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2007 Vol. 24, No. 2

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Probability Distribution Function of a Forced Passive Tracer in the Lower Stratosphere
HU Yongyun
2007, 24(2): 163-180. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0163-1
The probability distribution function (PDF) of a passive tracer, forced by a ``mean gradient", is studied. First, we take two theoretical approaches, the Lagrangian and the conditional closure formalisms, to study the PDFs of such an externally forced passive tracer. Then, we carry out numerical simulations for an idealized random flow on a sphere and for European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) stratospheric winds to test whether the mean-gradient model can be applied to studying stratospheric tracer mixing in midlatitude surf zones, in which a weak and poleward zonal-mean gradient is maintained by tracer leakage through polar and tropical mixing barriers, and whether the PDFs of tracer fluctuations in midlatitudes are consistent with the theoretical predictions. The numerical simulations show that when diffusive dissipation is balanced by the mean-gradient forcing, the PDF in the random flow and the Southern-Hemisphere PDFs in ECMWF winds show time-invariant exponential tails, consistent with theoretical predictions. In the Northern Hemisphere, the PDFs exhibit non-Gaussian tails. However, the PDF tails are not consistent with theoretical expectations. The long-term behavior of the PDF tails of the forced tracer is compared to that of a decaying tracer. It is found that the PDF tails of the decaying tracer are time-dependent, and evolve toward flatter than exponential.
Seasonally Varying Reference Atmospheres for East Asia
Byung-Ju SOHN, Geun-Hyeok RYU
2007, 24(2): 181-190. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0181-z
Vertical profiles of seasonally varying pressure, temperature, water vapor, and trace gases (O3, N2O, CO, CH4), representing atmospheric conditions up to a height of 100 km over the East Asia region (30o--50oN, 110o--150oE) were constructed by using various observation data, model outputs of atmospheric thermodynamic parameters, and gaseous concentrations. Optical characteristics of the obtained East Asia reference atmospheres were compared with those from typical midlatitude summer and winter atmospheres. It was noted that, in the water vapor field, there are major differences between the two model atmospheres during the summer. The resultant impact during the summer of water vapor difference on incoming solar fluxes at the surface and emitted terrestrial fluxes at the top of the atmosphere are 14.3 W m-2 and 6.5 W m-2, respectively. On the other hand, the winter difference between East Asian and midlatitude atmospheres appears to be insignificant. Reference atmospheres for the spring and fall are also available. Utilizing the constructed atmospheric profiles as inputs to the radiative transfer model, it is expected that the constructed seasonally varying reference atmospheres can facilitate better descriptions of optical properties in East Asia.
The Role of the Solar Cycle in the Relationship Between the North Atlantic Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperatures
Laura DE LA TORRE, Luis GIMENO, Juan Antonio A\~NEL, Raquel NIETO
2007, 24(2): 191-198. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0191-x
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is one of the leading modes of climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere. It has been shown that it clearly relates to changes in meteorological variables, such as surface temperature, at hemispherical scales. However, recent studies have revealed that the NAO spatial pattern also depends upon solar forcing. Therefore, its effects on meteorological variables must vary depending upon this factor. Moreover, it could be that the Sun affects climate through variability patterns, a hypothesis that is the focus of this study. We find that the relationship between the NAO/AO and hemispheric temperature varies depending upon solar activity. The results show a positive significant correlation only when solar activity is high. Also, the results support the idea that solar activity influences tropospheric climate fluctuations in the Northern Hemisphere via the fluctuations of the stratospheric polar vortex.
An Intercomparison of Rules for Testing the Significance of Coupled Modes of Singular Value Decomposition Analysis
ZENG Qingcun
2007, 24(2): 199-212. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0199-2
This paper clarifies the essence of the significance test of singular value decomposition analysis (SVD), and investigates four rules for testing the significance of coupled modes of SVD, including parallel analysis, nonparametric bootstrap, random-phase test, and a new rule named modified parallel analysis. A numerical experiment is conducted to quantitatively compare the performance of the four rules in judging whether a coupled mode of SVD is significant as parameters such as the sample size, the number of grid points, and the signal-to-noise ratio vary. The results show that the four rules perform better with lower ratio of the number of grid points to sample size. Modified parallel analysis and nonparametric bootstrap perform best to abandon the spurious coupled modes, but the latter is better than the former to retain the significant coupled modes when the sample size is not much larger than the number of grid points. Parallel analysis and random-phase test are robust to abandon the spurious coupled modes only when either (1) the observations at the grid points are spatially uncorrelated, or (2) the coupled signal is very strong for parallel analysis and is not weak for random-phase test. The reasons affecting the accuracy of the test rules are discussed.
