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2005 Vol. 22, No. 6

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Ensemble Forecast: A New Approach to Uncertainty and Predictability
Yuejian ZHU
2005, 22(6): 781-788. doi: 10.1007/BF02918678
Ensemble techniques have been used to generate daily numerical weather forecasts since the 1990s in numerical centers around the world due to the increase in computation ability. One of the main purposes of numerical ensemble forecasts is to try to assimilate the initial uncertainty (initial error) and the forecast uncertainty (forecast error) by applying either the initial perturbation method or the multi-model/multiphysics method. In fact, the mean of an ensemble forecast offers a better forecast than a deterministic (or control) forecast after a short lead time (3 5 days) for global modelling applications. There is about a 1-2-day improvement in the forecast skill when using an ensemble mean instead of a single forecast for longer lead-time. The skillful forecast (65% and above of an anomaly correlation) could be extended to 8 days (or longer) by present-day ensemble forecast systems. Furthermore, ensemble forecasts can deliver a probabilistic forecast to the users, which is based on the probability density function (PDF)instead of a single-value forecast from a traditional deterministic system. It has long been recognized that the ensemble forecast not only improves our weather forecast predictability but also offers a remarkable forecast for the future uncertainty, such as the relative measure of predictability (RMOP) and probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecast (PQPF). Not surprisingly, the success of the ensemble forecast and its wide application greatly increase the confidence of model developers and research communities.
Modelling Hydrological Consequences of Climate Change-Progress and Challenges
Chong-yu XU, Elin WIDN, Sven HALLDIN
2005, 22(6): 789-797. doi: 10.1007/BF02918679
The simulation of hydrological consequences of climate change has received increasing attention from the hydrology and land-surface modelling communities. There have been many studies of climate-change effects on hydrology and water resources which usually consist of three steps: (1) use of general circulation models (GCMs) to provide future global climate scenarios under the effect of increasing greenhouse gases,(2) use of downscaling techniques (both nested regional climate models, RCMs, and statistical methods)for "downscaling" the GCM output to the scales compatible with hydrological models, and (3) use of hydrologic models to simulate the effects of climate change on hydrological regimes at various scales.Great progress has been achieved in all three steps during the past few years, however, large uncertainties still exist in every stage of such study. This paper first reviews the present achievements in this field and then discusses the challenges for future studies of the hydrological impacts of climate change.
A Coupled Model Study on the Intensification of the Asian Summer Monsoon in IPCC SRES Scenarios
2005, 22(6): 798-806. doi: 10.1007/BF02918680
The Asian summer monsoon is an important part of the climate system. Investigating the response of the Asian summer monsoon to changing concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols will be meaningful to understand and predict climate variability and climate change not only in Asia but also globally. In order to diagnose the impacts of future anthropogenic emissions on monsoon climates, a coupled general circulation model of the atmosphere and the ocean has been used at the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology. In addition to carbon dioxide, the major well mixed greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, several chlorofluorocarbons, and CFC substitute gases are prescribed as a function of time. The sulfur cycle is simulated interactively, and both the direct aerosol effect and the indirect cloud albedo effect are considered.Furthermore, changes in tropospheric ozone have been pre-calculated with a chemical transport model and prescribed as a function of time and space in the climate simulations. Concentrations of greenhouse gases and anthropogenic emissions of sulfur dioxide are prescribed according to observations (1860-1990) and projected into the future (1990-2100) according to the Scenarios A2 and B2 in Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES, Nakicenovic et al., 2000) developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is found that the Indian summer monsoon is enhanced in the scenarios in terms of both mean precipitation and interannual variability. An increase in precipitation is simulated for northern China but a decrease for the southern part. Furthermore, the simulated future increase in monsoon variability seems to be linked to enhanced ENSO variability towards the end of the scenario integrations.
Sensitivity of Cyclone Tracks to the Initial Moisture Distribution: A Moist Potential Vorticity Perspective
Zuohao CAO, Da-Lin ZHANG
2005, 22(6): 807-820. doi: 10.1007/BF02918681
In this study, the characteristics of moist potential vorticity (MPV) in the vicinity of a surface cyclone center and their physical processes are investigated. A prognostic equation of surface absolute vorticity is then used to examine the relationship between the cyclone tracks and negative MPV (NMPV) using numerical simulations of the life cycle of an extratropical cyclone. It is shown that the MPV approach developed herein, i.e., by tracing the peak NMPV, can be used to help trace surface cyclones during their development and mature stages. Sensitivity experiments are conducted to investigate the impact of different initial moisture fields on the effectiveness of the MPV approach. It is found that the lifetime of NMPV depends mainly on the initial moisture field, the magnitude of condensational heating, and the advection of NMPV. When NMPV moves into a saturated environment at or near a cyclone center, it can trace better the evolution of the surface cyclone due to the conservative property of MPV. It is also shown that the NMPV generation is closely associated with the coupling of large potential temperature and moisture gradients as a result of frontogenesis processes. Analyses indicate that condensation, confluence and tilting play important but different roles in determining the NMPV generation. NMPV is generated mainly through the changes in the strength of baroclinicity and in the direction of the moisture gradient due to moist and/or dry air mass intrusion into the baroclinic zone.
