2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean according to an updated ocean analysis from Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Science. The oceans in the upper 2000 m were 1.51 × 1022 J warmer than the second warmest year of 2015 and 19.19 × 1022 J above the 1981–2010 climatological reference period.
The Atmosphere Profiling Synthetic Observation System (APSOS) is the first ground-based facility for profiling atmospheric variables and multiple constituents in the whole (neutral) atmosphere from the surface up to the lower thermosphere. It enables simultaneous observations and extensive studies of the atmospheric vertical structure and constituent transport.
The program under which this new facility was developed, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, was launched in 2012 for developing a cluster of state-of-the-art instruments to facilitate atmospheric studies over the Tibetan Plateau (TP). After a one-year test run in Anhui Province at the Huainan Division of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) (32.62°N, 116.98°E), APSOS was recently deployed at its final destination——Yangbajain (YBJ) International Cosmic Ray Observatory (30.21°N, 90.43°E; 4300 m MSL), located in YBJ valley, about 90 km northwest of the city of Lhasa, the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. Figure 1 shows an aerial view of the newly established observatory for APSOS in YBJ.
The ECMWF has been assimilating Feng-Yun-3B (FY-3B) satellite microwave humidity sounder (MWHS) data over ocean in an operational forecasting system since 24 September 2014. It is more difficult, however, to assimilate microwave observations over land and sea ice than over the open ocean due to higher uncertainties in land surface temperature, surface emissivity and less effective cloud screening. We compare approaches in which the emissivity is retrieved dynamically from MWHS channel 1 [150 GHz (vertical polarization)] with the use of an evolving emissivity atlas from 89 GHz observations from the MWHS onboard NOAA and EUMETSAT satellites. The assimilation of the additional data over land improves the fit of short-range forecasts to other observations, notably ATMS (Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder) humidity channels, and the forecast impacts are mainly neutral to slightly positive over the first five days. The forecast impacts are better in boreal summer and the Southern Hemisphere. These results suggest that the techniques tested allow for effective assimilation of MWHS/FY-3B data over land.
The 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in Pyeongchang, Korea, during February and March. We examined the near surface winds and wind gusts along the sloping surface at two outdoor venues in Pyeongchang during February and March using surface wind data. The outdoor venues are located in a complex, mountainous terrain, and hence the near-surface winds form intricate patterns due to the interplay between large-scale and locally forced winds. During February and March, the dominant wind at the ridge level is westerly; however, a significant wind direction change is observed along the sloping surface at the venues. The winds on the sloping surface are also influenced by thermal forcing, showing increased upslope flow during daytime. When neutral air flows over the hill, the windward and leeward flows show a significantly different behavior. A higher correlation of the wind speed between upper- and lower-level stations is shown in the windward region compared with the leeward region. The strong synoptic wind, small width of the ridge, and steep leeward ridge slope angle provide favorable conditions for flow separation at the leeward foot of the ridge. The gust factor increases with decreasing surface elevation and is larger during daytime than nighttime. A significantly large gust factor is also observed in the leeward region.
A new scheme for the estimation of daily global solar radiation over sloped topography in China is developed based on the Iqbal model C and MODIS cloud fraction. The effects of topography are determined using a digital elevation model. The scheme is tested using observations of solar radiation at 98 stations in China, and the results show that the mean absolute bias error is 1.51 MJ m-2 d-1 and the mean relative absolute bias error is 10.57%. Based on calculations using this scheme, the distribution of daily global solar radiation over slopes in China on four days in the middle of each season (15 January, 15 April, 15 July and 15 October 2003) at a spatial resolution of 1 km × 1 km are analyzed. To investigate the effects of topography on global solar radiation, the results determined in four mountains areas (Tianshan, Kunlun Mountains, Qinling, and Nanling) are discussed, and the typical characteristics of solar radiation over sloped surfaces revealed. In general, the new scheme can produce reasonable characteristics of solar radiation distribution at a high spatial resolution in mountain areas, which will be useful in analyses of mountain climate and planning for agricultural production.
A modified hydrometeor classification algorithm (HCA) is developed in this study for Chinese polarimetric radars. This algorithm is based on the U.S. operational HCA. Meanwhile, the methodology of statistics-based optimization is proposed including calibration checking, datasets selection, membership functions modification, computation thresholds modification, and effect verification. Zhuhai radar, the first operational polarimetric radar in South China, applies these procedures. The systematic bias of calibration is corrected, the reliability of radar measurements deteriorates when the signal-to-noise ratio is low, and correlation coefficient within the melting layer is usually lower than that of the U.S. WSR-88D radar. Through modification based on statistical analysis of polarimetric variables, the localized HCA especially for Zhuhai is obtained, and it performs well over a one-month test through comparison with sounding and surface observations. The algorithm is then utilized for analysis of a squall line process on 11 May 2014 and is found to provide reasonable details with respect to horizontal and vertical structures, and the HCA results——especially in the mixed rain-hail region——can reflect the life cycle of the squall line. In addition, the kinematic and microphysical processes of cloud evolution and the differences between radar-detected hail and surface observations are also analyzed. The results of this study provide evidence for the improvement of this HCA developed specifically for China.