A Simplified Scheme of the Generalized Layered Radiative Transfer Model
DAI Qiudan, SUN Shufen
2007, 24(2): 213-226. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0213-8
In this paper, firstly, a simplified version (SGRTM) of the generalized layered radiative transfer model (GRTM) within the canopy, developed by us, is presented. It reduces the information requirement of inputted sky diffuse radiation, as well as of canopy morphology, and in turn saves computer resources. Results from the SGRTM agree perfectly with those of the GRTM. Secondly, by applying the linear superposition principle of the optics and by using the basic solutions of the GRTM for radiative transfer within the canopy under the condition of assumed zero soil reflectance, two sets of explicit analytical solutions of radiative transfer within the canopy with any soil reflectance magnitude are derived: one for incident diffuse, and the other for direct beam radiation. The explicit analytical solutions need two sets of basic solutions of canopy reflectance and transmittance under zero soil reflectance, run by the model for both diffuse and direct beam radiation. One set of basic solutions is the canopy reflectance $\alpha_{\text f}$ (written as $\alpha_1$ for direct beam radiation) and transmittance $\beta_{\text f}$ (written as $\beta_1$ for direction beam radiation) with zero soil reflectance for the downward radiation from above the canopy (i.e. sky), and the other set is the canopy reflectance ($\alpha_{\text b})$ and transmittance $\beta_{\text b}$ for the upward radiation from below the canopy (i.e., ground). Under the condition of the same plant architecture in the vertical layers, and the same leaf adaxial and abaxial optical properties in the canopies for the uniform diffuse radiation, the explicit solutions need only one set of basic solutions, because under this condition the two basic solutions are equal, i.e., $\alpha_{\text f}=\alpha_{\text b}$ and $\beta_{\text f}=\beta_{\text b}$. Using the explicit analytical solutions, the fractions of any kind of incident solar radiation reflected from (defined as surface albedo, or canopy reflectance), transmitted through (defined as canopy transmittance), and absorbed by (defined as canopy absorptance) the canopy and other properties pertinent to the radiative transfer within the canopy can be estimated easily on the ground surface below the canopy (soil or snow surface) with any reflectance magnitudes. The simplified transfer model is proven to have a similar accuracy compared to the detailed model, as well as very efficient computing.
The Interactive Climate and Vegetation Along the Pole-Equator Belts Simulated by a Global Coupled Model
DAN Li, JI Jinjun, LI Yinpeng
2007, 24(2): 239-249. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0239-y
The interaction between climate and vegetation along four Pole-Equator-Pole (PEP) belts were explored using a global two-way coupled model, AVIM-GOALS, which links the ecophysiological processes at the land surface with the general circulation model (GCM). The PEP belts are important in linking the climate change with the variation of sea and land, including terrestrial ecosystems. Previous PEP belts studies have mainly focused on the paleoclimate variation and its reconstruction. This study analyzes and discusses the interaction between modern climate and vegetation represented by leaf area index (LAI) and net primary production (NPP). The results show that the simulated LAI variation, corresponding to the observed LAI variation, agrees with the peak-valley variation of precipitation in these belts. The annual mean NPP simulated by the coupled model is also consistent with PIK NPP data in its overall variation trend along the four belts, which is a good example to promote global ecological studies by coupling the climate and vegetation models. A large discrepancy between the simulated and estimated LAI emerges to the south of 15N along PEP 3 and to the south of 18S in PEP 1S, and the discrepancy for the simulated NPP and PIK data in the two regions is relatively smaller in contrast to the LAI difference. Precipitation is a key factor affecting vegetation variation, and the overall trend of LAI and NPP corresponds more obviously to precipitation variation than temperature change along most parts of these PEP belts.
