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Yong Chen, Fuzhong Weng, Yong Han, and Quanhua Liu

Abstract

The line-by-line radiative transfer model (LBLRTM) is used to derive the channel transmittances. The channel transmittance from a level to the top of the atmosphere can be approximated by three methods: Planck-weighted transmittance 1 (PW1), Planck-weighted transmittance 2 (PW2), and non-Planck-weighted transmittance (ORD). The PW1 method accounts for a radiance variation across the instrument’s spectral response function (SRF) and the Planck function is calculated with atmospheric layer temperature, whereas the PW2 method accounts for the variation based on the temperatures at the interface between atmospheric layers. For channels with broad SRFs, the brightness temperatures (BTs) derived from the ORD are less accurate than these from either PW1 or PW2. Furthermore, the BTs from PW1 are more accurate than these from PW2, and the BT differences between PW1 and PW2 increase with atmospheric optical thickness.

When the band correction is larger than 1, the PW1 method should be used to account for the Planck radiance variation across the instrument’s SRF. When considering the solar contribution in daytime, the correction of the solar reflection has been made for near-infrared broadband channels (~3.7 μm) when using PW1 transmittance. The solar transmittance is predicted by using explanatory variables, such as PW1 transmittance, the secant of zenith angle, and the surface temperature. With this correction, the errors can be significantly reduced.

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Yong Chen, Yong Han, Paul van Delst, and Fuzhong Weng

Abstract

The nadir-viewing satellite radiances at shortwave infrared channels from 3.5 to 4.6 μm are not currently assimilated in operational numerical weather prediction data assimilation systems and are not adequately corrected for applications of temperature retrieval at daytime. For satellite observations over the ocean during the daytime, the radiance in the surface-sensitive shortwave infrared is strongly affected by the reflected solar radiance, which can contribute as much as 20.0 K to the measured brightness temperatures (BT). The nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) emission in the 4.3-μm CO2 band can add a further 10 K to the measured BT. In this study, a bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) is developed for the ocean surface and an NLTE radiance correction scheme is investigated for the hyperspectral sensors. Both effects are implemented in the Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM). The biases of CRTM simulations to Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) observations and the standard deviations of the biases are greatly improved during daytime (about a 1.5-K bias for NLTE channels and a 0.3-K bias for surface-sensitive shortwave channels) and are very close to the values obtained during the night. These improved capabilities in CRTM allow for effective uses of satellite data at short infrared wavelengths in data assimilation systems and in atmospheric soundings throughout the day and night.

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Shangfeng Chen, Renguang Wu, and Yong Liu

Abstract

This study investigates interannual variations of surface air temperature (SAT) over mid- and high latitudes of Eurasia during boreal spring and their association with snow, atmospheric circulation, and sea surface temperature (SST) changes. The leading mode of spring SAT variations is featured by same-sign anomalies over most regions. The second mode features a tripole anomaly pattern with anomalies over the central part opposite to those over the eastern and western parts of Eurasia. A diagnosis of surface heat flux anomalies suggests that snow change contributes partly to SAT anomalies in several regions mainly by modulating surface shortwave radiation but cannot explain SAT changes in other regions. Atmospheric circulation anomalies play an important role in spring SAT variability via wind-induced heat advection and cloud-induced surface radiation changes. Positive SAT anomalies are associated with anomalous westerly winds from the North Atlantic Ocean or with anomalous anticyclone and southerly winds. Negative SAT anomalies occur in regions of anomalous cyclone and northerly winds. Atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with the first mode have a close relationship to spring Arctic Oscillation (AO), indicating the impact of the AO on continental-scale spring SAT variations over the mid- and high latitudes of Eurasia. The atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with the second mode feature a wave pattern over the North Atlantic and Eurasia. Such a wave pattern is related to a tripole SST anomaly pattern in the North Atlantic Ocean, signifying the contribution of the North Atlantic Ocean state to the formation of a tripole SAT anomaly pattern over the mid- and high latitudes of Eurasia.

