Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has significant effects on ecosystems, environments, and human health, as well as atmospheric processes and climate change. Two ultraviolet radiation datasets are described in this paper. One contains hourly observations of UV radiation measured at 40 Chinese Ecosystem Research Network stations from 2005 to 2015. CUV3 broadband radiometers were used to observe the UV radiation, with an accuracy of 5%, which meets the World Meteorology Organization's measurement standards. The extremum method was used to control the quality of the measured datasets. The other dataset contains daily cumulative UV radiation estimates that were calculated using an all-sky estimation model combined with a hybrid model. The reconstructed daily UV radiation data span from 1961 to 2014. The mean absolute bias error and root-mean-square error are smaller than 30% at most stations, and most of the mean bias error values are negative, which indicates underestimation of the UV radiation intensity. These datasets can improve our basic knowledge of the spatial and temporal variations in UV radiation. Additionally, these datasets can be used in studies of potential ozone formation and atmospheric oxidation, as well as simulations of ecological processes.
We investigate the interannual variability of the South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) circulation, which has experienced a significant interdecadal change since 2000. This change is primarily influenced by sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. During the pre-2000 period examined in this study (1979-99), the SASM is negatively correlated with eastern Pacific SSTs (the canonical ENSO mode) and positively correlated with the negative phase of the North Atlantic SST tripole (NAT). During the post-2000 period (2000-14), the SASM is negatively correlated with central Pacific SSTs and positively correlated with the positive phase of the NAT pattern. The associated Pacific SSTs change from the eastern to central region, leading to the rising (subsiding) branch of the Walker circulation moving westwards to the Maritime Continent in the latter period, which can impact the interannual variability of the SASM through modulating the wind field in the troposphere. In addition to Pacific SSTs, the NAT SSTs can propagate energy from the North Atlantic to the South Asian High (SAH) region through the wave activity flux, and then further impact the SASM via the SAH. Because the SASM is intimately related with precipitation over the Asian region, we briefly discuss the features of the precipitation patterns associated with the SASM during the two periods. The westward shifting Walker circulation leads to the shrinking and weakened anomalous westerlies of the SASM in the lower level, inducing the Maritime Continent rainfall location to move westwards and more moisture to arrive in southern China from the Pacific Ocean in the latter period.
The Afro-Asian summer monsoon is a zonally planetary-scale system, with a large-scale rainbelt covering Africa, South Asia and East Asia on interdecadal timescales both in the past century (1901-2014) and during the last three decades (1979-2014). A recent abrupt change of precipitation occurred in the late 1990s. Since then, the entire rainbelt of the Afro-Asia monsoon system has advanced northwards in a coordinated way. Consistent increases in precipitation over the Huanghe-Huaihe River valley and the Sahel are associated with the teleconnection pattern excited by the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). A teleconnection wave train, with alternating cyclones/anticyclones, is detected in the upper troposphere. Along the teleconnection path, the configuration of circulation anomalies in North Africa is characterized by coupling of the upper-level anticyclone (divergence) with low-level thermal low pressure (convergence), facilitating the initiation and development of ascending motions in the Sahel. Similarly, in East Asia, a coupled circulation pattern also excites ascending motion in the Huanghe-Huaihe River valley. The synchronous increase in precipitation over the Sahel and Huanghe-Huaihe River valley can be attributed to the co-occurrences and in-phase changes of ascending motion. On the other hand, the warm phase of the AMO results in significant warming in the upper troposphere in North Africa and the northern part of East Asia. Such warming contributes to intensification of the tropical easterly jet through increasing the meridional pressure gradient both at the entrance region (East Asia) and the exit region (Africa). Accordingly, precipitation over the Sahel and Huanghe-Huaihe River valley intensifies, owing to ageostrophic secondary cells. The results of this study provide evidence for a consistent and holistic interdecadal change in the Afro-Asian summer monsoon.
This study analyzes the variability of northern Eurasian snow cover (SC) in autumn and the impacts of atmospheric circulation changes. The region of large SC variability displays a southward shift from September to November, following the seasonal progression of the transition zones of surface air temperature (SAT). The dominant pattern of SC variability in September and October features a zonal distribution, and that in November displays an obvious west-east contrast. Surface air cooling and snowfall increase are two factors for larger SC. The relative contribution of SAT and snowfall changes to SC, however, varies with the region and depends upon the season. The downward longwave radiation and atmospheric heat advection play important roles in SAT changes. Anomalous convergence of water vapor flux contributes to enhanced snowfall. The changes in downward longwave radiation are associated with those in atmospheric water content and column thickness. Changes in snowfall and the transport of atmospheric moisture determine the atmospheric moisture content in September and October, and the snowfall appears to be a main factor for atmospheric moisture change in November. These results indicate that atmospheric circulation changes play an important role in snow variability over northern Eurasia in autumn. Overall, the coupling between autumn Eurasian snow and atmospheric circulation may not be driven by external forcing.
Using 32 CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) models, this study examines the veracity in the simulation of cloud amount and their radiative effects (CREs) in the historical run driven by observed external radiative forcing for 1850-2005, and their future changes in the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) 4.5 scenario runs for 2006-2100. Validation metrics for the historical run are designed to examine the accuracy in the representation of spatial patterns for climatological mean, and annual and interannual variations of clouds and CREs. The models show large spread in the simulation of cloud amounts, specifically in the low cloud amount. The observed relationship between cloud amount and the controlling large-scale environment are also reproduced diversely by various models. Based on the validation metrics, four models——ACCESS1.0, ACCESS1.3, HadGEM2-CC, and HadGEM2-ES——are selected as best models, and the average of the four models performs more skillfully than the multimodel ensemble average. All models project global-mean SST warming at the increase of the greenhouse gases, but the magnitude varies across the simulations between 1 and 2 K, which is largely attributable to the difference in the change of cloud amount and distribution. The models that simulate more SST warming show a greater increase in the net CRE due to reduced low cloud and increased incoming shortwave radiation, particularly over the regions of marine boundary layer in the subtropics. Selected best-performing models project a significant reduction in global-mean cloud amount of about -0.99% K-1 and net radiative warming of 0.46 W m-2 K-1, suggesting a role of positive feedback to global warming.