## 2008 Vol. 25, No. 5

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2008, 25(5): 705-708. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0705-1
[Abstract](973) [PDF 114KB](1238)
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2008, 25(5): 709-722. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0709-x
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A global atmospheric general circulation model has been used to perform eleven idealized numerical experiments, i.e., TP00, TP10, ..., TP100, corresponding to different percentages of the Tibetan Plateau altitude. The aim is to explore the sensitivity of East Asian climate to the uplift and expansion of the Tibetan Plateau under the reconstructed boundary conditions for the mid-Pliocene about 3 Ma ago. When the plateau is progressively uplifted, global annual surface temperature is gradually declined and statistically significant cooling signals emerge only in the Northern Hemisphere, especially over and around the Tibetan Plateau, with larger magnitudes over land than over the oceans. On the contrary, annual surface temperature rises notably over Central Asia and most parts of Africa, as well as over northeasternmost Eurasia in the experiments TP60 to TP100. Meanwhile, the plateau uplift also leads to annual precipitation augmentation over the Tibetan Plateau but a reduction in northern Asia, the Indian Peninsula, much of Central Asia, parts of western Asia and the southern portions of northeastern Europe. Additionally, it is found that an East Asian summer monsoon system similar to that of the present initially exists in the TP60 and is gradually intensified with the continued plateau uplift. At 850 hPa the plateau uplift induces an anomalous cyclonic circulation around the Tibetan Plateau in summertime and two anomalous westerly currents respectively located to the south and north of the Tibetan Plateau in wintertime. In the mid-troposphere, similar-to-modern spatial pattern of summertime western North Pacific subtropical high is only exhibited in the experiments TP60 to TP100, and the East Asian trough is steadily deepened in response to the progressive uplift and expansion of the Tibetan Plateau.
2008, 25(5): 723-736. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0723-z
[Abstract](1637) [PDF 2153KB](1254)
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Various paleoclimate records have shown that the Asian monsoon was punctuated by numerous sub-orbital time-scale events, and these events were coeval with those that happened in the North Atlantic. This study investigates the Asian summer monsoon responses to the Atlantic Ocean forcing by applying an additional freshwater flux into the North Atlantic. The simulated results indicate that the cold North Atlantic and warm South Atlantic induced by the weakened Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) due to the freshwater flux lead to significantly suppressed Asian summer monsoon. The authors analyzed the detailed processes of the Atlantic Ocean forcing on the Asian summer monsoon, and found that the atmospheric teleconnection in the eastern and central North Pacific and the atmosphere-ocean interaction in the tropical North Pacific play the most crucial role. Enhanced precipitation in the subtropical North Pacific extends the effects of Atlantic Ocean forcing from the eastern Pacific into the western Pacific, and the atmosphere-ocean interaction in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean intensifies the circulation and precipitation anomalies in the Pacific and East Asia.
2008, 25(5): 737-747. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0737-6
[Abstract](1004) [PDF 1050KB](1493)
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Impacts of initial conditions on cloud-resolving model simulations are investigated using a series of sensitivity experiments. Five experiments with perturbed initial temperature, moisture, and cloud conditions are conducted and compared to the control experiment. The model is forced by the large-scale vertical velocity and zonal wind observed and derived from NCEP/Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS). The results indicate that model predictions of rainfall are much more sensitive to the initial conditions than those of temperature and moisture. Further analyses of the surface rainfall equation and the moisture and cloud hydrometeor budgets reveal that the calculations of vapor condensation and deposition rates in the model account for the large sensitivities in rainfall simulations.
2008, 25(5): 748-756. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0748-3
[Abstract](934) [PDF 302KB](1558)
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Increased precipitation during the vegetation periods was observed in and further predicted for Inner Mongolia. The changes in the associated soil moisture may affect the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases. Therefore, we set up an irrigation experiment with one watered (W) and one unwatered plot (UW) at a winter-grazed Leymus chinensis-steppe site in the Xilin River catchment, Inner Mongolia. UW only received the natural precipitation of 2005 (129 mm), whereas W was additionally watered after the precipitation data of 1998 (in total 427 mm). In the 3-hour resolution, we determined nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes at both plots between May and September 2005, using a fully automated, chamber-based measuring system. N2O fluxes in the steppe were very low, with mean emissions (±s.e.) of 0.9±0.5 and 0.7±0.5 μg N m-2 h-1 at W and UW, respectively. The steppe soil always served as a CH4 sink, with mean fluxes of -24.1±3.9 and -31.1±5.3 μg C m-2 h-1 at W and UW. Nighttime mean CO2 emissions were 82.6±8.7 and 26.3±1.7 μg C m-2 h-1 at W and UW, respectively, coinciding with an almost doubled aboveground plant biomass at W. Our results indicate that the ecosystem CO2 respiration responded sensitively to increased water input during the vegetation period, whereas the effects on CH4 and N2O fluxes were weak, most likely due to the high evapotranspiration and the lack of substrate for N2O producing processes. Based on our results, we hypothesize that with the gradual increase of summertime precipitation in Inner Mongolia, ecosystem CO2 respiration will be enhanced and CH4 uptake by the steppe soils will be lightly inhibited.
