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    Cloud Classification and Distribution of Cloud Types in Beijing Using Ka Band Radar Data
    Juan HUO, Yongheng BI, Daren LÜ, Shu DUAN
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8272-1
    Abstract   ( 75 ) PDF (2518KB) (26)
    A cloud clustering and classification algorithm is developed for a ground-based Ka band radar system in the vertically pointing mode. Cloud profiles are grouped based on the combination of a time--height clustering method and the k-means clustering method. The cloud classification algorithm, developed using a fuzzy logic method, uses nine physical parameters to classify clouds into nine types: cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, altocumulus, altostratus, stratus, stratocumulus, nimbostratus, cumulus or cumulonimbus. The performance of the clustering and classification algorithm is presented by comparison with all-sky images taken from January to June 2014. Overall, 92% of the cloud profiles are clustered successfully and the agreement in classification between the radar system and the all-sky imager is 87%. The distribution of cloud types in Beijing from January 2014 to December 2017 is studied based on the clustering and classification algorithm. The statistics show that cirrostratus clouds have the highest occurrence frequency (24%) among the nine cloud types. High-level clouds have the maximum occurrence frequency and low-level clouds the minimum occurrence frequency.
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    CAS FGOALS-f3-L Model Datasets for CMIP6 Historical Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project Simulation
    Bian HE, Qing BAO, Xiaocong WANG, Linjiong ZHOU, Xiaofei WU, Yimin LIU, Guoxiong WU, Kangjun CHEN, Sicheng HE, Wenting HU, Jiandong LI, Jinxiao LI, Guokui NIAN, Lei WANG, Jing YANG, Minghua ZHANG, Xiaoqi ZHANG
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-9027-8
    Abstract   ( 15 ) PDF (3103KB) (4)
    The outputs of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Flexible Global Ocean–Atmosphere–Land System (FGOALS-f3-L) model for the baseline experiment of the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project simulation in the Diagnostic, Evaluation and Characterization of Klima common experiments of phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) are described in this paper. The CAS FGOALS-f3-L model, experiment settings, and outputs are all given. In total, there are three ensemble experiments over the period 1979--2014, which are performed with different initial states. The model outputs contain a total of 37 variables and include the required three-hourly mean, six-hourly transient, daily and monthly mean datasets. The baseline performances of the model are validated at different time scales. The preliminary evaluation suggests that the CAS FGOALS-f3-L model can capture the basic patterns of atmospheric circulation and precipitation well, including the propagation of the Madden--Julian Oscillation, activities of tropical cyclones, and the characterization of extreme precipitation. These datasets contribute to the benchmark of current model behaviors for the desired continuity of CMIP.
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    Evaluation of the Forecast Performance for North Atlantic Oscillation Onset
    Guokun DAI, Mu MU, Zhina JIANG
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8277-9
    Abstract   ( 21 ) PDF (2586KB) (2)
    By utilizing operational forecast products from TIGGE (The International Grand Global Ensemble) during 2006 to 2015, the forecasting performances of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), Japan Meteorology Agency (JMA) and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) for the onset of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) events are assessed against daily NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data. Twenty-two positive NAO (NAO+) and nine negative NAO (NAO−) events are identified during this time period. For these NAO events, control forecasts, one member of the ensemble that utilizes the currently most proper estimate of the analysis field and the best description of the model physics, are able to predict their onsets three to five days in advance. Moreover, the failure proportion for the prediction of NAO− onset is higher than that for NAO+ onset, which indicates that NAO− onset is harder to forecast. Among these four operational centers, ECMWF has performs best in predicting NAO onset, followed by NCEP, JMA, and then CMA.
    The forecasting performance of the ensemble mean is also investigated. It is found that, compared with the control forecast, the ensemble mean does not improve the forecasting skill with respect to the onset time of NAO events. Therefore, a confident forecast of NAO onset can only be achieved three to five days in advance.