This study investigates the variations in the tropical ascending branches (TABs) of Hadley circulations (HCs) during past decades, using a variety of reanalysis datasets. The northern tropical ascending branch (NTAB) and the southern tropical ascending branch (STAB), which are defined as the ascending branches of the Northern Hemisphere HC and Southern Hemisphere HC, respectively, are identified and analyzed regarding their trends and variability. The reanalysis datasets consistently show a persistent increase in STAB during past decades, whereas they show less consistency in NTAB regarding its decadal- to multidecadal variability, which generally features a decreasing trend. These asymmetric trends in STAB and NTAB are attributed to asymmetric trends in the tropical SSTs. The relationship between STAB/NTAB and tropical SSTs is further examined regarding their interannual and decadal- to multidecadal variability. On the interannual time scale, the STAB and NTAB are essentially modulated by the eastern-Pacific type of ENSO, with a strengthened (weakened) STAB (NTAB) under an El Niño condition. On the decadal- to multidecadal time scale, the variability of STAB and NTAB is closely related to the southern tropical SSTs and the meridional asymmetry of global tropical SSTs, respectively. The tropical eastern Pacific SSTs (southern tropical SSTs) dominate the tropical SST-NTAB/STAB relationship on the interannual (decadal- to multidecadal) scale, whereas the NTAB is a passive factor in this relationship. Moreover, a cross-hemispheric relationship between the NTAB/STAB and the HC upper-level meridional winds is revealed.
The ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is a distinguished data assimilation method that is widely used and studied in various fields including methodology and oceanography. However, due to the limited sample size or imprecise dynamics model, it is usually easy for the forecast error variance to be underestimated, which further leads to the phenomenon of filter divergence. Additionally, the assimilation results of the initial stage are poor if the initial condition settings differ greatly from the true initial state. To address these problems, the variance inflation procedure is usually adopted. In this paper, we propose a new method based on the constraints of a confidence region constructed by the observations, called EnCR, to estimate the inflation parameter of the forecast error variance of the EnKF method. In the new method, the state estimate is more robust to both the inaccurate forecast models and initial condition settings. The new method is compared with other adaptive data assimilation methods in the Lorenz-63 and Lorenz-96 models under various model parameter settings. The simulation results show that the new method performs better than the competing methods.
The spaceborne precipitation radar onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM PR) can provide good measurement of the vertical structure of reflectivity, while ground radar (GR) has a relatively high horizontal resolution and greater sensitivity. Fusion of TRMM PR and GR reflectivity data may maximize the advantages from both instruments. In this paper, TRMM PR and GR reflectivity data are fused using a neural network (NN)-based approach. The main steps included are: quality control of TRMM PR and GR reflectivity data; spatiotemporal matchup; GR calibration bias correction; conversion of TRMM PR data from Ku to S band; fusion of TRMM PR and GR reflectivity data with an NN method; interpolation of reflectivity data that are below PR's sensitivity; blind areas compensation with a distance weighting-based merging approach; combination of three types of data: data with the NN method, data below PR's sensitivity and data within compensated blind areas. During the NN fusion step, the TRMM PR data are taken as targets of the training NNs, and gridded GR data after horizontal downsampling at different heights are used as the input. The trained NNs are then used to obtain 3D high-resolution reflectivity from the original GR gridded data. After 3D fusion of the TRMM PR and GR reflectivity data, a more complete and finer-scale 3D radar reflectivity dataset incorporating characteristics from both the TRMM PR and GR observations can be obtained. The fused reflectivity data are evaluated based on a convective precipitation event through comparison with the high resolution TRMM PR and GR data with an interpolation algorithm.
The anomalous behavior of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) in El Niño developing summer is studied based on the composite results of eight major El Niño events during 1979-2013. It is shown that the WPSH tends to retreat eastwards with weak intensity during the developing summer. The anomaly exhibits an intraseasonal variation with a weaker anomaly in June and July and a stronger anomaly in August, indicating that different underlying physical mechanisms may be responsible for the anomalous WPSH during early and late summer periods. In June and July, owing to the cold advection anomaly characterized as a weak northerly anomaly from high latitudes, geopotential height in East Asia is reduced and the WPSH tends to retreat eastwards slightly. By contrast, enhanced convection over the warm pool in August makes the atmosphere more sensitive to El Niño forcing. Consequently, a cyclonic anomaly in the western Pacific is induced, which is consistent with the seasonal march of atmospheric circulation from July to August. Accordingly, geopotential height in the western Pacific is reduced significantly, and the WPSH tends to retreat eastwards remarkably in August. Different from the developing summer, geopotential height in the decaying summer over East Asia and the western Pacific tends to enhance and extend northwards from June to August consistently, reaching the maximum anomaly in August. Therefore, the seasonal march plays an important role in the WPSH anomaly for both the developing and decaying summer.