Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 24 items for

  • Author or Editor: X. Yang x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Yang Yang and X. San Liang

Abstract

The internal dynamical processes underlying the Kuroshio large meander are investigated using a recently developed analysis tool, multiscale window transform (MWT), and the MWT-based canonical transfer theory. Oceanic fields are reconstructed on a low-frequency mean flow window, a mesoscale eddy window, and a high-frequency synoptic window with reference to the three typical path states south of Japan, that is, the typical large meander (tLM), nearshore non-large meander (nNLM), and offshore non-large meander (oNLM) path states. The interactions between the scale windows are quantitatively evaluated in terms of canonical transfer, which bears a Lie bracket form and conserves energy in the space of scale. In general, baroclinic (barotropic) instability is strengthened (weakened) during the tLM state. For the first time we found a spatially coherent inverse cascade of kinetic energy (KE) from the synoptic eddies to the slowly varying mean flow; it occupies the whole large meander region but exists only in the tLM state. By the time-varying multiscale energetics, a typical large meander is preceded by a strong influx of mesoscale eddy energy from upstream with a cyclonic eddy, which subsequently triggers a strong inverse KE cascade from the mesoscale window to the mean flow window to build up the KE reservoir for the meander. Synoptic frontal eddies are episodically intensified due to the baroclinic instability of the meander, but they immediately feed back to the mean flow window through inverse KE cascade. These results highlight the important role played by inverse KE cascades in generating and maintaining the Kuroshio large meander.

Full access
Yang Yang and X. San Liang

Abstract

Using a recently developed tool, multiscale window transform (MWT), and the MWT-based canonical energy transfer theory, this study investigates the seasonal eddy variability in the Kuroshio Extension. Distinct seasonal cycles of eddy kinetic energy (EKE) are observed in the upstream and downstream regions of the Kuroshio Extension. In the upstream Kuroshio Extension, the EKE peaks in summer and reaches its minimum in winter over an annual cycle. By diagnosing the spatiotemporal structures of the canonical barotropic and baroclinic energy transfers, we found that internal processes due to mixed instabilities (i.e., both barotropic and baroclinic instabilities) are responsible for the seasonal eddy variability in this region. In the downstream Kuroshio Extension, the EKE exhibits a different annual cycle, peaking in spring and gradually decaying from summer to winter. Significant inverse barotropic energy transfer is found in this region throughout the year, leaving baroclinic instability the primary energy source for the regional seasonal eddy variability. Besides the internal redistribution, it is also evident that the external forcing may influence the Kuroshio Extension EKE seasonality—the EKE is found to be more damped by winds during winter than summer.

Full access
Yang Yang and X. San Liang

Abstract

Using a new analysis tool, namely, multiscale window transform (MWT), and the MWT-based theory of canonical transfer, this study investigates the spatiotemporal variations of the nonlinear interactions among the mean flows, interannual variabilities, quasi-annual fluctuations, and eddies in the global ocean. It is found that the canonical kinetic energy (KE) transfers are highly inhomogeneous in space, maximized in the western boundary current (WBC), Southern Ocean, and equatorial regions. In contrast to the equatorial and WBC regions where the temporal KE cascades are mainly forward, the Southern Ocean is the very place where coherent large-scale patterns of inverse KE cascade take place. The canonical transfers are also found to be highly variable in time. Specifically, in the Kuroshio Extension, the transfer from the mean flow to the interannual variability is in pace with the external winds from the eastern North Pacific; in the subtropical gyre, the mean flow-to-eddy transfer is responsible for the variability of the eddy kinetic energies (EKE) at both interannual and seasonal scales; in the tropics, the downscale transfers to the eddies from the other three scales all contribute to the interannual modulation of the EKE, and these transfers tend to decrease (increase) during El Niño (La Niña) events. In the Southern Ocean, the high-frequency eddies are found to feed KE to the low-frequency variability through temporal inverse cascade processes, which have been strengthened due to the enhanced eddy activities in the recent decade. Also discussed here is the relation between the seasonal EKE variability and the eddy–quasi-annual fluctuation interaction.