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    An Adjoint-Free CNOP–4DVar Hybrid Method for Identifying Sensitive Areas in Targeted Observations: Method Formulation and Preliminary Evaluation
    Xiangjun TIAN, Xiaobing FENG
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-9001-5
    Abstract   ( 25 ) PDF (2254KB) (8)
    This paper proposes a hybrid method, called CNOP–4DVar, for the identification of sensitive areas in targeted observations, which takes the advantages of both the conditional nonlinear optimal perturbation (CNOP) and four-dimensional variational assimilation (4DVar) methods. The proposed CNOP–4DVar method is capable of capturing the most sensitive initial perturbation (IP), which causes the greatest perturbation growth at the time of verification; it can also identify sensitive areas by evaluating their assimilation effects for eliminating the most sensitive IP. To alleviate the dependence of the CNOP–4DVar method on the adjoint model, which is inherited from the adjoint-based approach, we utilized two adjoint-free methods, NLS-CNOP and NLS-4DVar, to solve the CNOP and 4DVar sub-problems, respectively. A comprehensive performance evaluation for the proposed CNOP–4DVar method and its comparison with the CNOP and CNOP–ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) methods based on 10 000 observing system simulation experiments on the shallow-water equation model are also provided. The experimental results show that the proposed CNOP–4DVar method performs better than the CNOP–ETKF method and substantially better than the CNOP method.
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    Climate and Vegetation Drivers of Terrestrial Carbon Fluxes: A Global Data Synthesis
    Shutao CHEN, Jianwen ZOU, Zhenghua HU, Yanyu LU
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8194-y
    Abstract   ( 96 ) PDF (2380KB) (30)
    The terrestrial carbon (C) cycle plays an important role in global climate change, but the vegetation and environmental drivers of C fluxes are poorly understood. We established a global dataset with 1194 available data across site-years including gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER), net ecosystem productivity (NEP), and relevant environmental factors to investigate the variability in GPP, ER and NEP, as well as their covariability with climate and vegetation drivers. The results indicated that both GPP and ER increased exponentially with the increase in mean annual temperature (MAT) for all biomes. Besides MAT, annual precipitation (AP) had a strong correlation with GPP (or ER) for non-wetland biomes. Maximum leaf area index (LAI) was an important factor determining C fluxes for all biomes. The variations in both GPP and ER were also associated with variations in vegetation characteristics. The model including MAT, AP and LAI explained 53% of the annual GPP variations and 48% of the annual ER variations across all biomes. The model based on MAT and LAI explained 91% of the annual GPP variations and 92.9% of the annual ER variations for the wetland sites. The effects of LAI on GPP, ER or NEP highlighted that canopy-level measurement is critical for accurately estimating ecosystem–atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide. The present study suggests a significance of the combined effects of climate and vegetation (e.g., LAI) drivers on C fluxes and shows that climate and LAI might influence C flux components differently in different climate regions.
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    A Review of Atmospheric Electricity Research in China from 2011 to 2018
    Xiushu QIE, Yijun ZHANG
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8195-x
    Abstract   ( 19 ) PDF (2407KB) (10)
    Atmospheric electricity research has been conducted actively in China, having profited from the development and application of high temporal and spatial resolution lightning detection and location technologies. This paper reviews the scientific advances made in the field of atmospheric electricity in China from 2011 to 2018, covering the following five aspects: (1) lightning detection and location techniques; (2) discharge processes and parameters associated with rocket-triggered lightning; (3) physical processes in natural lightning and attachment to the ground; (4) lightning activities and charge structure in different thunderstorms; and (5) effects of thunderstorms on the upper atmosphere. In addition, some outstanding questions for future research are outlined.
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    LASG Global AGCM with a Two-moment Cloud Microphysics Scheme: Energy Balance and Cloud Radiative Forcing Characteristics
    Lei WANG, Qing BAO, Wei-Chyung WANG, Yimin LIU, Guo-Xiong WU, Linjiong ZHOU, Jiandong LI, Hua GONG, Guokui NIAN, Jinxiao LI, Xiaocong WANG, Bian HE
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8196-9
    Abstract   ( 96 ) PDF (3189KB) (34)
    Cloud dominates influence factors of atmospheric radiation, while aerosol–cloud interactions are of vital importance in its spatiotemporal distribution. In this study, a two-moment (mass and number) cloud microphysics scheme, which significantly improved the treatment of the coupled processes of aerosols and clouds, was incorporated into version 1.1 of the IAP/LASG global Finite-volume Atmospheric Model (FAMIL1.1). For illustrative purposes, the characteristics of the energy balance and cloud radiative forcing (CRF) in an AMIP-type simulation with prescribed aerosols were compared with those in observational/reanalysis data. Even within the constraints of the prescribed aerosol mass, the model simulated global mean energy balance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and at the Earth’s surface, as well as their seasonal variation, are in good agreement with the observational data. The maximum deviation terms lie in the surface downwelling longwave radiation and surface latent heat flux, which are 3.5 W m−2 (1%) and 3 W m−2 (3.5%), individually. The spatial correlations of the annual TOA net radiation flux and the net CRF between simulation and observation were around 0.97 and 0.90, respectively. A major weakness is that FAMIL1.1 predicts more liquid water content and less ice water content over most oceans. Detailed comparisons are presented for a number of regions, with a focus on the Asian monsoon region (AMR). The results indicate that FAMIL1.1 well reproduces the summer–winter contrast for both the geographical distribution of the longwave CRF and shortwave CRF over the AMR. Finally, the model bias and possible solutions, as well as further works to develop FAMIL1.1 are discussed.
