Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 38 items for

  • Author or Editor: Roger Pielke Sr. x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.
Full access
Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Observations of the earth's heat budget provide a real-world constraint on the radiative forcing which is simulated in global climate change models. Assessments, such as the IPCC, would more effectively depict changes over time in the climate system by using a heat balance perspective in order to diagnose the earth's radiative imbalance. This commentary describes this approach and presents reasons such an assessment is valuable.

Full access
Roger A. Pielke Sr. and Tomislava Vukicevic
Full access
Melville E. Nicholls and Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Abstract

A three-dimensional, fully compressible cloud model is used to simulate a convective storm in order to investigate the properties of compression waves and gravity waves induced by latent heat release. Time series of the low-level pressure perturbations caused by the propagating waves are examined at various distances from the storm. A compression wave that is close to hydrostatic balance and can be considered to be a Lamb wave, which propagates in the horizontal plane, emerges from the storm. This latter property gives the wave a distinctly two-dimensional character that is clarified by comparison with a linear model of a two-dimensional thermally induced compression wave. This has implications for its shape and results in a decay rate with distance propagated from the source of 1/(distance)1/2. The period of the Lamb wave is determined primarily by the time it takes for the storm to develop and decay. The fast-moving Lamb wave is trailed by slower-moving thermally induced gravity waves. It is found that the amplitude of the gravity waves decay with 1/distance. Distinct gravity wave modes can be identified. The first mode propagates the fastest and results in deep subsidence warming. The second mode propagates at half the speed of the first and causes weak low-level uplift, which in some convective situations might aid the development of new convection.

An analysis of the transfer of internal and gravitational potential energies showed that the net transfer by the Lamb wave was approximately equal to the net increase of total energy in the atmosphere brought about by the convective storm. This result suggests that physical interpretations of total energy transfer in the atmosphere need to take into account that it can be transferred in a wavelike manner at the speed of sound.

An interesting buoyancy oscillation occurred when the downdraft air overshot its buoyant equilibrium level, which resulted in a resurgence of convection. The convection was able to obtain moderate strength by feeding on moist environmental air that had been advected over the top of the cold pool. This mechanism may be a factor contributing to the early meso-β convective cycle that has been observed in many convective systems.

Full access
U. S. Nair, Mark R. Hjelmfelt, and Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Abstract

Strong easterly flow of low-level moist air over the eastern slopes of the Black Hills on 9–10 June 1972 generated a storm system that produced a flash flood, devastating the area. Based on observations from this storm event, and also from the similar Big Thompson 1976 storm event, conceptual models have been developed to explain the unusually high precipitation efficiency. In this study, the Black Hills storm is simulated using the Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System. Simulations with homogeneous and inhomogeneous initializations and different grid structures are presented. The conceptual models of storm structure proposed by previous studies are examined in light of the present simulations.

Both homogeneous and inhomogeneous initialization results capture the intense nature of the storm, but the inhomogeneous simulation produced a precipitation pattern closer to the observed pattern. The simulations point to stationary tilted updrafts, with precipitation falling out to the rear as the preferred storm structure. Experiments with different grid structures point to the importance of removing the lateral boundaries far from the region of activity. Overall, simulation performance in capturing the observed behavior of the storm system was enhanced by use of inhomogeneous initialization.

Full access
Christopher L. Castro, Roger A. Pielke Sr., and Jimmy O. Adegoke

Abstract

Fifty-three years of the NCEP–NCAR Reanalysis I are dynamically downscaled using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) to generate a regional climate model (RCM) climatology of the contiguous United States and Mexico. Data from the RAMS simulations are compared to the recently released North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), as well as observed precipitation and temperature data. The RAMS simulations show the value added by using a RCM in a process study framework to represent North American summer climate beyond the driving global atmospheric reanalysis. Because of its enhanced representation of the land surface topography, the diurnal cycle of convective rainfall is present. This diurnal cycle largely governs the transitions associated with the evolution of the North American monsoon with regards to rainfall, the surface energy budget, and surface temperature. The lower frequency modes of convective rainfall, though weaker, account for rainfall variability at a remote distance from elevated terrain. As in previous studies with other RCMs, RAMS precipitation is overestimated compared to observations. The Great Plains low-level jet (LLJ) is also well represented in both RAMS and NARR, but the Baja LLJ and associated gulf surges are not.

