## 2008 Vol. 25, No. 3

Display Method:
2008, 25(3): 339-347. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0339-3
[Abstract](1193)
Abstract:
A control integration with the normal solar constant and one with it increased by 2.5% in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) coupled atmosphere-ocean Climate System Model were conducted to see how well the actual realized global warming could be predicted just by analysis of the control results. This is a test, within a model context, of proposals that have been advanced to use knowledge of the present day climate to make empirical'' estimates of global climate sensitivity. The scaling of the top-of-the-atmosphere infrared flux and the planetary albedo as functions of surface temperature was inferred by examining four different temporal and geographical variations of the control simulations. Each of these inferences greatly overestimates the climate sensitivity of the model, largely because of the behavior of the cloud albedo. In each inference the control results suggest that cloudiness and albedo decrease with increasing surface temperature. However, the experiment with the increased solar constant actually has higher albedo and more cloudiness at most latitudes. The increased albedo is a strong negative feedback, and this helps account for the rather weak sensitivity of the climate in the NCAR model. To the extent that these model results apply to the real world, they suggest empirical evaluation of the scaling of global-mean radiative properties with surface temperature in the present day climate provides little useful guidance for estimates of the actual climate sensitivity to global changes.
2008, 25(3): 348-360. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0348-2
Abstract:
A physically-based multi-layer snow model Snow-Atmosphere-Soil-Transfer scheme (SAST) and a land surface model Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS) were employed to investigate how boreal forests influence snow accumulation and ablation under the canopy. Mass balance and energetics of snow beneath a Scots pine canopy in Finland at different stages of the 2003--2004 and 2004--2005 snow seasons are analyzed. For the fairly dense Scots pine forest, drop-off of the canopy-intercepted snow contributes, in some cases, twice as much to the underlying snowpack as the direct throughfall of snow. During early winter snow melting, downward turbulent sensible and condensation heat fluxes play a dominant role together with downward net longwave radiation. In the final stage of snow ablation in middle spring, downward net all-wave radiation dominates the snow melting. Although the downward sensible heat flux is comparable to the net solar radiation during this period, evaporative cooling of the melting snow surface makes the turbulent heat flux weaker than net radiation. Sensitivities of snow processes to leaf area index (LAI) indicate that a denser canopy speeds up early winter snowmelt, but also suppresses melting later in the snow season. Higher LAI increases the interception of snowfall, therefore reduces snow accumulation under the canopy during the snow season; this effect and the enhancement of downward longwave radiation by denser foliage outweighs the increased attenuation of solar radiation, resulting in earlier snow ablation under a denser canopy. The difference in sensitivities to LAI in two snow seasons implies that the impact of canopy density on the underlying snowpack is modulated by interannual variations of climate regimes.
2008, 25(3): 361-366. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0361-5
[Abstract](1087) [PDF 617KB](1458)
Abstract:
Observations show that the tropical El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability, after removing both the long term trend and decadal change of the background climate, has been enhanced by as much as 60% during the past 50 years. This shift in ENSO amplitude can be related to mean state changes in global climate. Past global warming has caused a weakening of the Walker circulation over the equatorial Indo-Pacific oceans, as well as a weakening of the trade winds and a reduction in the equatorial upwelling. These changes in tropical climatology play as stabilizing factors of the tropical coupling system. However, the shallower and strengthening thermocline in the equatorial Pacific increases the SST sensitivity to thermocline and wind stress variabilities and tend to destabilize the tropical coupling system. Observations suggest that the destabilizing factors, such as the strengthening thermocline, may have overwhelmed the stabilizing effects of the atmosphere, and played a deterministic role in the enhanced ENSO variability, at least during the past half century. This is different from the recent assessment of IPCC-AR4 coupled models.
