The application of satellite radiance assimilation can improve the simulation of precipitation by numerical weather prediction models. However, substantial quantities of satellite data, especially those derived from low-level (surface-sensitive) channels, are rejected for use because of the difficulty in realistically modeling land surface emissivity and energy budgets. Here, we used an improved land use and leaf area index (LAI) dataset in the WRF-3DVAR assimilation system to explore the benefit of using improved quality of land surface information to improve rainfall simulation for the Shule River Basin in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau as a case study. The results for July 2013 show that, for low-level channels (e.g., channel 3), the underestimation of brightness temperature in the original simulation was largely removed by more realistic land surface information. In addition, more satellite data could be utilized in the assimilation because the realistic land use and LAI data allowed more satellite radiance data to pass the deviation test and get used by the assimilation, which resulted in improved initial driving fields and better simulation in terms of temperature, relative humidity, vertical convection, and cumulative precipitation.
In order to examine the response of the tropical Pacific Walker circulation (PWC) to strong tropical volcanic eruptions (SVEs), we analyzed a three-member long-term simulation performed with HadCM3, and carried out four additional CAM4 experiments. We found that the PWC shows a significant interannual weakening after SVEs. The cooling effect from SVEs is able to cool the entire tropics. However, cooling over the Maritime Continent is stronger than that over the central-eastern tropical Pacific. Thus, non-uniform zonal temperature anomalies can be seen following SVEs. As a result, the sea level pressure gradient between the tropical Pacific and the Maritime Continent is reduced, which weakens trade winds over the tropical Pacific. Therefore, the PWC is weakened during this period. At the same time, due to the cooling subtropical and midlatitude Pacific, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and South Pacific convergence zone (SPCZ) are weakened and shift to the equator. These changes also contribute to the weakened PWC. Meanwhile, through the positive Bjerknes feedback, weakened trade winds cause El Niño-like SST anomalies over the tropical Pacific, which in turn further influence the PWC. Therefore, the PWC significantly weakens after SVEs. The CAM4 experiments further confirm the influences from surface cooling over the Maritime Continent and subtropical/midlatitude Pacific on the PWC. Moreover, they indicate that the stronger cooling over the Maritime Continent plays a dominant role in weakening the PWC after SVEs. In the observations, a weakened PWC and a related El Niño-like SST pattern can be found following SVEs.
In the past several decades, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) have been the most widely used and appropriate tool at the global scale to investigate vegetation-climate interactions. At the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, a new version of DGVM (IAP-DGVM) has been developed and coupled to the Common Land Model (CoLM) within the framework of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Earth System Model (CAS-ESM). This work reports the performance of IAP-DGVM through comparisons with that of the default DGVM of CoLM (CoLM-DGVM) and observations. With respect to CoLM-DGVM, IAP-DGVM simulated fewer tropical trees, more "needleleaf evergreen boreal tree" and "broadleaf deciduous boreal shrub", and a better representation of grasses. These contributed to a more realistic vegetation distribution in IAP-DGVM, including spatial patterns, total areas, and compositions. Moreover, IAP-DGVM also produced more accurate carbon fluxes than CoLM-DGVM when compared with observational estimates. Gross primary productivity and net primary production in IAP-DGVM were in better agreement with observations than those of CoLM-DGVM, and the tropical pattern of fire carbon emissions in IAP-DGVM was much more consistent with the observation than that in CoLM-DGVM. The leaf area index simulated by IAP-DGVM was closer to the observation than that of CoLM-DGVM; however, both simulated values about twice as large as in the observation. This evaluation provides valuable information for the application of CAS-ESM, as well as for other model communities in terms of a comparative benchmark.