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Quanhua Liu, Xingming Liang, Yong Han, Paul van Delst, Yong Chen, Alexander Ignatov, and Fuzhong Weng

Abstract

The Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM) developed at the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) is used in conjunction with a daily sea surface temperature (SST) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) atmospheric data and surface wind to calculate clear-sky top-of-atmosphere (TOA) brightness temperatures (BTs) in three Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) thermal infrared channels over global oceans. CRTM calculations are routinely performed by the sea surface temperature team for four AVHRR instruments on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites NOAA-16, NOAA-17, and NOAA-18 and the Meteorological Operation (MetOp) satellite MetOp-A, and they are compared with clear-sky TOA BTs produced by the operational AVHRR Clear-Sky Processor for Oceans (ACSPO). It was observed that the model minus observation (M−O) bias in the NOAA-16 AVHRR channel 3b (Ch3b) centered at 3.7 μm experienced a discontinuity of ∼0.3 K when a new CRTM version 1.1 (v.1.1) was implemented in ACSPO processing in September 2008. No anomalies occurred in any other AVHRR channel or for any other platform. This study shows that this discontinuity is caused by the out-of-band response in NOAA-16 AVHRR Ch3b and by using a single layer to the NCEP GFS temperature profiles above 10 hPa for the alpha version of CRTM. The problem has been solved in CRTM v.1.1, which uses one of the six standard atmospheres to fill in the missing data above the top pressure level in the input NCEP GFS data. It is found that, because of the out-of-band response, the NOAA-16 AVHRR Ch3b has sensitivity to atmospheric temperature at high altitudes. This analysis also helped to resolve another anomaly in the absorption bands of the High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) sensor, whose radiances and Jacobians were affected to a much greater extent by this CRTM inconsistency.

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Yong Chen, Yong Han, Quanhua Liu, Paul Van Delst, and Fuzhong Weng

Abstract

To better use the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU) data for reanalysis and climate studies, issues associated with the fast radiative transfer (RT) model for SSU have recently been revisited and the results have been implemented into the Community Radiative Transfer Model version 2. This study revealed that the spectral resolution for the sensor’s spectral response functions (SRFs) calculations is very important, especially for channel 3. A low spectral resolution SRF results, on average, in 0.6-K brightness temperature (BT) errors for that channel. The variations of the SRFs due to the CO2 cell pressure variations have been taken into account. The atmospheric transmittance coefficients of the fast RT model for the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS)-N, NOAA-6, NOAA-7, NOAA-8, NOAA-9, NOAA-11, and NOAA-14 have been generated with CO2 and O3 as variable gases. It is shown that the BT difference between the fast RT model and line-by-line model is less than 0.1 K, but the fast RT model is at least two orders of magnitude faster. The SSU measurements agree well with the simulations that are based on the atmospheric profiles from the Earth Observing System Aura Microwave Limb Sounding product and the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry on the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics satellite. The impact of the CO2 cell pressures shift for SSU has been evaluated by using the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) International Reference Atmosphere (CIRA) model profiles. It is shown that the impacts can be on an order of 1 K, especially for SSU NOAA-7 channel 2. There are large brightness temperature gaps between observation and model simulation using the available cell pressures for NOAA-7 channel 2 after June 1983. Linear fittings of this channel’s cell pressures based on previous cell leaking behaviors have been studied, and results show that the new cell pressures are reasonable. The improved SSU fast model can be applied for reanalysis of the observations. It can also be used to address two important corrections in deriving trends from SSU measurements: CO2 cell leaking correction and atmospheric CO2 concentration correction.