Footprint Characteristics of Scalar Concentration in the Convective Boundary Layer
GUO Xiaofeng, CAI Xuhui
2005, 22(6): 821-830. doi: 10.1007/BF02918682
Footprint characteristics for passive scalar concentration in the convective boundary layer (CBL)are investigated. A backward Lagrangian stochastic (LS) dispersion model and a large eddy simulation (LES) model are used in the investigation. Typical characteristics of the CBL and their responses to the surface heterogeneity are resolved from the LES. Then the turbulence fields are used to drive the backward LS dispersion. To remedy the spoiled description of the turbulence near the surface, MoninObukhov similarity is applied to the lowest LES level and the surface for the modeling of the backward LS dispersion. Simulation results show that the footprint within approximately 1 km upwind predominates in the total contribution. But influence from farther distances also exists and is even slightly greater than that from closer locations. Surface heterogeneity may change the footprint pattern to a certain degree.A comparison to three analytical models provides a validation of the footprint simulations, which shows the possible influence of along-wind turbulence and the large eddies in the CBL, as well as the surface heterogeneity.
Seasonal Variation of the East Asian Subtropical Westerly Jet and Its Association with the Heating Field over East Asia
KUANG Xueyuan, ZHANG Yaocun
2005, 22(6): 831-840. doi: 10.1007/BF02918683
The structure and seasonal variation of the East Asian Subtropical Westerly Jet (EAWJ) and associations with heating fields over East Asia are examined by using NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data.Obvious differences exist in the westerly jet intensity and location in different regions and seasons due to the ocean-land distribution and seasonal thermal contrast, as well as the dynamic and thermodynamic impacts of the Tibetan Plateau. In winter, the EAWJ center is situated over the western Pacific Ocean and the intensity is reduced gradually from east to west over the East Asian region. In summer, the EAWJ center is located over the north of the Tibetan Plateau and the jet intensity is reduced evidently compared with that in winter. The EAWJ seasonal evolution is characterized by the obvious longitudinal inconsistency of the northward migration and in-phase southward retreat of the EAWJ axis. A good correspondence between the seasonal variations of EAWJ and the meridional differences of air temperature (MDT) in the mid-upper troposphere demonstrates that the MDT is the basic reason for the seasonal variation of EAWJ. Correlation analyses indicate that the Kuroshio Current region to the south of Japan and the Tibetan Plateau are the key areas for the variations of the EAWJ intensities in winter and in summer,respectively. The strong sensible and latent heating in the Kuroshio Current region is closely related to the intensification of EAWJ in winter. In summer, strong sensible heating in the Tibetan Plateau corresponds to the EAWJ strengthening and southward shift, while the weak sensible heating in the Tibetan Plateau is consistent with the EAWJ weakening and northward migration.
A Study of Air/Space-borne Dual-Wavelength Radar for Estimation of Rain Profiles
2005, 22(6): 841-851. doi: 10.1007/BF02918684
In this study, a framework is given by which air/space-borne dual-wavelength radar data can be used to estimate the characteristic parameters of hydrometeors. The focus of the study is on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) precipitation radar, a dual-wavelength radar that will operate in the Ku (13.6 GHz) and Ka (35 GHz) bands. A key aspect of the retrievals is the relationship between the differential frequency ratio (DFR) and the median volume diameter, Do, and its dependence on the phase state of the hydrometeors. It is shown that parametric plots of Do and particle concentration in the plane of the DFR and the radar reflectivity factor in the Ku band can be used to reduce the ambiguities in deriving Do from DFR. A self-consistent iterative algorithm, which does not require the use of an independent pathattenuation constraint, is examined by applying it to the apparent radar reflectivity profiles simulated from a drop size distribution (DSD) model. For light to moderate rain, the self-consistent rain profiling approach converges to the correct solution only if the same shape factor of the Gamma distributions is used both to generate and retrieve the rain profiles. On the other hand, if the shape factors differ, the iteration generally converges but not to the correct solution. To further examine the dual-wavelength techniques, the selfconsistent iterative algorithm, along with forward and backward rain profiling algorithms, are applied to measurements taken from the 2nd generation Precipitation Radar (PR-2) built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Consistent with the model results, it is found that the estimated rain profiles are sensitive to the shape factor of the size distribution when the iterative, self-consistent approach is used but relatively insensitive to this parameter when the forward- and backward-constrained approaches are used.