Severe biases exist in state-of-the-art general circulation models (GCMs) in capturing realistic central-Pacific (CP) El Niño structures. At the same time, many observational analyses have emphasized that thermocline (TH) feedback and zonal advective (ZA) feedback play dominant roles in the development of eastern-Pacific (EP) and CP El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), respectively. In this work, a simple linear air-sea coupled model, which can accurately depict the strength distribution of the TH and ZA feedbacks in the equatorial Pacific, is used to investigate these two types of El Niño. The results indicate that the model can reproduce the main characteristics of CP ENSO if the TH feedback is switched off and the ZA feedback is retained as the only positive feedback, confirming the dominant role played by ZA feedback in the development of CP ENSO. Further experiments indicate that, through a simple nonlinear control approach, many ENSO characteristics, including the existence of both CP and EP El Niño and the asymmetries between El Niño and La Niña, can be successfully captured using the simple linear air-sea coupled model. These analyses indicate that an accurate depiction of the climatological sea surface temperature distribution and the related ZA feedback, which are the subject of severe biases in GCMs, is very important in simulating a realistic CP El Niño.
The present study identifies a significant influence of the sea surface temperature gradient (SSTG) between the tropical Indian Ocean (TIO; 15°S-15°N, 40°-90°E) and the western Pacific warm pool (WWP; 0°-15°N, 125°-155°E) in boreal spring on tropical cyclone (TC) landfall frequency in mainland China in boreal summer. During the period 1979-2015, a positive spring SSTG induces a zonal inter-basin circulation anomaly with lower-level convergence, mid-tropospheric ascendance and upper-level divergence over the west-central TIO, and the opposite situation over the WWP, which produces lower-level anomalous easterlies and upper-level anomalous westerlies between the TIO and WWP. This zonal circulation anomaly further warms the west-central TIO by driving warm water westward and cools the WWP by inducing local upwelling, which facilitates the persistence of the anomaly until the summer. Consequently, lower-level negative vorticity, strong vertical wind shear and lower-level anticyclonic anomalies prevail over most of the western North Pacific (WNP), which decreases the TC genesis frequency. Meanwhile, there is an anomalous mid-tropospheric anticyclone over the main WNP TC genesis region, meaning a westerly anomaly dominates over coastal regions of mainland China, which is unfavorable for steering TCs to make landfall in mainland China during summer. This implies that the spring SSTG may act as a potential indicator for TC landfall frequency in mainland China.
Land-atmosphere coupling is a key process of the climate system, and various coupling mechanisms have been proposed before based on observational and numerical analyses. The impact of soil moisture (SM) on evapotranspiration (ET) and further surface temperature (ST) is an important aspect of such coupling. Using ERA-Interim data and CLM4.0 offline simulation results, this study further explores the relationships between SM/ST and ET to better understand the complex nature of the land-atmosphere coupling (i.e., spatial and seasonal variations) in eastern China, a typical monsoon area. It is found that two diagnostics of land-atmosphere coupling (i.e., SM-ET correlation and ST-ET correlation) are highly dependent on the climatology of SM and ST. By combining the SM-ET and ST-ET relationships, two "hot spots" of land-atmosphere coupling over eastern China are identified: Southwest China and North China. In Southwest China, ST is relatively high throughout the year, but SM is lowest in spring, resulting in a strong coupling in spring. However, in North China, SM is relatively low throughout the year, but ST is highest in summer, which leads to the strongest coupling in summer. Our results emphasize the dependence of land-atmosphere coupling on the seasonal evolution of climatic conditions and have implications for future studies related to land surface feedbacks.
This study analyzes the impact of the winter North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) on the surface air temperature (SAT) variations over Eurasia and North America based on six different NPO indices. Results show that the influences of the winter NPO on the SAT over Eurasia and North America are sensitive to the definition of the NPO index. The impact of the winter NPO on the SAT variations over Eurasia (North America) is significant (insignificant) when the anticyclonic anomaly associated with the NPO index over the North Pacific midlatitudes shifts westward and pronounced northerly wind anomalies appear around Lake Baikal. By contrast, the impact of the winter NPO on the SAT variations over Eurasia (North America) is insignificant (significant) when the anticyclonic anomaly over the North Pacific related to the NPO index shifts eastward and the associated northerly wind anomalies to its eastern flank extend to North America. The present study suggests that the NPO definition should be taken into account when analyzing the impact of the winter NPO on Eurasian and North American SAT variations.