2008, 25(3): 367-380. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0367-z
[Abstract](1106) [PDF 2351KB](1674)
Abstract:
This study presents a 44-year climatology of potential vorticity (PV) streamers in the Northern Hemisphere based upon analyses of the ERA-40 reanalysis data set. A comparison to an existing 15-year climatology yields very good agreement in the locations of PV streamer frequency maxima, but some differences are found in the amplitude of frequencies. The climatology is assessed with the focus on links between PV streamer frequencies and the synoptic- and planetary-scale variability of the dynamical tropopause. A comprehensive overview is provided on where (zonally) and when (seasonally) short-term variability throughout the extra-tropical and sub-tropical tropopause is enhanced or reduced. Several key processes that influence this variability are discussed. Baroclinic processes, for example, determine the variability in the storm-track areas in winter, whereas the Asian summer monsoon significantly influences the variability over Asia. The paper also describes links between the frequency of PV streamers in the extra-tropical and subtropical tropopause and three major northern hemisphere teleconnection patterns. The observed changes in the PV streamer frequencies are closely related to concomitant variations of PV and its gradient within the tropopause region. During opposite phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation the location of the streamer frequency maxima shifts significantly in the Atlantic and European region in both the extra-tropics and subtropics. The influence of ENSO on the streamer frequencies is most pronounced in the subtropical Pacific.
2008, 25(3): 381-386. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0381-1
[Abstract](1225) [PDF 278KB](1293)
Abstract:
High resolution radiosonde data from Beijing, China in 2002 are used to study the strong tropopause inversion layer (TIL) in the extratropical regions in eastern Asia. The analysis, based on the tropopause-based mean (TB-mean) method, shows that the TIL over Beijing has similar features as over other sites in the same latitude in Northern America. The reduced values of buoyancy frequency in 13--17 km altitude in winter-spring are attributed to the higher occurrence frequency of the secondary tropopause in this season. In the monthly mean temperature profile relative to the secondary tropopause, there also exists a TIL with somewhat enhanced static stability directly over the secondary sharp thermal tropopause, and a 4 km thickness layer with reduced values of buoyancy frequency just below the tropopause, which corresponds to the 13--17 km layer in the first TB-mean thermal profile. In the monthly mean temperature profile relative to the secondary tropopause, a TIL also exists but it is not as strong. For individual cases, a modified definition of the TIL, focusing on the super stability and the small distance from the tropopause, is introduced. The analysis shows that the lower boundary of the newly defined TIL is about 0.42 km above the tropopause, and that it is higher in winter and lower in summer; the thickness of the TIL is larger in winter-spring.
2008, 25(3): 387-394. doi: 0.1007/s00376-008-0387-8
[Abstract](976) [PDF 865KB](1562)
Abstract:
Seasonal prediction of Asian-Australian monsoon (A-AM) precipitation is one of the most important and challenging tasks in climate prediction. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of Grid Atmospheric Model of IAP LASG (GAMIL) on retrospective prediction of the A-AM interannual variation (IAV), and determine to what extent GAMIL can capture the two major observed modes of A-AM rainfall IAV for the period 1979--2003. The first mode is associated with the turnabout of warming (cooling) in the Nino 3.4 region, whereas the second mode leads the warming/cooling by about one year, signaling precursory conditions for ENSO. We show that the GAMIL one-month lead prediction of the seasonal precipitation anomalies is primarily able to capture major features of the two observed leading modes of the IAV, with the first mode better predicted than the second. It also depicts the relationship between the first mode and ENSO rather well. On the other hand, the GAMIL has deficiencies in capturing the relationship between the second mode and ENSO. We conclude: (1) successful reproduction of the El Nino-excited monsoon-ocean interaction and El Nino forcing may be critical for the seasonal prediction of the A-AM rainfall IAV with the GAMIL; (2) more efforts are needed to improve the simulation not only in the Nino 3.4 region but also in the joining area of Asia and the Indian-Pacific Ocean; (3) the selection of a one-tier system may improve the ultimate prediction of the A-AM rainfall IAV. These results offer some references for improvement of the GAMIL and associated seasonal prediction skill.