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    Harnessing Crowdsourced Data and Prevalent Technologies for Atmospheric Research
    Noam DAVID
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-9022-0
    Abstract   ( 234 ) PDF (1056KB) (103)
    The knowledge garnered in environmental science takes a crucial part in informing decision-making in various fields, including agriculture, transportation, energy, public health and safety, and more. Understanding the basic processes in each of these fields relies greatly on progress being made in conceptual, observational and technological approaches. However, existing instruments for environmental observations are often limited as a result of technical and practical constraints. Current technologies, including remote sensing systems and ground-level measuring means, may suffer from obstacles such as low spatial representativity or a lack of precision when measuring near ground-level. These constraints often limit the ability to carry out extensive meteorological observations and, as a result, the capacity to deepen the existing understanding of atmospheric phenomena and processes. Multi-system informatics and sensing technology have become increasingly distributed as they are embedded into our environment. As they become more widely deployed, these technologies create unprecedented data streams with extraordinary levels of coverage and immediacy, providing a growing opportunity to complement traditional observation techniques using the large volumes of data created. Commercial microwave links that comprise the data transfer infrastructure of cellular communication networks are an example of these types of systems. This viewpoint letter briefly reviews various works on the subject and presents aspects concerning the added value that may be obtained as a result of the integration of these new means, which are becoming available for the first time in this era, for studying and monitoring atmospheric phenomena.
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    Pathways of Influence of the Northern Hemisphere Mid-high Latitudes on East Asian Climate: A Review
    Jianping LI, Fei ZHENG, Cheng SUN, Juan FENG, Jing WANG
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8236-5
    Abstract   ( 687 ) PDF (9176KB) (375)
    This paper reviews recent progress made by Chinese scientists on the pathways of influence of the Northern Hemisphere mid–high latitudes on East Asian climate within the framework of a “coupled oceanic–atmospheric (land–atmospheric or sea-ice–atmospheric) bridge” and “chain coupled bridge”. Four major categories of pathways are concentrated upon, as follows: Pathway A—from North Atlantic to East Asia; Pathway B—from the North Pacific to East Asia; Pathway C—from the Arctic to East Asia; and Pathway D—the synergistic effects of the mid–high latitudes and tropics. In addition, definitions of the terms “combined effect”, “synergistic effect” and “antagonistic effect” of two or more factors of influence or processes and their criteria are introduced, so as to objectively investigate those effects in future research.
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    Charney’s model the renowned prototype of baroclinic instability is barotropically unstable as well
    Yuan-Bing ZHAO, X. San LIANG
    DOI: 10.1007/s00376-019-8189-8
    Abstract   ( 13 ) PDF (4126KB) (4)
    The Charney model is reexamined using a new mathematical tool, the multiscale window transform (MWT), and the MWT-based localized multiscale energetics analysis developed by Liang and Robinson to deal with realistic geophysical fluid flow processes. Traditionally, though this model has been taken as a prototype of baroclinic instability, it actually undergoes a mixed one. While baroclinic instability explains the bottom-trapped feature of the perturbation, the second extreme center in the perturbation field can only be explained by a new barotropic instability when the Charney--Green number γ«1, which takes place throughout the fluid column, and is maximized at a height where its baroclinic counterpart stops functioning. The giving way of the baroclinic instability to a barotropic one at this height corresponds well to the rectification of the tilting found on the maps of perturbation velocity and pressure. Also established in this study is the relative importance of barotropic instability to baroclinic instability in terms of γ. When γ»1, barotropic instability is negligible and hence the system can be viewed as purely baroclinic; when γ«1, however, barotropic and baroclinic instabilities are of the same order; in fact, barotropic instability can be even stronger. The implication of these results has been discussed in linking them to real atmospheric processes.
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