Full access
Yang Yang and X. San Liang

Abstract

Using a recently developed energetics diagnostic methodology, namely, the localized multiscale energy and vorticity analysis (MS-EVA), this study investigates the intricate nonlinear mutual interactions among the decadally modulating mean flow, the interannual fluctuations, and the transient eddies in the Kuroshio Extension region. It is found that the mean kinetic energy maximizes immediately east of the Izu–Ogasawara Ridge, while the transient eddy kinetic energy does not peak until 400 km away downstream. The interannual variabilities, which are dominated by a jet-trapped Rossby wave mode, provide an energy reservoir comparable to the other counterparts. In the upstream, strong localized barotropic and baroclinic transfers from the mean flow to the eddies are observed, whereas those from the interannual variabilities are not significant. Besides fueling the eddies, the unstable mean jet also releases energy to the interannual-scale processes. Between 144° and 154°E, both transfers from the mean flow and the interannual variabilities are important for the eddy development. Farther downstream, eddies are found to drive the mean flow on both the kinetic energy (KE) and available potential energy (APE) maps. They also provide KE to the interannual variabilities but obtain APE from the latter. The gained eddy APE is then converted to eddy KE through buoyancy conversion. Upscale energy transfers are observed in the northern and southern recirculation gyre (RG) regions. In these regions, the interannual–eddy interaction exhibits different scenarios: the eddies lose KE to the interannual processes in the northern RG region, while gaining KE in the southern RG region.

Full access
S. Yang and X. Zou

Abstract

Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC) radio occultation (RO) refractivity profiles in altostratus and nimbostratus clouds from 2007 to 2010 are first identified based on collocated CloudSat data. Vertical temperature profiles in these clouds are then retrieved from cloudy refractivity profiles. Contributions of cloud liquid water content and ice water content are also included in the retrieval algorithm. The temperature profiles and their lapse rates are compared with those from a standard GPS RO wet retrieval without including cloud effects. On average, the temperatures from cloudy retrieval are about 0.5–1.0 K warmer than the GPS RO wet retrieval, except for the altitudes near the nimbostratus base. The differences of temperature between the two methods are largest in summer and smallest in winter. The lapse rate in altostratus clouds is around 6.5°–7.5°C km−1 and does not vary greatly with height. On the contrary, the lapse rate increases significantly with height in nimbostratus clouds, from about 2.5°–3.5°C km−1 near the cloud base to about 5.0°–6.0°C km−1 at cloud center and 6.5°–7.5°C km−1 below the cloud top. Seasonal variability of lapse rate derived from the cloudy retrieval is larger than that derived from the wet retrieval. The lapse rate within clouds is smaller in summer and larger in winter. The mean lapse rate decreases with temperature in all seasons.

Full access
S. Yang, X. Zou, and P. S. Ray

Abstract

Tropical cyclone (TC) temperature and water vapor structures are essential atmospheric variables. In this study, global positioning system (GPS) radio occultation (RO) observations from the GPS RO mission named the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding on board both MetOp-A and MetOp-B satellites over the 9-yr period from 2007 to 2015 are used to generate a set of composite structures of temperature and water vapor fields within tropical depressions (TDs), tropical storms (TSs), and hurricanes (HUs) over the Atlantic Ocean and TDs, TSs, and typhoons (TYs) over the western Pacific Ocean. The composite TC structures are different over the two oceanic regions, reflecting different climatological environments. The warm cores for TCs over the western Pacific Ocean have higher altitudes and larger sizes than do those over the Atlantic Ocean for all storm categories. A radial variation of the warm-core temperature anomaly with descending altitude is seen, probably resulting from spiral cloud and rainband features. The large TC water vapor pressure anomalies, which are often more difficult to obtain than temperature anomalies, are located below the maximum warm-core temperature anomaly centers. Thus, the maximum values of the fractional water vapor pressure anomaly, defined as the anomaly divided by the environmental value, for TSs and HUs over the Atlantic Ocean (1.4% for TSs and 2.2% for HUs) are higher than those for TSs and TYs over the western Pacific Ocean (1.2% for TSs and 1.4% for TYs). These TC structures are obtained only after a quality control procedure is implemented, which consists of a range check that removes negative refractivity values and unrealistic temperature values, as well as a biweight check that removes data that deviate from the biweight mean by more than 3 times the biweight standard deviation. A limitation of the present study is an inability to resolve the TC inner-core structures because of a lack of sufficient RO profiles that collocate with TCs in their inner-core regions and the relatively coarse along-track resolutions of GPS RO data.

Full access
X. Zou, S. Yang, and P. S. Ray

Abstract

Mathematical solutions accounting for the effects of liquid and ice clouds on the propagation of the GPS radio signals are first derived. The percentage contribution of ice water content (IWC) to the total refractivity increases linearly with the amount of IWC at a rate of 0.6 (g m−3)−1. Measurements of coincident profiles of IWC from CloudSat in deep convection during 2007–10 are then used for estimating the ice-scattering effects on GPS radio occultation (RO) measurements from the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC). The percentage contribution of IWC to the total refractivity from CloudSat measurements is consistent with the theoretical model, reaching about 0.6% at 1 g m−3 IWC.