2008, 25(3): 395-403. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0395-8
Abstract:
A severe Asian Dust Storm (ADS) event occurred on 16--17 April 2006 in northern China. The mineral compositions of dust samples were analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results indicated that dust particles of the 17 April 2006" dust storm were dominated by quartz (37.4%) and clay (32.9%), followed by plagioclase (13.7%), with small amounts of calcite, K-feldspar, dolomite, hornblende and gypsum (all less than 10%). The clay fractions with diameter less than 2 μm were separated from the dust storm particles by centrifuging and were further analyzed by XRD. The results revealed that the clay species were mainly illite/smectite mixed layers (I/S) (49%) and illite (34%), with small amount of kaolinite (8%) and chlorite (9%). In order to evaluate the feasibility of using the mineralogy to trace the sources of dust particles, the XRD results of the 17 April 2006" dustfall particles were compared with the dust particles over past years. The results confirmed that the finer dust particles represented by the ADS PM10 displayed a smaller quartz/clay ratio than the dustfall particles. The dust storm particles, either from the ADS PM10 or from the 17 April 2006" dustfall, showed a lower level of dolomite contents and lower dolomite/clay ratios compared with the non-dust storm dustfall particles. This implies that dolomite could be used to distinguish between the dust contributions from local and non-local sources. Similar trends were found for the gypsum and the gypsum/clay ratio. Moreover, the two dustfall samples had a lower level of illite/smectite mixed layers and a higher level of illite than airborne PM10, implying that the dustfall particles tend to be enriched with illite in its clay fraction.
2008, 25(3): 404-416. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0404-y
[Abstract](951) [PDF 465KB](1589)
Abstract:
Beryllium-7 (7Be) and lead-210 (210Pb) activities were measured from October 2002 to January 2004 at Waliguan Observatory (WO: 36.287N, 100.898E, 3816 m a.s.l (above sea level) in northwest China. 7Be and 210Pb activities are high with overall averages of 14.7±3.5 mBq m-3 and 1.8±0.8 mBq m-3 respectively. For both 7Be and 210Pb, there are significant short-term and seasonal variations with a commonly low value in summer (May--September) and a monthly maximum in April (for 7Be) and in December (for 210Pb). The ratio of 7Be 210Pb showed a broad maximum extending from April to July, coinciding with a seasonal peak in surface ozone (O3). The seasonal cycles of 7Be and 210Pb activities were greatly influenced by precipitation and thermal dynamical conditions over the boundary layer, especially for 210Pb. The vertical mixing process between the boundary layer and the aloft air modulates the variations of 7Be and 210Pb at WO in summer. It is indicated that air mass had longer residence time and originated from higher altitudes at WO in the spring-summer time and the winter in 2003. During an event with extremely high weekly-averaged 7Be concentration (24.8 mBq m-3) together with high O3 levels and low water mixing ratio, we found that air masses had been convectively transported a long distance to WO from high latitude source regions in central Asia, where significant subsiding motions were observed. In another case with the extreme 210Pb activity of 5.7 mBq m-3 high CO2 level and specific humidity (in winter), air masses had come from south China and north Indian regions where 222Rn activities were high. This study, using 7Be and 210Pb as atmospheric tracers, has revealed that complex interactions of convective mixing from the upper troposphere and long-range transports exist at WO.
2008, 25(3): 417-426. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0417-6
[Abstract](1064) [PDF 460KB](1651)
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Using the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) tropical cyclone track datasets, variations in frequency and intensity of the affecting-China tropical cyclones (ACTCs) are studied for the period of 1965--2004. First, the differences between the two tropical cyclone datasets are examined. The annual frequencies of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific basin are reasonably consistent to each other, while the intensity records are less reliable. The annual numbers of ACTCs based on different datasets are close to each other with similar interdecadal and interannual variations. However, the maximum intensity and the annual frequency of ACTCs for strong categories show great dependence on datasets. Tropical cyclone impacts on China show the same variations as the annual number of ACTCs and also show dependence on datasets. Differences in tropical cyclone impacts on China are mainly caused by datasets used. The annual frequency of ACTCs, especially the length of lifetime of ones that make landfall, and the intensity estimates all have effects on the value of impacts on China.