Tropical Precipitation Estimated by GPCP and TRMM PR Observations
LI Rui, FU Yunfei
2005, 22(6): 852-864. doi: 10.1007/BF02918685
In this study, tropical monthly mean precipitation estimated by the latest Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) version 2 dataset and Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Precipitation Radar (TRMM PR) are compared in temporal and spatial scales in order to comprehend tropical rainfall climatologically. Reasons for the rainfall differences derived from both datasets are discussed. Results show that GPCP and TRMM PR datasets present similar distribution patterns over the Tropics but with some differences in amplitude and location. Generally, the average difference over the ocean of about 0.5 mm d-1 is larger than that of about 0.1 mm d-1 over land. Results also show that GPCP tends to underestimate the monthly precipitation over the land region with sparse rain gauges in contrast to regions with a higher density of rain gauge stations. A Probability Distribution Function (PDF) analysis indicates that the GPCP rain rate at its maximum PDF is generally consistent with the TRMM PR rain rate as the latter is less than 8 mm d-1. When the TRMM PR rain rate is greater than 8 mm d-1, the GPCP rain rate at its maximum PDF is less by at least 1 mm d-1compared to TRMM PR estimates. Results also show an absolute bias of less than 1 mm d-1 between the two datasets when the rain rate is less than 10 mm d-1. A large relative bias of the two datasets occurs at weak and heavy rain rates.
Numerical Simulation of the Impact of Vegetation Index on the Interannual Variation of Summer Precipitation in the Yellow River Basin
LI Weiping, XUE Yongkang
2005, 22(6): 865-876. doi: 10.1007/BF02918686
Two sets of numerical experiments using the coupled National Center for Environmental Prediction General Circulation Model (NCEP/GCM T42L18) and the Simplified Simple Biosphere land surface scheme (SSiB) were carried out to investigate the climate impacts of fractional vegetation cover (FVC)and leaf area index (LAI) on East Asia summer precipitation, especially in the Yellow River Basin (YRB).One set employed prescribed FVC and LAI which have no interannual variations based on the climatology of vegetation distribution; the other with FVC and LAI derived from satellite observations of the International Satellite Land Surface Climate Project (ISLSCP) for 1987 and 1988. The simulations of the two experiments were compared to study the influence of FVC, LAI on summer precipitation interannual variation in the YRB. Compared with observations and the NCEP reanalysis data, the experiment that included both the effects of satellite-derived vegetation indexes and sea surface temperature (SST)produced better seasonal and interannual precipitation variations than the experiment with SST but no interannual variations in FVC and LAI, indicating that better representations of the vegetation index and its interannual variation may be important for climate prediction. The difference between 1987 and 1988indicated that with the increase of FVC and LAI, especially around the YRB, surface albedo decreased,net surface radiation increased, and consequently local evaporation and precipitation intensified. Further more, surface sensible heat flux, surface temperature and its diurnal variation decreased around the YRB in response to more vegetation. The decrease of surface-emitting longwave radiation due to the cooler surface outweighed the decrease of surface solar radiation income with more cloud coverage, thus maintaining the positive anomaly of net surface radiation. Further study indicated that moisture flux variations associated with changes in the general circulation also contributed to the precipitation interannual variation.
Eurasian Snow Conditions and Summer Monsoon Rainfall over South and Southeast Asia:Assessment and Comparison
Hengchun YE, Zhenhao BAO
2005, 22(6): 877-888. doi: 10.1007/BF02918687
This study reveals the complex nature of the connection between Eurasian snow and the following summer season's monsoon rainfall by using four different indicators of snow conditions and correlating each of them to summer monsoon rainfall. Using 46 years of historical records of mean winter snow depth,maximum snow depth, and snow starting dates, and 27 years of snow area coverage from remote sensing observations over Eurasia, the authors found diverse correlation patterns between snow conditions and the following warm season's rainfall over South and Southeast Asia. Some of the results contradict the well-known inverse relationships between snow and the summer monsoon. This study provides an easy comparison of results in that it shows the connections between Eurasian snow and monsoon rainfall by using different Eurasian snow indicators based on the best available historical records without discrimination of regional variations in snow conditions.