Impacts of Coastal SST Variability on the East Asian Summer Monsoon
HUANG Anning, ZHANG Yaocun, GAO Xinfang
2007, 24(2): 259-270. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0259-7
The impacts of the seasonal and interannual SST variability in the East Asia coastal regions (EACRSST) on the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) have been examined using a regional climate model (PσRCM9) in this paper. The simulation results show that the correlation between the EACRSST and the EASM is strengthened after the mid-1970s and also the variability of the EACRSST forcing becomes much more important to the EASM interannual variability after the mid-1970s. The impacts of the EACRSST on the summer precipitation over each sub-region in the EASM region become weak gradually from south to north, and the temporal evolution features of the summer precipitation differences over North and Northeast China agree well with those of the index of EASM (IEASM) differences. The mechanism analyses show that different EACRSST forcings result in the differences of sensible and latent heat flux exchanges at the air-sea interface, which alter the heating rate of the atmosphere. The heating rate differences induce low level air temperature differences over East Asia, resulting in the differences of the land-sea thermal contrast (LSTC) which lead to 850 hPa geopotential height changes. When the 850 hPa geopotential height increases over the East Asian continent and decreases over the coast of East China and the adjacent oceans during the weakening period of weakens consequently. On the contrary, the EASM enhances during the strengthening period of the LSTC.
An Application of the RAMS/FLUENT System on the Multi-Scale Numerical Simulation of the Urban Surface Layer---A Preliminary Study
LI Lei, HU Fei, JIANG Jinhua, CHENG Xueling
2007, 24(2): 271-280. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0271-y
The Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) and the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes known as FLUENT are combinatorially applied in a multi-scale numerical simulation of the urban surface layer (USL). RAMS and FLUENT are combined as a multi-scale numerical modeling system, in which the RAMS simulated data are delivered to the computational model for FLUENT simulation in an offline way. Numerical simulations are performed to present and preliminarily validate the capability of the multi-scale modeling system, and the results show that the modeling system can reasonably provide information on the meteorological elements in an urban area from the urban scale to the city-block scale, especially the details of the turbulent flows within the USL.
Impact of 4DVAR Assimilation of Rainfall Data on the Simulation of Mesoscale Precipitation Systems in a Mei-yu Heavy Rainfall Event
CHU Kekuan, TAN Zhemin, Ming XUE
2007, 24(2): 281-300. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0281-9
The multi-scale weather systems associated with a mei-yu front and the corresponding heavy precipitation during a particular heavy rainfall event that occurred on 4--5 July 2003 in east China were successfully simulated through rainfall assimilation using the PSU/NCAR non-hydrostatic, mesoscale, numerical model (MM5) and its four-dimensional, variational, data assimilation (4DVAR) system. For this case, the improvement of the process via the 4DVAR rainfall assimilation into the simulation of mesoscale precipitation systems is investigated. With the rainfall assimilation, the convection is triggered at the right location and time, and the evolution and spatial distribution of the mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are also more correctly simulated. Through the interactions between MCSs and the weather systems at different scales, including the low-level jet and mei-yu front, the simulation of the entire mei-yu weather system is significantly improved, both during the data assimilation window and the subsequent 12-h period. The results suggest that the rainfall assimilation first provides positive impact at the convective scale and the influences are then propagated upscale to the meso- and sub-synoptic scales. Through a set of sensitive experiments designed to evaluate the impact of different initial variables on the simulation of mei-yu heavy rainfall, it was found that the moisture field and meridional wind had the strongest effect during the convection initialization stage, however, after the convection was fully triggered, all of the variables at the initial condition seemed to have comparable importance.
Autumn Daily Characteristics of Land Surface Heat and Water Exchange over the Loess Plateau Mesa in China
WEN Jun, WEI Zhigang, LU Shihua, CHEN Shiqiang, AO Yinhuan, LIANG Ling
2007, 24(2): 301-310. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0301-9
The Loess Plateau, located in northern China, has a significant impact on the climate and ecosystem evolvement over the East Asian continent. In this paper, the preliminary autumn daily characteristics of land surface energy and water exchange over the Chinese Loess Plateau mesa region are evaluated by using data collected during the Loess Plateau land--atmosphere interaction pilot experiment (LOPEX04), which was conducted from 25 August to 12 September 2004 near Pingliang city, Gansu Province of China. The experiment was carried out in a region with a typical landscape of the Chinese Loess Plateau, known as ``loess mesa". The experiment's field land utilizations were cornfield and fallow farmland, with the fallow field later used for rotating winter wheat. The autumn daily characteristics of heat and water exchange evidently differed between the mesa cornfield and fallow, and the imbalance term of the surface energy was large. This is discussed in terms of sampling errors in the flux observations--footprint; energy storage terms of soil and vegetation layers; contribution from air advections; and low and high frequency loss of turbulent fluxes and instruments bias. Comparison of energy components between the mesa cornfield and the lowland cornfield did not reveal any obvious difference. Inadequacies of the field observation equipment and experimental design emerged during the study, and some new research topics have emerged from this pilot experiment for future investigation.