2008, 25(3): 427-436. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0427-4
[Abstract](976) [PDF 495KB](1600)
Abstract:
Concentration and source rate of precursor vapors participating in particle formation and subsequent growth were investigated during the Pearl River Delta intensive campaign (PRD2004, October 2004) in southeastern China. Four new particle formation event days and a typical non-event day were selected for our analysis. Atmospheric sulphuric acid, the important precursor vapor in nucleation and growth, were simulated with a pseudo steady-state model based on the measurements of SO2, NOx, O3, CO, non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) and ambient particle number concentrations as well as modeled photolysis frequencies obtained from measurements. The maximum midday sulphuric acid concentrations vary from 4.53×107 to 2.17×108 molecules cm-3, the corresponding source rate via reaction of OH and SO2 range between 2.37×106 and 1.16×107 molecules cm-3 s-1. Nucleation mode growth rate was derived from size spectral evolution during the events to be 6.8--13.8 nm h-1. Based on the growth rate, concentration of the vapors participating in subsequent growth were estimated to vary from 1.32×108 to 2.80×108 molecules cm-3 with corresponding source rate between 7.26×106 and 1.64×107 molecules cm-3 s-1. Our results show the degree of pollution is larger in PRD. Sulphuric acid concentrations are fairly high and have a close correlation with new particle formation events. Budget analysis shows that sulphuric acid alone is not enough for required growth; other nonvolatile vapors are needed. However, sulphuric acid plays an important role in growth; the contribution of sulphuric acid to growth in PRD is 12.4%--65.2%.
2008, 25(3): 437-446. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0437-2
Abstract:
Analyses of cloud water path (CWP) data over China available from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) are performed for the period 1984--2004. Combined with GPCP precipitation data, cloud water cycle index (CWCI) is also calculated. The climatic distributions of CWP are found to be dependent on large-scale circulation, topographical features, water vapor transport and similar distribution features which are found in CWCI except in the Sichuan Basin. Influenced by the Asia monsoon, CWP over China exhibits very large seasonal variations in different regions. The seasonal cycles of CWCI in different regions are consistent and the largest CWCI occurs in July. The long-term trends of CWP and CWCI are investigated, too. Increasing trends of CWP are found during the period with the largest increase found in winter. The decreasing trends of CWCI dominate most regions of China. The differences in long-term trends between CWP and CWCI suggest that CWP only can influence the variation of CWCI to a certain extent and that other factors need to be involved in cloud water cycle researches. This phenomenon reveals the complexity of the hydrological cycle related to cloud water.
2008, 25(3): 447-457. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0447-0
[Abstract](1033) [PDF 1639KB](1329)
Abstract:
Performances of two LASG/IAP (State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics/Institute of Atmospheric Physics) Atmospheric General Circulation Models (AGCMs), namely GAMIL and SAMIL, in simulating the major characteristics of the East Asian subtropical westerly jet (EASWJ) in the upper troposphere are examined in this paper. The mean vertical and horizontal structures and the correspondence of the EASWJ location to the meridional temperature gradient in the upper troposphere are well simulated by two models. However, both models underestimate the EASWJ intensity in winter and summer, and are unable to simulate the bimodal distribution of the major EASWJ centers in mid-summer, relative to the observation, especially for the SAMIL model. The biases in the simulated EASWJ intensity are found to be associated with the biases of the meridional temperature gradients in the troposphere, and furthermore with the surface sensible heat flux and condensation latent heating. The models capture the major characteristics of the seasonal evolution of the diabatic heating rate averaged between 30--45N, and its association with the westerly jet. However, the simulated maximum diabatic heating rate in summer is located westward in comparison with the observed position, with a relatively strong diabatic heating intensity, especially in GAMIL. The biases in simulating the diabatic heating fields lead to the biases in simulating the temperature distribution in the upper troposphere, which may further affect the EASWJ simulations. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the simulation of the meridional temperature gradient as well as the diabatic heating field in the troposphere for the improvement of the EASWJ simulation by GAMIL and SAMIL models.