The GPS RO refractivity observations in deep convective clouds are found to be systematically greater than the refractivity calculated from the ECMWF analysis. The fractional N bias (GPS minus ECMWF) can be as high as 1.8% within deep convective clouds. Compared with ECMWF analysis, the GPS RO retrievals have a negative temperature bias and a positive water vapor bias, which is consistent with a positive bias in refractivity. The relative humidity calculated from GPS retrievals is usually as high as 80%–90% right above the 0°C temperature level in deep convection and is about 15%–30% higher than the ECMWF analysis. The majority of the data points in deep convection are located on the negative side of temperature differences and the positive side of relative humidity differences between GPS RO retrievals and ECMWF analysis.

Full access
Yang Yang, Robert H. Weisberg, Yonggang Liu, and X. San Liang

Abstract

A recently developed tool, the multiscale window transform, along with the theory of canonical energy transfer is used to investigate the roles of multiscale interactions and instabilities in the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current (LC) eddy shedding. A three-scale energetics framework is employed, in which the LC system is reconstructed onto a background flow window, a mesoscale eddy window, and a high-frequency eddy window. The canonical energy transfer between the background flow and the mesoscale windows plays an important role in LC eddy shedding. Barotropic instability contributes to the generation/intensification of the mesoscale eddies over the eastern continental slope of the Campeche Bank. Baroclinic instability favors the growth of the mesoscale eddies that propagate downstream to the northeastern portion of the well-extended LC, eventually causing the shedding by cutting through the neck of the LC. These upper-layer mesoscale eddies lose their kinetic energy back to the background LC through inverse cascade processes in the neck region. The deep eddies obtain energy primarily from the upper layer through vertical pressure work and secondarily from baroclinic instability in the deep layer. In contrast, the canonical energy transfer between the mesoscale and the high-frequency frontal eddy windows accounts for only a small fraction in the mesoscale eddy energy balance, and this generally acts as a damping mechanism for the mesoscale eddies. A budget analysis reveals that the mesoscale eddy energy gained through the instabilities is balanced by horizontal advection, pressure work, and dissipation.

Restricted access
Yang Yang, X. San Liang, Bo Qiu, and Shuiming Chen

Abstract

Previous studies have found that the decadal variability of eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in the upstream Kuroshio Extension is negatively correlated with the jet strength, which seems counterintuitive at first glance because linear stability analysis usually suggests that a stronger jet would favor baroclinic instability and thus lead to stronger eddy activities. Using a time-varying energetics diagnostic methodology, namely, the localized multiscale energy and vorticity analysis (MS-EVA), and the MS-EVA-based nonlinear instability theory, this study investigates the physical mechanism responsible for such variations with the state estimate from the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO), Phase II. For the first time, it is found that the decadal modulation of EKE is mainly controlled by the barotropic instability of the background flow. During the high-EKE state, violent meanderings efficiently induce strong barotropic energy transfer from mean kinetic energy (MKE) to EKE despite the rather weak jet strength. The reverse is true in the low-EKE state. Although the enhanced meander in the high-EKE state also transfers a significant portion of energy from mean available potential energy (MAPE) to eddy available potential energy (EAPE) through baroclinic instability, the EAPE is not efficiently converted to EKE as the two processes are not well correlated at low frequencies revealed in the time-varying energetics. The decadal modulation of barotropic instability is found to be in pace with the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation but with a time lag of approximately 2 years.

Full access
S. Zhang, Y.-S. Chang, X. Yang, and A. Rosati

Abstract

Given a biased coupled model and the atmospheric and oceanic observing system, maintaining a balanced and coherent climate estimation is of critical importance for producing accurate climate analysis and prediction initialization. However, because of limitations of the observing system (e.g., most of the oceanic measurements are only available for the upper ocean), directly evaluating climate estimation with real observations is difficult. With two coupled models that are biased with respect to each other, a biased twin experiment is designed to simulate the problem. To do that, the atmospheric and oceanic observations drawn from one model based on the modern climate observing system are assimilated into the other. The model that produces observations serves as the truth and the degree by which an assimilation recovers the truth steadily and coherently is an assessment of the impact of the data constraint scheme on climate estimation. Given the assimilation model bias of warmer atmosphere and colder ocean, where the atmospheric-only (oceanic only) data constraint produces an overcooling (overwarming) ocean through the atmosphere–ocean interaction, the constraints with both atmospheric and oceanic data create a balanced and coherent ocean estimate as the observational model. Moreover, the consistent atmosphere–ocean constraint produces the most accurate estimate for North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW), whereas NADW is too strong (weak) if the system is only constrained by atmospheric (oceanic) data. These twin experiment results provide insights that consistent data constraints of multiple components are very important when a coupled model is combined with the climate observing system for climate estimation and prediction initialization.

Full access