Improvements of a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model and Simulations of Carbon and Water at an Upland-Oak Forest
MAO Jiafu, WANG Bin, DAI Yongjiu, P. J. HANSON, M. R. LOMAS
2007, 24(2): 311-322. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0311-7
The interest in the development and improvement of dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs), which have the potential to simulate fluxes of carbon, water and nitrogen, along with changes in the vegetation dynamics, within an integrated system, has been increasing. In this paper, some numerical schemes and a higher resolution soil texture dataset were employed to improve the Sheffield Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (SDGVM). Using eddy covariance-based measurements, we then tested the standard version of the SDGVM and the modified version of the SDGVM. Detailed observations of daily carbon and water fluxes made at the upland oak forest on the Walker Branch Watershed in Tennessee, USA offered a unique opportunity for these comparisons. The results revealed that the modified version of the SDGVM did a reasonable job of simulating the carbon and water flux and the variation of soil water content (SWC). However, at the end of the growing season, it failed to simulate the effect of the limitations on the soil respiration dynamics and as a result underestimated this respiration. It was also noted that the modified version overestimated the increase in the SWC following summer rainfall, which was attributed to an inadequate representation of the ground water and thermal cycle.
Improvements in Climate Simulation with Modifications to the Tiedtke Convective Parameterization in the Grid-Point Atmospheric Model of IAP LASG (GAMIL)
LI Lijuan, WANG Bin, Yuqing WANG, Hui WAN
2007, 24(2): 323-335. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0323-3
The grid-point atmospheric model of IAP LASG (GAMIL) was developed in and has been evaluated since early 2004. Although the model shows its ability in simulating the global climate, it suffers from some problems in simulating precipitation in the tropics. These biases seem to result mainly from the treatment of the subgrid scale convection, which is parameterized with Tiedtke's massflux scheme (or the Zhang-McFarlane scheme, as an option) in the model. In order to reduce the systematic biases, several modifications were made to the Tiedtke scheme used in GAMIL, including (1) an increase in lateral convective entrainment/detrainment rate for shallow convection, (2) inclusion of a relative humidity threshold for the triggering of deep convection, and (3) a reduced efficiency for the conversion of cloud water to rainwater in the convection scheme. Two experiments, one with the original Tiedtke scheme used in GAMIL and the other with the modified scheme, were conducted to evaluate the performance of the modified scheme in this study. The results show that both the climatological mean state, such as precipitation, temperature and specific humidity, and interannual variability in the model simulation are improved with the use of this modified scheme. Results from several additional experiments show that the improvements in the model performance in different regions mainly result from either the introduction of the relative humidity threshold for triggering of the deep convection or the suppressed shallow convection due to enhanced lateral convective entrainment/detrainment rates.
A New Economic Assessment Index for the Impact of Climate Change on Grain Yield
DONG Wenjie, CHOU Jieming, FENG Guolin
2007, 24(2): 336-342. doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-0336-y
The impact of climate change on agriculture has received wide attention by the scientific community. This paper studies how to assess the grain yield impact of climate change, according to the climate change over a long time period in the future as predicted by a climate system model. The application of the concept of a traditional ``yield impact of meteorological factor (YIMF)" or ``yield impact of weather factor" to the grain yield assessment of a decadal or even a longer timescale would be suffocated at the outset because the YIMF is for studying the phenomenon on an interannual timescale, and it is difficult to distinguish between the trend caused by climate change and the one resulting from changes in non-climatic factors. Therefore, the concept of the yield impact of climatic change (YICC), which is defined as the difference in the per unit area yields (PUAY) of a grain crop under a changing and an envisaged invariant climate conditions, is presented in this paper to assess the impact of global climate change on grain yields. The climatic factor has been introduced into the renowned economic Cobb-Douglas model, yielding a quantitative assessment method of YICC using real data. The method has been tested using the historical data of Northeast China, and the results show that it has an encouraging application outlook.