2008, 25(3): 458-466. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0458-x
[Abstract](1013) [PDF 1662KB](1504)
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The spatio-temporal variability of Northern Hemisphere Sea Level Pressure (SLP) and precipitation over the mid-to-low reaches of the Yangtze River (PMLY) is analyzed jointly using the multi-taper /singular value decomposition method (MTM-SVD). Statistically significant narrow frequency bands are obtained from the local fractional variance (LFV) spectrum. Significant interdecadal (i.e., 16-to-18-year periods) and interannual (i.e., 3-to-6-year periods) signals are identified. Moreover, a significant quasi-biennial signal is identified but only for PMLY data. The spatial joint evolution of patterns obtained for peaks in the LFV spectrum sheds light on relationships between SLP and PMLY: the Arctic Oscillation (AO) modulates the variability of the PMLY while the interannual variability of PMLY is in phase with the Northern Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Northern Pacific Oscillation (NPO).
2008, 25(3): 467-473. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0467-9
Abstract:
Extensive dustfall collections were carried out from April 2001 to May 2002 in North China. The highest level of dustfall occurred in the Gobi deserts and at the margins of sandy deserts in the region. The iron content in dustfall in North China varied from 0.6% to 6.0% and there was significant seasonal variation, which indicates the dust sources differed during the year. Although the iron content in dustfall in North China is higher in the Loess Plateau and arable lands and lower in the Gobi and sandy deserts, the total iron deposition was higher in the Gobi desert regions. If the fine particles (PM10) in dustfall in North China are the major contributors of dust transport to eastern China and western parts of the North Pacific, then the annual deposition rates of iron may have been underestimated in previous studies. Our analysis indicates that iron deposition may reach 1.38×103 to 2.43×103 kg km-2 and that most iron deposition occurs in spring and summer. If the more-coarse fractions (PM50) are considered, deposition rates may reach \$2.75×103 and 6.80×103 kg km-2, which would represent a large source of iron deposition in eastern China and the western North Pacific.
2008, 25(3): 474-480. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0474-x
[Abstract](1086) [PDF 509KB](1250)
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A three-layer theoretical model is used to calculate the lee wave of a real example occurring over Blue Ridge in Pittsburgh, in which the maximum vertical velocity is 0.11 m s-1. Based on this, the influence of changes in the thickness and values of the Scorer parameter in each layer are analyzed. It is shown that the influence of each layer parameters on the lee-wave amplitude is different, and the amplitude is more sensitive to the changes in the lower layer. Since the environment changes can affect the Scorer parameter profile, the influence of the environment on the amplitude is studied. The results show that the amplitude will decrease in the daytime because of solar heating, and increase at night because of radiational cooling, according to observational data. The case is also simulated by the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) model. The simulated amplitude is 0.089 m s-1, which is close to the calculated result. Numerical sensitivity experiments are performed to test the former calculated experiments. The simulated results are consistent with the analytically calculated results.