2008, 25(5): 757-764. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0757-2
[Abstract](1013) [PDF 2544KB](1272)
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Continuous observation data collected over the whole year of 2004 on a cropland surface in Tongyu, a semi-arid area of northeastern China (44o25'N, 122o52'$E), have been used to investigate the variations of surface albedo and soil thermal parameters, including heat capacity, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity, and their relationships to soil moisture. The diurnal variation of surface albedo appears as a U shape curve on sunny days. Surface albedo decreases with the increase of solar elevation angle, and it tends to be a constant when solar elevation angle is larger than 40o. So the daily average surface albedo was computed using the data when solar elevation angle is larger than 40o. Mean daily surface albedo is found to decrease with the increase of soil moisture, showing an exponential dependence on soil moisture. The variations of soil heat capacity are small during Julian days 90--300. Compared with the heat capacity, soil thermal conductivity has very gentle variations during this period, but the soil thermal diffusivity has wide variations during the same period. The soil thermal conductivity is found to increase as a power function of soil moisture. The soil thermal diffusivity increases firstly and then decreases with the increase of soil moisture. 2008, 25(5): 765-777. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0765-2 Abstract: This study investigates the characteristics of a heavy snowfall event over the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula on 4 December 2005. The snowstorm was a type of mesoscale maritime cyclone which resulted from barotropic instability, and diabatic heating from the warm ocean in continental polar air masses. Based on surface observations, radiosonde soundings, MTSAT-1R satellite data and the 10-km grid RDAPS (Regional Assimilation and Prediction System based on the PSU/NCAR MM5) data, the evolution of the mesocyclone is explained by the following dynamics; (1) In the initial stage, the primary role in the cyclogenesis process of the mesocyclone is a barotropic instability in the horizontal shear zone. (2) In the developing stage, the mesocyclone moves and deepens into a baroclinic zone corresponding to the surface heating and moistening. (3) In the mature stage, it is found that the mesocyclone is intensified by the destabilization caused by enhanced low-level heating and condensation, the moisture flux convergence, and the interaction between upper and lower-level potential vorticity anomalies. We suggest that a checklist with stepwise indicators responsible for development be prepared for the forecasting of heavy snowfall over the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula. 2008, 25(5): 778-790. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0778-x Abstract: In mountain areas, radar observations are often contaminated (1) by echoes from high-speed moving vehicles and (2) by point-wise ground clutter under either normal propagation (NP) or anomalous propagation (AP) conditions. Level II data are collected from KMTX (Salt Lake City, Utah) radar to analyze these two types of contamination in the mountain area around the Great Salt Lake. Human experts provide the ground truth" for possible contamination of either type on each individual pixel. Common features are then extracted for contaminated pixels of each type. For example, pixels contaminated by echoes from high-speed moving vehicles are characterized by large radial velocity and spectrum width. Echoes from a moving train tend to have larger velocity and reflectivity but smaller spectrum width than those from moving vehicles on highways. These contaminated pixels are only seen in areas of large terrain gradient (in the radial direction along the radar beam). The same is true for the second type of contamination - point-wise ground clutters. Six quality control (QC) parameters are selected to quantify the extracted features. Histograms are computed for each QC parameter and grouped for contaminated pixels of each type and also for non-contaminated pixels. Based on the computed histograms, a fuzzy logical algorithm is developed for automated detection of contaminated pixels. The algorithm is tested with KMTX radar data under different (clear and rainy) weather conditions. 2008, 25(5): 791-804. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0791-0 [Abstract](1053) [PDF 2313KB](1639) Abstract: The characteristics of the upper-level circulation and thermodynamical properties for the period when two distinct cold surges broke out over East Asia during the 2005/06 winter are investigated. From early December 2005 to early January 2006, exceptionally cold weather lasted for approximately one month due to two successive cold surges that took place on 2 December 2005 and 2 January 2006, respectively. This study reveals that both involve the upper-tropospheric circulation, which induces the amplification and expansion of the surface Siberian high toward East Asia, but arose from different causes: the former is caused by the upper-level blocking originated from the North Pacific and the latter is caused by the upper-level wave train across the Eurasian Continent. In particular, it is suggested that the lower-tropospheric anomalous wind caused by upper-level circulation anomalies and a steep meridional temperature gradient amplified by phase-locked annual cycle combined to induce very strong cold advection in East Asia, which resulted in exceptionally cold weather that lasted for several weeks. The present results emphasize that the characteristics of the upper-tropospheric circulation can be considered as important precursors to cold surge occurrences in East Asia. 2008, 25(5): 805-814. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0805-y Abstract: A simple approach for estimating the equivalent diffusion for diagnosing tracer transport is proposed. Two different expressions are derived; one is based directly on an analytical solution of the two-dimensional advection-diffusion equation, the other uses the variance of the tracer distribution. To illustrate some features of the equivalent diffusion and possible applications thereof, idealized releases of passive tracers from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plants at Sellafield in the Irish Sea and Dounreay on the northern coast of Scotland have been simulated with a regional isopycnic co-ordinate Ocean General Circulation Model. Both continuous and pulse releases are considered; the former being representative of the actual historical discharges from the reprocessing plants, the latter resembling an accidental scenario. Age tracers are included to calculate the mean time elapsed since the tracers left their source regions. It is found that in the Nordic Seas the age of tracers from Dounreay is approximately 2 years younger than the age from Sellafield. Although tracers from both sources eventually end up along the same transport routes, significant qualitative differences regarding the dispersion properties are found. It is argued that one single parameter, the equivalent horizontal diffusion, which is estimated to be in the range of 20--56 m$^2$s$^{-1}$from Sellafield and 170--485 m$^2$s$^{-1}$from Dounreay, determines these differences. 2008, 25(5): 815-823. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0815-9 Abstract: In order to investigate the spatial patterns of the Tropospheric Biennial Oscillation (TBO) on the global scale, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) monthly averaged precipitation and the Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC) monthly outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) and SST are used in conjunction with TBO bandpass-filtering. The results indicate active biennial variability in the tropical eastern-central Pacific regions. It is evident that observations reflect the biennial component of the ENSO rather than the TBO itself. Since some studies have pointed out that the TBO is a broad-scale phenomenon differing from the ENSO, to investigate the pure TBO the ENSO signal must be excluded. The Scale Interaction Experiment-FRCGC (SINTEX-F) coupled general circulation model (CGCM) developed at Japan Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC) can capture both the ENSO and the biennial signals. Air-sea interactions in the tropical eastern-central Pacific are decoupled to eliminate the effects of ENSO in a experiment by SINTEX-F and the results show that biennial variability still exists even without ENSO. It seems to mean that the TBO and ENSO are independent from each other. Furthermore, the model results indicate that the two key regions are southwest Sumatra and the tropical western Pacific for the TBO cycle. 2008, 25(5): 824-840. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0824-8 [Abstract](1007) [PDF 1701KB](1632) Abstract: A study of the circulation in the northern South China Sea (SCS) is carried out with the aid of a three-dimensional, high-resolution regional ocean model. One control and two sensitivity experiments are performed to qualitatively investigate the effects of surface wind forcing, Kuroshio intrusion, and bottom topographic influence on the circulation in the northern SCS. The model results show that a branch of the Kuroshio in the upper layer can intrude into the SCS and have direct influence on the circulation over the continental shelf break in the northern SCS. There are strong southward pressure gradients along a zonal belt largely seaward of the continental slope. The pressure gradients are opposite in the southern and northern parts of the Luzon Strait, indicating inflow and outflow through the strait, respectively. The sensitivity experiments suggest that the Kuroshio intrusion is responsible for generating the imposed pressure head along the shelf break and has no obvious seasonal variations. The lateral forcing through the Luzon Strait and Taiwan Strait can induce the southwestward slope current and the northeastward SCS Warm Current in the northern SCS. Without the lateral forcing, there is no high-pressure-gradient zonal belt seaward of the continental slope. The wind forcing mainly causes the seasonal variation of the circulation in the SCS. The wind-induced water pile-up results in the southward high pressure gradient along the northwestern boundary of the basin. Without the blocking of the plateau around Dongsha Islands, the intruded Kuroshio tends to extend northwest and the SCS branch of the Kuroshio becomes wider and stronger. The analyses presented here are qualitative in nature but should lead to a better understanding of the oceanic responses in the northern SCS to these external influence factors. 