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Zhao-Xin Li

Abstract

The climate interannual variability is examined using the general circulation model (GCM) developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique. The model is forced by the observed sea surface temperature for the period 1979–94. An ensemble of eight simulations is realized with different initial conditions. The variability of the Southern Oscillation is studied. The simulated sea level pressure anomalies at both Tahiti and Darwin are realistic compared to observations. It is revealed, however, that the simulated convection activity response to the warm episode of El Niño is too weak over the eastern part of the tropical Pacific. This explains why the simulated Pacific–North American pattern is shifted westward. A global El Niño pattern index is defined and calculated for both the simulation and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data. This serves as a quantitative measure of El Niño’s global impact. A singular value decomposition analysis performed with the tropical Pacific sea surface temperature and the Northern Hemisphere 500-hPa geopotential height shows that the model’s teleconnection between the Tropics and high latitudes is similar to that of the NCEP reanalysis data.

In an exploratory manner, the model’s internal variability versus the external forced variability is studied. It is shown that, except for the equatorial strip, the internal model variability is larger than the external variability. An ensemble mean is thus necessary in order to focus on the model’s response to external sea surface temperature anomalies. An attempt is also made to evaluate statistically the influence of the ensemble’s size on the model’s reproducibility. It is shown that, with this particular GCM, at least five realizations are necessary to correctly assess the teleconnection between the Tropics and the Northern Hemisphere extratropics. This dependency on the number of realizations is less for the tropical circulation.

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Yulong Bai and Xin Li

Abstract

The methods of parameterizing model errors have a substantial effect on the accuracy of ensemble data assimilation. After a review of the current error-handling methods, a new blending error parameterization method was designed to combine the advantages of multiplicative inflation and additive inflation. Motivated by evolutionary algorithm concepts that have been developed in the control engineering field for years, the authors propose a new data assimilation method coupled with crossover principles of genetic algorithms based on ensemble transform Kalman filters (ETKFs). The numerical experiments were developed based on the classic nonlinear model (i.e., the Lorenz model). Convex crossover, affine crossover, direction-based crossover, and blending crossover data assimilation systems were consequently designed. When focusing on convex crossover and affine crossover data assimilation problems, the error adjustment factors were investigated with respect to four aspects, which were the initial conditions of the Lorenz model, the number of ensembles, observation covariance, and the observation interval. A new data assimilation system, coupled with genetic algorithms, is proposed to solve the difficult problem of the error adjustment factor search, which is usually performed using trial-and-error methods. The results show that all of the methods can adaptively obtain the best error factors within the constraints of the fitness function.

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Xin Li, Xiaolei Zou, and Mingjian Zeng

Abstract

Bias correction (BC) is a crucial step for satellite radiance data assimilation (DA). In this study, the traditional airmass BC scheme in the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) is investigated for Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) DA. The ability of the airmass predictors to model CrIS biases is diagnosed. Correlations between CrIS observation-minus-background (OB) samples and the two lapse rate–related airmass predictors employed by GSI are found to be very weak, indicating that the bias correction contributed by the airmass BC scheme is small. A modified BC scheme, which directly calculates the moving average of OB departures from data of the previous 2 weeks with respect to scan position and latitudinal band, is proposed and tested. The impact of the modified BC scheme on CrIS radiance DA is compared with the variational airmass BC scheme. Results from 1-month analysis/forecast experiments show that the modified BC scheme removes nearly all scan-dependent and latitude-dependent biases, while residual biases are still found in some channels when the airmass BC scheme is applied. Smaller predicted root-mean-square errors of temperature and specific humidity and higher equivalent threat scores are obtained by the DA experiment using the modified BC scheme. If OB samples are replaced by observation-minus-analysis (OA) samples for bias estimates in the modified BC scheme, the forecast impacts are reduced but remain positive. A convective precipitation case that occurred on 21 August 2016 is investigated. Using the modified BC scheme, the atmospheric temperature structure and the geopotential height structures near trough/ridge areas are better resolved, resulting in better precipitation forecasts.

