 14–16 June, providing insights on the processes relevant to state and federal air quality management. The LMOS 2017 aircraft mapped significant spatial and temporal variation of NO2 emissions as well as polluted layers with rapid ozone formation occurring in a shallow layer near the Lake Michigan surface. Meteorological characteristics of the lake breeze were observed in detail and measurements of ozone, NOx, nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, VOC, oxygenated VOC (OVOC), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) composition were conducted. This article summarizes the study design, directs readers to the campaign data repository, and presents a summary of findings.

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Andrey Y. Shcherbina, Miles A. Sundermeyer, Eric Kunze, Eric D’Asaro, Gualtiero Badin, Daniel Birch, Anne-Marie E. G. Brunner-Suzuki, Jörn Callies, Brandy T. Kuebel Cervantes, Mariona Claret, Brian Concannon, Jeffrey Early, Raffaele Ferrari, Louis Goodman, Ramsey R. Harcourt, Jody M. Klymak, Craig M. Lee, M.-Pascale Lelong, Murray D. Levine, Ren-Chieh Lien, Amala Mahadevan, James C. McWilliams, M. Jeroen Molemaker, Sonaljit Mukherjee, Jonathan D. Nash, Tamay Özgökmen, Stephen D. Pierce, Sanjiv Ramachandran, Roger M. Samelson, Thomas B. Sanford, R. Kipp Shearman, Eric D. Skyllingstad, K. Shafer Smith, Amit Tandon, John R. Taylor, Eugene A. Terray, Leif N. Thomas, and James R. Ledwell

Abstract

Lateral stirring is a basic oceanographic phenomenon affecting the distribution of physical, chemical, and biological fields. Eddy stirring at scales on the order of 100 km (the mesoscale) is fairly well understood and explicitly represented in modern eddy-resolving numerical models of global ocean circulation. The same cannot be said for smaller-scale stirring processes. Here, the authors describe a major oceanographic field experiment aimed at observing and understanding the processes responsible for stirring at scales of 0.1–10 km. Stirring processes of varying intensity were studied in the Sargasso Sea eddy field approximately 250 km southeast of Cape Hatteras. Lateral variability of water-mass properties, the distribution of microscale turbulence, and the evolution of several patches of inert dye were studied with an array of shipboard, autonomous, and airborne instruments. Observations were made at two sites, characterized by weak and moderate background mesoscale straining, to contrast different regimes of lateral stirring. Analyses to date suggest that, in both cases, the lateral dispersion of natural and deliberately released tracers was O(1) m2 s–1 as found elsewhere, which is faster than might be expected from traditional shear dispersion by persistent mesoscale flow and linear internal waves. These findings point to the possible importance of kilometer-scale stirring by submesoscale eddies and nonlinear internal-wave processes or the need to modify the traditional shear-dispersion paradigm to include higher-order effects. A unique aspect of the Scalable Lateral Mixing and Coherent Turbulence (LatMix) field experiment is the combination of direct measurements of dye dispersion with the concurrent multiscale hydrographic and turbulence observations, enabling evaluation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the observed dispersion at a new level.

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