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J. B. Nee, C. N. Len, W. N. Chen, and C. I. Lin


The authors have detected a cirrus cloud near the tropopause by using a lidar system located at Chung-Li, Taiwan (25°N, 121°E). The cloud usually appeared between the month of May and September. In 1993–95, the cloud was observed almost 50% of the time that the lidar operated.

The cloud was detected in the heights between 15 and 17 km; the region of the atmosphere had a temperature ranging between −70° and −83°C. It was never detected above the tropopause. The cloud was characterized by its very thin structure. The geometrical and optical thicknesses are about 0.6 km and 0.008, respectively, which can be considered as a subvisual cloud. This paper reports more than 20 cloud events observed in the years between 1993 and 1995. Some properties of the clouds are listed and compared with other references.

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D. N. Williams, R. Ananthakrishnan, D. E. Bernholdt, S. Bharathi, D. Brown, M. Chen, A. L. Chervenak, L. Cinquini, R. Drach, I. T. Foster, P. Fox, D. Fraser, J. Garcia, S. Hankin, P. Jones, D. E. Middleton, J. Schwidder, R. Schweitzer, R. Schuler, A. Shoshani, F. Siebenlist, A. Sim, W. G. Strand, M. Su, and N. Wilhelmi

By leveraging current technologies to manage distributed climate data in a unified virtual environment, the Earth System Grid (ESG) project is promoting data sharing between international research centers and diverse users. In transforming these data into a collaborative community resource, ESG is changing the way global climate research is conducted.

Since ESG's production beginnings in 2004, its most notable accomplishment was to efficiently store and distribute climate simulation data of some 20 global coupled ocean-atmosphere models to the scores of scientific contributors to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the IPCC collective scientific achievement was recognized by the award of a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Other international climate stakeholders such as the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) and the developers of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and of the Climate Science Computational End Station (CCES) also have endorsed ESG technologies for disseminating data to their respective user communities. In coming years, the recently created Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technology (ESG-CET) will extend these methods to assist the international climate community in its efforts to better understand the global climate system.

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R. A Anthes, P. A Bernhardt, Y. Chen, L. Cucurull, K. F. Dymond, D. Ector, S. B. Healy, S.-P. Ho, D. C Hunt, Y.-H. Kuo, H. Liu, K. Manning, C. McCormick, T. K. Meehan, W J. Randel, C. Rocken, W S. Schreiner, S. V. Sokolovskiy, S. Syndergaard, D. C. Thompson, K. E. Trenberth, T.-K. Wee, N. L. Yen, and Z Zeng

The radio occultation (RO) technique, which makes use of radio signals transmitted by the global positioning system (GPS) satellites, has emerged as a powerful and relatively inexpensive approach for sounding the global atmosphere with high precision, accuracy, and vertical resolution in all weather and over both land and ocean. On 15 April 2006, the joint Taiwan-U.S. Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC)/Formosa Satellite Mission 3 (COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3, hereafter COSMIC) mission, a constellation of six microsatellites, was launched into a 512-km orbit. After launch the satellites were gradually deployed to their final orbits at 800 km, a process that took about 17 months. During the early weeks of the deployment, the satellites were spaced closely, offering a unique opportunity to verify the high precision of RO measurements. As of September 2007, COSMIC is providing about 2000 RO soundings per day to support the research and operational communities. COSMIC RO data are of better quality than those from the previous missions and penetrate much farther down into the troposphere; 70%–90% of the soundings reach to within 1 km of the surface on a global basis. The data are having a positive impact on operational global weather forecast models.

With the ability to penetrate deep into the lower troposphere using an advanced open-loop tracking technique, the COSMIC RO instruments can observe the structure of the tropical atmospheric boundary layer. The value of RO for climate monitoring and research is demonstrated by the precise and consistent observations between different instruments, platforms, and missions. COSMIC observations are capable of intercalibrating microwave measurements from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) on different satellites. Finally, unique and useful observations of the ionosphere are being obtained using the RO receiver and two other instruments on the COSMIC satellites, the tiny ionosphere photometer (TIP) and the tri-band beacon.