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Yong Liu, Huopo Chen, Huijun Wang, and Yubao Qiu

ABSTRACT

The changing characteristics of lake ice phenology over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are investigated using historical satellite retrieved datasets during 2002–15 in this study. The results indicate that the freezing process mainly starts in December, and the ice melting process generally occurs in April for most lakes. However, the changes in lake ice phenology have varied depending on the location in recent years, with delayed break-up dates and prolonged ice durations in the southern TP, but no consistent changes have occurred in the lakes in the northern TP. Further analysis presents a close connection between the variation in the lake ice break-up date/ice duration over the southern TP and the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The positive NAO generally excites an anomalous wave activity that propagates southward from the North Atlantic to North Africa and, in turn, strengthens the African–Asian jet stream at its entrance. Because of the blocking effect of the TP, the enhanced westerly jet can be divided into two branches and the south branch flow can deepen the India–Myanmar trough, which further strengthens the anomalous cyclonic circulation and water vapor transport. Therefore, the increased water vapor transport from the northern Indian Ocean to the southern region of the TP can increase the snowfall over this region. The increased snow cover over the lake acts as an insulating layer and lowers the lake surface temperature in the following spring by means of snow–ice feedback activity, resulting in a delayed ice break-up date and the increased ice duration of the lakes over the southern TP in recent years.

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Ge Chen, Jun Ma, Chaoyang Fang, and Yong Han

Abstract

A detailed study on global oceanic precipitation is carried out using the simultaneous TOPEX and TMR (TOPEX Microwave Radiometer) data. It is motivated by the success of a series of feasibility studies based on a few years of TOPEX–TMR data, and the availability of a decade-long new dataset that spans 1992–2002. In this context, a previously proposed rain probability index is improved by taking into account the difference of the dynamic range of the TOPEX-measured backscatter coefficients at the Ku and C bands and the latitudinally complementary sensitivities of the TOPEX and TMR rain detections, leading to a refined joint precipitation index, which is generally consistent and quantitatively comparable with existing precipitation climatologies from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) and the Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (COADS). The new TOPEX–TMR precipitation climatology, on the one hand, confirms the fundamental features of global oceanic rainfall with additional details, and, on the other hand, reveals a number of interesting characteristics that are previously unknown or poorly defined. 1) The spatial variability of the western Pacific “rain pool” (the atmospheric counterpart of the oceanic warm pool) is characterized by an interannual zonal migration, an annual cycle of meridional seesaw, and a semiannual cycle of expansion and shrinking. 2) The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean intertropical convergence zones (ITCZs) all have an annual cycle of cross-basin oscillation with east and west stops in JJA and DJF, respectively. 3) A well-defined prominent rainy zone is observed in the southeast China Seas around Taiwan Island, connecting with the Pacific rain pool in the south. 4) Between El Niño and La Niña years, there is a systematic sign reversal of the geographical distribution of precipitation anomaly, which exists globally rather than in the tropical oceans only. 5) On a global basis, interannual and annual precipitation variabilities are of the same magnitude, but the interannual (annual) component is more important for the Southern (Northern) Hemisphere. 6) For the tropical oceans, “season” defined by rainfall usually has a one-quarter delay with respect to the corresponding meteorological season. For the “marine deserts” in the subtropical oceans, however, the rain-based season is found to be anticorrelated with the meteorological season. In addition, the annual cycle of the Atlantic precipitation is nearly 180° out of phase with respect to that of the Pacific and Indian Ocean for the same hemisphere.

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Zhanyu Yao, Wanbiao Li, Yuanjing Zhu, Bolin Zhao, and Yong Chen