Land Breeze and Thermals: A Scale Threshold to Distinguish Their Effects
Yongqiang LIU
2005, 22(6): 889-902. doi: 10.1007/BF02918688
Land breeze is a type of mesoscale circulation developed due to thermal forcing over a heterogeneous landscape. It can contribute to atmospheric dynamic and hydrologic processes through affecting heat and water fluxes on the land-atmosphere interface and generating shallow convective precipitation. If the scale of the landscape heterogeneity is smaller than a certain size, however, the resulting land breeze becomes weak and becomes mixed up with other thermal convections like thermals. This study seeks to identify a scale threshold to distinguish the effects between land breeze and thermals. Two-dimensional simulations were performed with the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) to simulate thermals and land breeze. Their horizontal scale features were analyzed using the wavelet transform. The thermals developed over a homogeneous landscape under dry or wet conditions have an initial scale of 2-5 km during their early stage of development. The scale jumps to 10-15 km when condensation occurs. The solution of an analytical model indicates that the reduced degree of atmospheric instability due to the release of condensation potential heat could be one of the contributing factors for the increase in scale.The land breeze, on the other hand, has a major scale identical to the size of the landscape heterogeneity throughout various stages of development. The results suggest that the effects of land breeze can be clearly distinguished from those of thermals only if the size of the landscape heterogeneity is larger than the scale threshold of about 5 km for dry atmospheric processes or about 15 km for moist ones.
Resolving SSM/I-Ship Radar Rainfall Discrepancies from AIP-3
2005, 22(6): 903-914. doi: 10.1007/BF02918689
The third algorithm intercomparison project (AIP-3) involved rain estimates from more than 50satellite rainfall algorithms and ground radar measurements within the Intensive Flux Array (IFA) over the equatorial western Pacific warm pool region during the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). Early results indicated that there was a systematic bias between rainrates from satellite passive microwave and ground radar measurements. The mean rainrate from radar measurements is about 50% underestimated compared to that from passive microwave-based retrieval algorithms. This paper is designed to analyze rain patterns from the Florida State University rain retrieval algorithm and radar measurements to understand physically the rain discrepancies. Results show that there is a clear range-dependent bias associated with the radar measurements.However, this range-dependent systematical bias is almost eliminated with the corrected radar rainrates.Results suggest that the effects from radar attenuation correction, calibration and beam filling are the major sources of rain discrepancies. This study demonstrates that rain retrievals based on satellite measurements from passive microwave radiometers such as the Special Sensor of Microwave Imager (SSM/I)are reliable, while rain estimates from ground radar measurements are correctable.
South Asian High and Asian-Pacific-American Climate Teleconnection
Peiqun ZHANG, Song YANG, Vernon E.KOUSKY
2005, 22(6): 915-923. doi: 10.1007/BF02918690
Growing evidence indicates that the Asian monsoon plays an important role in affecting the weather and climate outside of Asia. However, this active role of the monsoon has not been demonstrated as thoroughly as has the variability of the monsoon caused by various impacting factors such as sea surface temperature and land surface. This study investigates the relationship between the Asian monsoon and the climate anomalies in the Asian-Pacific-American (APA) sector. A hypothesis is tested that the variability of the upper-tropospheric South Asian high (SAH), which is closely associated with the overall heating of the large-scale Asian monsoon, is linked to changes in the subtropical western Pacific high (SWPH), the midPacific trough, and the Mexican high. The changes in these circulation systems cause variability in surface temperature and precipitation in the APA region. A stronger SAH is accompanied by a stronger and more extensive SWPH. The enlargement of the SWPH weakens the mid-Pacific trough. As a result, the southern portion of the Mexican high becomes stronger. These changes are associated with changes in atmospheric teleconnections, precipitation, and surface temperature throughout the APA region. When the SAH is stronger, precipitation increases in southern Asia, decreases over the Pacific Ocean, and increases over the Central America. Precipitation also increases over Australia and central Africa and decreases in the Mediterranean region. While the signals in surface temperature are weak over the tropical land portion,they are apparent in the mid latitudes and over the eastern Pacific Ocean.