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Xin Li, Chongyin Li, Jian Ling, and Yanke Tan

Abstract

This study introduces a new methodology for identifying El Niño and La Niña events. Sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly patterns for El Niño and La Niña onset, peak, and end phases are classified by self-organizing maps (SOM) analysis. Both onset and end phases for El Niño and La Niña exhibit eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) types. The SST anomaly patterns in peak phase can be classified into EP, EP-like, and CP types for El Niño, and EP, mixed (MIX), and CP types for La Niña.

The general type of each El Niño or La Niña event is then defined according to the SST type for each of the three phases. There is no robust connection between the general types of the contiguous El Niño and La Niña except that the MIX La Niña rarely induces a subsequent CP El Niño. However, there are strong relationships between the end-phase type of El Niño and the onset-phase type of the subsequent La Niña. The EP-end-type El Niño favors transition to the CP-onset-type La Niña, while the CP-end-type El Niño favors transition to the EP-onset-type La Niña. On the other hand, the CP-end-type La Niña favors transition to EP-onset-type El Niño. Furthermore, an El Niño that occurs after the decay of La Niña favors initiating as an EP-onset type. These relationships are driven by different atmosphere–ocean dynamics, such as coupled air–sea feedback, thermocline feedback, slow SST mode, and Bjerknes feedbacks.

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Gang Li, Chongyin Li, Yanke Tan, and Xin Wang

Abstract

The present study investigates the relationships between the December–February (DJF) South Pacific tripole (SPT) sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) pattern and the following March–May (MAM) rainfall over eastern China based on multiple datasets. It is found that the relationships between the DJF SPT and the following MAM rainfall over eastern China are modulated by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). When the ENSO signal is removed, the positive DJF SPT is significantly associated with more rainfall over eastern China during the following boreal spring. However, such significant relationships disappear if ENSO is considered. After removing ENSO impacts, the possible mechanisms through which the DJF SPT impacts the following MAM rainfall over eastern China are investigated. The positive DJF SPT is associated with the significantly positive SSTA in the tropical western Pacific, which can persist to the following MAM. In response to the positive SSTA in the tropical western Pacific, a wave-like train in the low-level troposphere extends from the tropical western Pacific (an anomalous cyclone) to the western North Pacific (an anomalous anticyclone) during the following MAM. The anomalous anticyclone over the western North Pacific enhances the anomalous southwesterly over eastern China, which can bring more moisture and favor anomalous increased rainfall. It should be pointed out that La Niña (El Niño) could induce an anomalous cyclone (anticyclone) over the western North Pacific, which offsets the MAM anomalous anticyclone (cyclone) caused by the positive (negative) SPT in the preceding DJF and thus weakens the relationship between the SPT and the rainfall over eastern China.

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Jie Song, Wen Zhou, Xin Wang, and Chongyin Li

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This study investigates linkages between the zonal asymmetry of the annular mode (AM) zonal pattern and the subtropical jet (STJ) over its downstream regions of the storm track by using an idealized model. Observational analyses show that the AM zonal patterns are more zonally asymmetric during days when the STJ downstream of the storm track is unusually strong, and vice versa. In the idealized model, the STJ downstream of the storm track is varied by introducing an additional zonally localized tropical heating. The model’s AM variability exhibits a nearly zonally uniform structure when there is no or only weak tropical heating. However, the signatures of the AM are locally strengthened in the heating sector; thus, the AM zonal pattern is zonally asymmetric when the tropical heating is large enough to create a strong STJ. The model results also show that the percentage of the variance explained by the AM, the persistence of the AM index, and the intensity of eddy feedback are also increased when the tropical heating becomes stronger. It is argued herein that the zonal asymmetry of the AM pattern is caused by the zonal asymmetry of the anomalous synoptic eddy forcing projecting on the AM, which is primarily due to the zonal asymmetry of the variations of the storm track between the nonheating and heating sectors.