Abstract

The Tibetan Plateau is a unique location for studying the global climate and China's severe weather. The precipitation on the Tibetan Plateau can be studied conveniently with the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI). It is shown that the TMI brightness temperature at 85 GHz in the vertical polarization (TB85V) is negatively correlated to the surface rain rate, but a very low value of TB85V does not correspond to very intense surface rain rates on the Tibetan Plateau, a result that is different from what is observed in other areas of the world. For surface precipitation retrieval on the Tibetan Plateau from TMI, the effect from snow cover on precipitation retrieval is removed before analysis of precipitation. Using the dynamic cluster K-mean method, five categories of surface types and rain areas are identified on the Tibetan Plateau: dry soil, wet soil, water area, stratiform rain area, and convective rain area. The precipitation areas are screened by classification before the precipitation retrieval. Two datasets of rain-free areas and precipitation areas are formed after surface classification. Based on the dataset of rain-free areas, the value of TB85V can be simulated well by TB10V, TB19V, and TB21V when it is not raining. By means of the dataset of precipitation areas, it is revealed that the scattering index over land (SIL) is positively correlated and the polarization-corrected brightness temperature at 85 GHz (PCT85) is negatively correlated with the surface rain rate. With SIL, PCT85, and their combinations as retrieval algorithms, three precipitation retrieval formulas are proposed in which the SIL algorithm is most suitable for small rain retrieval, the PCT85 algorithm is most suitable for moderate rain retrieval, and the combined SIL and PCT85 algorithm is most suitable for relatively large rain retrieval on the Tibetan Plateau. By means of two thresholds, 265 and 245 K, for TB85V, the combination of the three formulas is applied to precipitation retrieval on the Tibetan Plateau during the Tibetan Plateau Experiment Intensive Observing Period of 1998, resulting in acceptable and encouraging surface rain-rate retrievals. Intercomparison among the TMI algorithms and the 17 Special Sensor Microwave Imager algorithms from the second Precipitation Intercomparison Project demonstrates that the comprehensive application of the TMI algorithms has good precision and error index and is suitable for precipitation retrieval on the Tibetan Plateau.

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Lin Wang, Peiqiang Xu, Wen Chen, and Yong Liu

Abstract

Based on several reanalysis and observational datasets, this study suggests that the Silk Road pattern (SRP), a major teleconnection pattern stretching across Eurasia in the boreal summer, shows clear interdecadal variations that explain approximately 50% of its total variance. The interdecadal SRP features a strong barotropic wave train along the Asian subtropical jet, resembling its interannual counterpart. Additionally, it features a second weak wave train over the northern part of Eurasia, leading to larger meridional scale than its interannual counterpart. The interdecadal SRP contributes approximately 40% of the summer surface air temperature’s variance with little uncertainty and 10%–20% of the summer precipitation’s variance with greater uncertainty over large domains of Eurasia. The interdecadal SRP shows two regime shifts in 1972 and 1997. The latter shift explains over 40% of the observed rainfall reduction over northeastern Asia and over 40% of the observed warming over eastern Europe, western Asia, and northeastern Asia, highlighting its importance to the recent decadal climate variations over Eurasia. The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) does not show a significant linear relationship with the interdecadal SRP. However, the Monte Carlo bootstrapping resampling analysis suggests that the positive (negative) phases of the spring and summer AMO significantly facilitate the occurrence of negative (positive) phases of the interdecadal SRP, implying plausible prediction potentials for the interdecadal variations of the SRP. The reported results are insensitive to the long-term trends in datasets and thereby have little relevance to externally forced climate change.

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Lu Yi, Bin Yong, Junxu Chen, Ziyan Zheng, and Ling Li

Abstract

To assess the impact of four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation on the performance of a land–atmosphere coupled model, the satellite precipitation of the Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) was assimilated into the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) Model, and the WRF was coupled to the hydrological model TOPX. Precipitation and evaporation were both investigated as connecting elements in the coupled model WRF–TOPX. Differing in whether the 4D-Var data assimilation and evaporation were applied, one control experiment and four experiments were performed to simulate a historical flood event that happened in the Wangjiaba watershed in eastern China. The key hydrological variables of precipitation, potential evaporation, soil moisture, and discharge in the studied flood process were evaluated. The results showed that 1) the 4D-Var data assimilation with the IMERG could reduce both the overestimations of the WRF-predicted precipitation and potential evaporation; 2) the applied 4D-Var data assimilation could improve considerably the accuracy of the soil moisture and discharges from the coupled model WRF–TOPX; and 3) evaporation was also an important factor to influence the net precipitation to affect the performance of the coupled land–atmosphere model. With the two connecting elements of precipitation and evaporation, the 4D-Var assimilation based on IMERG could improve the Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient of the coupled model WRF–TOPX from 0.483 to 0.521 at the hourly scale. These investigations can provide important implications for the land–atmosphere coupling with both the precipitation and evaporation and using the 4D-Var data assimilation with IMERG for flood simulation at a large scale.

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