Unresolved small-scale orographic (SSO) drags are parameterized in a regional model based on the Global/Regional Assimilation and Prediction System for the Tropical Mesoscale Model (GRAPES_TMM). The SSO drags are represented by adding a sink term in the momentum equations. The maximum height of the mountain within the grid box is adopted in the SSO parameterization (SSOP) scheme as compensation for the drag. The effects of the unresolved topography are parameterized as the feedbacks to the momentum tendencies on the first model level in planetary boundary layer (PBL) parameterization. The SSOP scheme has been implemented and coupled with the PBL parameterization scheme within the model physics package. A monthly simulation is designed to examine the performance of the SSOP scheme over the complex terrain areas located in the southwest of Guangdong. The verification results show that the surface wind speed bias has been much alleviated by adopting the SSOP scheme, in addition to reduction of the wind bias in the lower troposphere. The target verification over Xinyi shows that the simulations with the SSOP scheme provide improved wind estimation over the complex regions in the southwest of Guangdong.
The impacts of three periods of urban land expansion during 1990-2010 on near-surface air temperature in summer in Beijing were simulated in this study, and then the interrelation between heat waves and urban warming was assessed. We ran the sensitivity tests using the mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with a single urban canopy model, as well as high-resolution land cover data. The warming area expanded approximately at the same scale as the urban land expansion. The average regional warming induced by urban expansion increased but the warming speed declined slightly during 2000-2010. The smallest warming occurred at noon and then increased gradually in the afternoon before peaking at around 2000 LST——the time of sunset. In the daytime, urban warming was primarily caused by the decrease in latent heat flux at the urban surface. Urbanization led to more ground heat flux during the day and then more release at night, which resulted in nocturnal warming. Urban warming at night was higher than that in the day, although the nighttime increment in sensible heat flux was smaller. This was because the shallower planetary boundary layer at night reduced the release efficiency of near-surface heat. The simulated results also suggested that heat waves or high temperature weather enhanced urban warming intensity at night. Heat waves caused more heat to be stored in the surface during the day, greater heat released at night, and thus higher nighttime warming. Our results demonstrate a positive feedback effect between urban warming and heat waves in urban areas.
Although there has been a considerable amount of research conducted on the East Asian winter-mean climate, subseasonal surface air temperature (SAT) variability reversals in the early and late winter remain poorly understood. In this study, we focused on the recent winter of 2014/15, in which warmer anomalies dominated in January and February but colder conditions prevailed in December. Moreover, Arctic sea-ice cover (ASIC) in September-October 2014 was lower than normal, and warmer sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies occurred in the Niño4 region in winter, together with a positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO\(\vert\)+) phase. Using observational data and CMIP5 historical simulations, we investigated the PDO\(\vert\)+ phase modulation upon the winter warm Niño4 phase (autumn ASIC reduction) influence on the subseasonal SAT variability of East Asian winter. The results show that, under a PDO\(\vert\)+ phase modulation, warm Niño4 SST anomalies are associated with a subseasonal delay of tropical surface heating and subsequent Hadley cell and Ferrel cell intensification in January-February, linking the tropical and midlatitude regions. Consistently, the East Asian jet stream (EAJS) is significantly decelerated in January-February and hence promotes the warm anomalies over East Asia. Under the PDO\(\vert\)+ phase, the decrease in ASIC is related to cold SST anomalies in the western North Pacific, which increase the meridional temperature gradient and generate an accelerated and westward-shifted EAJS in December. The westward extension of the EAJS is responsible for the eastward-propagating Rossby waves triggered by declining ASIC and thereby favors the connection between ASIC and cold conditions over East Asia.