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Mengmeng Li, Zhichun Mao, Yu Song, Mingxu Liu, and Xin Huang

Abstract

Significant urbanization has occurred in the Yangtze River Delta region of eastern China, which exerts important effects on the local thermally induced circulations through regulating the heat flux and thermal structure. Previous studies lack a correct representation of the seasonal vegetation phenology associated with urban expansion, and therefore it is difficult to accurately describe the land–atmosphere coupling. In this study, high-resolution Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations are used to describe the changes in land surface characteristics, including land-cover type, green vegetation fraction, and leaf area index with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. The use of MODIS satellite observations provides a clear improvement in model performance when compared with ground-based measurements. A typical urban heat island is generated around Shanghai, Wuxi–Suzhou–Yangzhou, and cities along the Yangtze River and Hangzhou Bay, which subsequently modifies the local thermal circulations. The sea breeze is significantly enhanced over the north bank of Hangzhou Bay because of the increased land–sea temperature contrast. Several surface convergent zones are generated along the Shanghai–Suzhou–Wuxi city belt as a result of the combined effects of the urban heat island, the enhanced sea breeze, and the lake breeze at Lake Tai.

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Hervé Le Treut, Michèle Forichon, Olivier Boucher, and Zhao-Xin Li

Abstract

The climate sensitivity to various forcings, and in particular to changes in CO2 and sulfate aerosol concentrations, imposed separately or in a combined manner, is studied with an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to a simple slab oceanic model. The atmospheric model includes a rather detailed treatment of warm cloud microphysics and takes the aerosol indirect effects into account explicitly, although in a simplified manner. The structure of the model response appears to be organized at a global scale, with a partial independence from the geographical structure of the forcing. Atmospheric and surface feedbacks are likely to explain this feature. In particular the cloud feedbacks play a very similar role in the CO2 and aerosol experiments, but with opposite sign. These results strengthen the idea, already apparent from other studies, that, in spite of their different nature and their different geographical and vertical distributions, aerosol may have substantially counteracted the climate effect of greenhouse gases, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, during the twentieth century. When the effects of the two forcings are added, the model response is not symmetric between the two hemispheres. This feature is also consistent with the findings of other modeling groups and has implications for the detection of future climate changes.

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Jianping Duan, Qi-bin Zhang, and Li-Xin Lv

Abstract

The recent increase in the frequency of winter cold extremes has received particular attention in light of the climate's warming. Knowledge about changes in the frequency of winter cold extremes requires long-term climate data over large spatial scale. In this study, a temperature-sensitive tree-ring network consisting of 31 sampling sites collected from seven provinces in subtropical China was used to investigate the characteristics of cold-season temperature extremes during the past two centuries. The results show that the percentage of trees in a year that experienced an abnormal decrease in radial growth relative to the previous year can serve as an indicator of interannual change in January–March temperature in subtropical China. The frequency of extreme interannual decreases in cold-season temperature has increased since the 1930s. The change in cold-season temperature was significantly correlated with the intensity of the Siberian high, yet the correlation was much weaker in the period preceding the 1930s. The findings provide evidence of a frequency change in the occurrence of interannual cold-season temperature extremes in the past two centuries for subtropical China. Particularly, the pattern in the variation of cold-season temperature suggests a change in climate systems around the 1930s.

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Ruibo Lei, Zhijun Li, Yanfeng Cheng, Xin Wang, and Yao Chen

Abstract

High-precision ice thickness observations are required to gain a better understanding of ocean–ice–atmosphere interactions and to validate numerical sea ice models. A new apparatus for monitoring sea ice and snow thickness has been developed, based on the magnetostrictive-delay-line (MDL) principle for positioning sensors. This system is suited for monitoring fixed measurement sites on undeformed ice. The apparatus presented herein has been tested on landfast ice near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, for about 6 months during the austral autumn and winter of 2006; valid data records from the deployment are available for more than 90% of the deployment’s duration. The apparatus’s precision has been estimated to be ±0.002 m for the deployment. Therefore, it is possible that this apparatus may become a standard for sea ice/snow thickness monitoring.

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