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J. Ching, G. Mills, B. Bechtel, L. See, J. Feddema, X. Wang, C. Ren, O. Brousse, A. Martilli, M. Neophytou, P. Mouzourides, I. Stewart, A. Hanna, E. Ng, M. Foley, P. Alexander, D. Aliaga, D. Niyogi, A. Shreevastava, P. Bhalachandran, V. Masson, J. Hidalgo, J. Fung, M. Andrade, A. Baklanov, W. Dai, G. Milcinski, M. Demuzere, N. Brunsell, M. Pesaresi, S. Miao, Q. Mu, F. Chen, and N. Theeuwes


The World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) is an international community-based initiative to acquire and disseminate climate relevant data on the physical geographies of cities for modeling and analysis purposes. The current lacuna of globally consistent information on cities is a major impediment to urban climate science toward informing and developing climate mitigation and adaptation strategies at urban scales. WUDAPT consists of a database and a portal system; its database is structured into a hierarchy representing different levels of detail, and the data are acquired using innovative protocols that utilize crowdsourcing approaches, Geowiki tools, freely accessible data, and building typology archetypes. The base level of information (L0) consists of local climate zone (LCZ) maps of cities; each LCZ category is associated with a range of values for model-relevant surface descriptors (roughness, impervious surface cover, roof area, building heights, etc.). Levels 1 (L1) and 2 (L2) will provide specific intra-urban values for other relevant descriptors at greater precision, such as data morphological forms, material composition data, and energy usage. This article describes the status of the WUDAPT project and demonstrates its potential value using observations and models. As a community-based project, other researchers are encouraged to participate to help create a global urban database of value to urban climate scientists.

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C. P. Weaver, X.-Z. Liang, J. Zhu, P. J. Adams, P. Amar, J. Avise, M. Caughey, J. Chen, R. C. Cohen, E. Cooter, J. P. Dawson, R. Gilliam, A. Gilliland, A. H. Goldstein, A. Grambsch, D. Grano, A. Guenther, W. I. Gustafson, R. A. Harley, S. He, B. Hemming, C. Hogrefe, H.-C. Huang, S. W. Hunt, D.J. Jacob, P. L. Kinney, K. Kunkel, J.-F. Lamarque, B. Lamb, N. K. Larkin, L. R. Leung, K.-J. Liao, J.-T. Lin, B. H. Lynn, K. Manomaiphiboon, C. Mass, D. McKenzie, L. J. Mickley, S. M. O'neill, C. Nolte, S. N. Pandis, P. N. Racherla, C. Rosenzweig, A. G. Russell, E. Salathé, A. L. Steiner, E. Tagaris, Z. Tao, S. Tonse, C. Wiedinmyer, A. Williams, D. A. Winner, J.-H. Woo, S. WU, and D. J. Wuebbles

This paper provides a synthesis of results that have emerged from recent modeling studies of the potential sensitivity of U.S. regional ozone (O3) concentrations to global climate change (ca. 2050). This research has been carried out under the auspices of an ongoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment effort to increase scientific understanding of the multiple complex interactions among climate, emissions, atmospheric chemistry, and air quality. The ultimate goal is to enhance the ability of air quality managers to consider global change in their decisions through improved characterization of the potential effects of global change on air quality, including O3 The results discussed here are interim, representing the first phase of the EPA assessment. The aim in this first phase was to consider the effects of climate change alone on air quality, without accompanying changes in anthropogenic emissions of precursor pollutants. Across all of the modeling experiments carried out by the different groups, simulated global climate change causes increases of a few to several parts per billion (ppb) in summertime mean maximum daily 8-h average O3 concentrations over substantial regions of the country. The different modeling experiments in general do not, however, simulate the same regional patterns of change. These differences seem to result largely from variations in the simulated patterns of changes in key meteorological drivers, such as temperature and surface insolation. How isoprene nitrate chemistry is represented in the different modeling systems is an additional critical factor in the simulated O3 response to climate change.

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