2008, 25(3): 481-488. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0481-y
[Abstract](970) [PDF 706KB](1547)
Abstract:
To improve the simulation of the surface radiation budget and related thermal processes in arid regions, three sophisticated surface albedo schemes designed for such regions were incorporated into the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS). Two of these schemes are functions of the solar zenith angle (SZA), where the first one has one adjustable parameter defined as SZA1 scheme, and the second one has two empirical parameters defined as SZA2 scheme. The third albedo scheme is a function of solar angle and soil water that were developed based on arid-region observations from the Dunhuang field experiment (DHEX) (defined as DH scheme). We evaluated the performance of the original and newly-incorporated albedo schemes within BATS using the in-situ data from the Oasis System Energy and Water Cycle Field Experiment that was carried out in JinTa, Gansu arid area (JTEX). The results indicate that a control run by the original version of the BATS generates a constant albedo, while the SZA1 and SZA2 schemes basically can reproduce the observed diurnal cycle of surface albedo, although these two schemes still underestimate the albedo when SZA is high in the early morning and late afternoon, and overestimate it when SZA is low during noontime. The SZA2 scheme has a better overall performance than the SZA1 scheme. In addition, BATS with the DH scheme slightly improves the albedo simulation in magnitude as compared to that from the control run, but a diurnal cycle of albedo is not produced by this scheme. The SZA1 and SZA2 schemes significantly increase the surface absorbed solar radiation by nearly 70 W m-2, which further raises the ground temperature by 6 K and the sensible heat flux by 35 W m-2. The increased solar radiation, heat flux, and temperature are more consistent with the observations that those from the control run. However, a significant improvement in these three variables is not found in BATS with the DH scheme due to the neglect of the diurnal cycle of albedo. Further analysis indicates that during cloudy days the solar radiation simulations of BATS with these three schemes are not in a good agreement with the observations, which implies that a more realistic partitioning of diffuse and direct radiation is needed in future land surface process simulations.
2008, 25(3): 489-506. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0489-3
Abstract:
Based on the Princeton Ocean Model (POM), the seasonal thermohaline feature and the ocean circulation in the Gulf of Thailand (GoT), situated between 6N to 14N latitude and 99E to 105E longitude, were studied numerically with 37×97 orthogonal curvilinear grid and 10 vertical sigma levels conforming to a realistic bottom topography. A spin-up phase of the first model run was executed using wind stress calculated from climatological monthly mean wind, restoring-type surface heat and salt, and climatological monthly mean fresh water flux data. In this paper, the temperature and salinity fields taken from Levitus94 data sets and the calculated temperature and salinity from the model run for 12-month mean and for each season are presented where the winter, summer, rainy, and end of the rainy seasons of Thailand are represented by the months January, April, July, and October, respectively. The simulated circulations are also described. The results show that the temperature in the GoT is warmer than the temperature of the other parts connected to the South China Sea (SCS). At any depth of inflow from SCS into the GoT, the salinity is high, but in the outflow from the GoT at the surface, the salinity is low. The strong circulations are clockwise during summer and the rainy seasons of Thailand, which are the East Asian monsoon periods, northeasterly and southwesterly during summer. They occur near Pattani and Narathiwat provinces during summer and in the central GoT during the rainy seasons. Sensitivity experiments were designed to investigate the effects of wind forcing and open boundary conditions. Wind forcing is shown to be the important factor for generating the circulation in the GoT. The lateral velocity at the open boundaries is of considerable importance to current circulation for the rainy and end of the rainy seasons, with insignificant effect for the winter and summer seasons of Thailand.
2008, 25(3): 507-516. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0507-5
[Abstract](1177) [PDF 239KB](1207)
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It has been theoretically proven that at a high threshold an approximate expression for a quantile of GEV (Generalized Extreme Values) distribution can be derived from GPD (Generalized Pareto Distribution). Afterwards, a quantile of extreme rainfall events in a certain return period is found using L-moment estimation and extreme rainfall events simulated by GPD and GEV, with all aspects of their results compared. Numerical simulations show that POT (Peaks Over Threshold)-based GPD is advantageous in its simple operation and subjected to practically no effect of the sample size of the primitive series, producing steady high-precision fittings in the whole field of values (including the high-end heavy tailed). In comparison, BM (Block Maximum)-based GEV is limited, to some extent, to the probability and quantile simulation, thereby showing that GPD is an extension of GEV, the former being of greater utility and higher significance to climate research compared to the latter.