The Thermodynamic and Dynamical Features of Double Front Structures During 21-31 July 1998 in China
ZHOU Yushu, DENG Guo, LEI Ting, JU Jianhua
2005, 22(6): 924-935. doi: 10.1007/BF02918691
The daily 1°× 1° data of the Aviation (AVN) model, the black body temperature (TBB) data of cloud top, and cloud images by geostationary meteorological satellite (GMS) are used to identify a dew-point front near the periphery of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH). The results clearly demonstrate the existence of the dew-point front, and its thermodynamic and dynamic structural characteristics are analyzed in detail. The dew-point front is a transitional belt between the moist southwest monsoon flow and the dry adiabatic sinking flow near the WPSH, manifested by a large horizontal moisture gradient in the mid-lower troposphere and conjugated with the mei-yu front to form a predominant double-front structure associated with intense rainfall in the mei-yu period. The mei-yu front is located between 30°and 35°N, vertically extends from the ground level to the upper level and shifts northward. The dew-point front is to the south of the mei-yn front and lies up against the periphery of the WPSH. Generally, it is located between 850 hPa and 500 hPa. On the dew-point front side, the southwesterly prevails at the lower level and the northeasterly at the upper level; this wind distribution is different from that on the mei-yu front side. Vertical ascending motion exists between the two fronts, and there are descending motions on the north side of the mei-yu front and on the south side of the dew-point front, which form a secondary circulation. The dynamics of the double fronts also have some interesting features. At the lower level,positive vertical vorticity and obvious convergence between the two fronts are clearly identified. At the mid-lower level, negative local change of the divergence (corresponding to increasing convergence) is often embedded in the two fronts or against the mei-yu front. Most cloud clusters occur between the two fronts and propagate down stream in a wave-like manner.
Estimating the Soil Moisture Profile by Assimilating Near-Surface Observations with the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF)
ZHANG Shuwen, LI Haorui, ZHANG Weidong, QIU Chongjian, LI Xin
2005, 22(6): 936-945. doi: 10.1007/BF02918692
The paper investigates the ability to retrieve the true soil moisture profile by assimilating near-surface soil moisture into a soil moisture model with an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) assimilation scheme,including the effect of ensemble size, update interval and nonlinearities in the profile retrieval, the required time for full retrieval of the soil moisture profiles, and the possible influence of the depth of the soil moisture observation. These questions are addressed by a desktop study using synthetic data. The "true"soil moisture profiles are generated from the soil moisture model under the boundary condition of 0.5 cm d-1 evaporation. To test the assimilation schemes, the model is initialized with a poor initial guess of the soil moisture profile, and different ensemble sizes are tested showing that an ensemble of 40 members is enough to represent the covariance of the model forecasts. Also compared are the results with those from the direct insertion assimilation scheme, showing that the EnKF is superior to the direct insertion assimilation scheme, for hourly observations, with retrieval of the soil moisture profile being achieved in 16 h as compared to 12 days or more. For daily observations, the true soil moisture profile is achieved in about 15 days with the EnKF, but it is impossible to approximate the true moisture within 18 days by using direct insertion. It is also found that observation depth does not have a significant effect on profile retrieval time for the EnKF. The nonlinearities have some negative influence on the optimal estimates of soil moisture profile but not very seriously.
A Note on the South China Sea Shallow Interocean Circulation
FANG Guohong, Dwi SUSANTO, Indroyono SOESILO, Quan'an ZHENG, QIAO Fangli, WEI Zexun
2005, 22(6): 946-954. doi: 10.1007/BF02918693
The existing estimates of the volume transport from the Pacific Ocean to the South China Sea are summarized, showing an annual mean westward transport, with the Taiwan Strait outflow subtracted, of 3.5±2.0 Sv (1 Sv=106 m3 s-1). Results of a global ocean circulation model show an annual mean transport of 3.9 Sv from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean through the South China Sea. The boreal winter transport is larger and exhibits a South China Sea branch of the Pacific-to-Indian Ocean throughflow, which originates from the western Philippine Sea toward the Indonesian Seas through the South China Sea, as well as through the Karimata and Mindoro Straits. The southwestward current near the continental slope of the northern South China Sea is shown to be a combination of this branch and the interior circulation gyre.This winter branch can be confirmed by trajectories of satellite-tracked drifters, which clearly show a flow from the Luz6n Strait to the Karimata Strait in winter. In summer, the flow in the Karimata Strait is reversed. Numerical model results indicate that the Pacific water can enter the South China Sea and exit toward the Sulu Sea, but no observational evidence is available. The roles of the throughflow branch in the circulation, water properties and air-sea exchange of the South China Sea, and in enhancing and regulating the volume transport and reducing the heat transport of the Indonesian Throughflow, are discussed.