Full access
Giovanni Leoncini, Roger A. Pielke Sr., and Philip Gabriel

Abstract

The goal of this study is to transform the Harrington radiation parameterization into a transfer scheme or lookup table, which provides essentially the same output (heating rate profile and short- and longwave fluxes at the surface) at a fraction of the computational cost. The methodology put forth here does not introduce a new parameterization simply derived from the Harrington scheme but, rather, shows that given a generic parameterization it is possible to build an algorithm, largely not based on the physics, that mimics the outcome of the parent parameterization. The core concept is to compute the empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of all of the input variables of the parent scheme, run the scheme on the EOFs, and express the output of a generic input sounding exploiting the input–output pairs associated with the EOFs. The weights are based on the difference between the input and EOFs water vapor mixing ratios. A detailed overview of the algorithm and the development of a few transfer schemes are also presented. Results show very good agreement (r > 0.91) between the different transfer schemes and the Harrington radiation parameterization with a very significant reduction in computational cost (at least 95%).

Full access
Lisa S. Darby, Robert M. Banta, and Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Abstract

A NOAA/Environmental Technology Laboratory Doppler lidar measured the life cycle of the land- and sea-breeze system at Monterey Bay, California, in 1987, during the Land–Sea Breeze Experiment (LASBEX). On days with offshore synoptic flow, the transition to onshore flow (the sea breeze) was a distinct process easily detected by lidar. Finescale lidar measurements showed the reversal from offshore to onshore flow near the coast, its gradual vertical and horizontal expansion, and a dual structure to the sea-breeze flow in its early formative stages. Initially, a shallow (<500 m) sea breeze formed that later became embedded in a weaker onshore flow that was ∼1 km deep. Eventually these two flows blended together to form a mature sea breeze about 1 km deep.

Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) two-dimensional simulations successfully simulated this dual structure of the sea-breeze flow when both the coastal mountain range just east of Monterey Bay and the Sierra Nevada range, peaking 300 km east of the shore, were included in the domain. Various sensitivity simulations were conducted to isolate the roles played by the land–water contrast, the coastal mountain range, and the Sierra Nevada range. Notable results included the following: 1) the Sierra Nevada range greatly affected the winds above 1500 m at the shore, even though the peak of the mountain range was 300 km east of the shore; 2) the winds at the shore, below 1500 m, were most affected by the land–sea contrast and the coastal mountain range; and 3) the presence of the coastal mountain range enhanced the depth of the sea-breeze flow but not necessarily its speed.

A factor separation method was employed to further isolate the contributions of the terrain and land–water contrast to the vertical structure of the modeled u component of the wind. When both mountains were included in the domain, the interaction of the slope flows generated by these mountains acted to strongly enhance onshore flow early in the morning. In contrast, the interaction of flows generated by the land–water contrast and the sloping terrain had its strongest effect late in the afternoon and early evening, working to oppose the sea-breeze flow. The triple interaction of the flows generated by the coastal mountain, inland mountain, and the land–water contrast enhanced the sea-breeze flow from the surface to 500 m above the sea level throughout the day.

Full access
Joseph L. Eastman, Mike B. Coughenour, and Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Abstract

Before European settlement, the Great Plains of the United States contained vast herds of bison. These bison altered the landscape through their grazing. Measurement data of the disturbance that such grazing could produce, when scaled for the large population of bison, were used with a coupled atmospheric–ecosystem model to evaluate the likely effect that this grazing had on the growing season weather in the Great Plains. A dynamically coupled meteorological and plant growth model was used to investigate the regional atmospheric conditions over a single growing season. A 50-km horizontal mesh was implemented, covering the central plains of the United States. The modeling system was then integrated, with a time step of 90 s, for a period covering 1 April 1989 through 31 August 1989 using boundary conditions obtained from an objective analysis of gridded archive data. This integration was performed with and without grazing to assess the effects on regional atmospheric and biological processes. The grazing algorithm was employed to represent presettlement North American bison and was switched on and off for different simulations. The results indicated a cooling response in daily maximum temperatures to removal of grazing. The opposite trends were found for the minimum daily temperature. It was also found that grazing produced significant perturbations in the hydrological cycle.

Full access