2008, 25(5): 841-846. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0841-7 [Abstract](945) [PDF 268KB](1472) Abstract: By analyzing the linkage of the Northern Annular Mode (NAM) anomaly to the East Asian jet and the East Asian trough during Stratospheric Sudden Warming (SSW), the influence of SSW on East Asian weather is studied. The results show that the East Asian jet is strengthened and the East Asian trough is deepened during SSW. With the downward propagation of SSW, the strengthened East Asian jet and the East Asian trough would move southward, expand westward and gradually influence the area of north and northeastern China. This implies that the winter monsoon tends to be enhanced over East Asia during SSW. 2008, 25(5): 847-855. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0847-1 [Abstract](909) [PDF 467KB](1437) Abstract: Characterization of carbonaceous aerosols including CC (carbonate carbon), OC (organic carbon), and EC (elemental carbon) were investigated at Xi'an, China, near Asian dust source regions in spring 2002. OC varied between 8.2 and 63.7 μg m-3, while EC ranged between 2.4 and 17.2 μ m-3 during the observation period. OC variations followed a similar pattern to EC and the correlation coefficient between OC and EC is 0.89 (n=31). The average percentage of total carbon (TC, sum of CC, OC, and EC) in PM2.5 during dust storm (DS) events was 13.6%, which is lower than that during non-dust storm (NDS) periods (22.7%). CC, OC, and EC accounted for 12.9%, 70.7%, and 16.4% of TC during DS events, respectively. The average ratio of OC/EC was 5.0 in DS events and 3.3 in NDS periods. The OC-EC correlation (R2=0.76, n=6) was good in DS events, while it was stronger (R2=0.90, n=25) in NDS periods. The percentage of water-soluble OC (WSOC) in TC accounted for 15.7%, and varied between 13.3% and 22.3% during DS events. The distribution of eight carbon fractions indicated that local emissions such as motor vehicle exhaust were the dominant contributors to carbonaceous particles. During DS events, soil dust dominated the chemical composition, contributing 69% to the PM2.5 mass, followed by organic matter (12.8%), sulfate (4%), EC (2.2%), and chloride (1.6%). Consequently, CC was mainly entrained by Asian dust. However, even in the atmosphere near Asian dust source regions, OC and EC in atmospheric dust were controlled by local emission rather than the transport of Asian dust. 2008, 25(5): 856-866. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0856-0 Abstract: This study investigates the decadal and interannual variability of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). It is found that the long-term IOD index displays a decadal phase variation. Prior to 1920 negative phase dominates, but after 1960 positive phase prevails. Under the warming background of the tropical ocean, a larger warming trend in the western Indian Ocean is responsible for the decadal phase variation of the IOD mode. Due to reduced latent heat loss from the local ocean, the western Indian Ocean warming may be caused by the weakened Indian Ocean westerly summer monsoon. The interannual air-sea coupled IOD mode varies on the background of its decadal variability. During the earlier period (1948--1969), IOD events are characterized by opposing SST anomaly (SSTA) in the western and eastern Indian Ocean, with a single vertical circulation above the equatorial Indian Ocean. But in the later period (1980--2003), with positive IOD dominating, most IOD events have a zonal gradient perturbation on a uniform positive SSTA. However, there are three exceptionally strong positive IOD events (1982, 1994, and 1997), with opposite SSTA in the western and eastern Indian Ocean, accompanied by an El Nino event. Consequently, two anomalous reversed Walker cells are located separately over the Indian Ocean and western-eastern Pacific; the one over the Indian Ocean is much stronger than that during other positive IOD events. 2008, 25(5): 867-884. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0867-x [Abstract](986) [PDF 737KB](1409) Abstract: The 21-yr ensemble predictions of model precipitation and circulation in the East Asian and western North Pacific (Asia-Pacific) summer monsoon region (0o--50oN, 100o--150oE) were evaluated in nine different AGCM, used in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Climate Center (APCC) multi-model ensemble seasonal prediction system. The analysis indicates that the precipitation anomaly patterns of model ensemble predictions are substantially different from the observed counterparts in this region, but the summer monsoon circulations are reasonably predicted. For example, all models can well produce the interannual variability of the western North Pacific monsoon index (WNPMI) defined by 850 hPa winds, but they failed to predict the relationship between WNPMI and precipitation anomalies. The interannual variability of the 500 hPa geopotential height (GPH) can be well predicted by the models in contrast to precipitation anomalies. On the basis of such model performances and the relationship between the interannual variations of 500 hPa GPH and precipitation anomalies, we developed a statistical scheme used to downscale the summer monsoon precipitation anomaly on the basis of EOF and singular value decomposition (SVD). In this scheme, the three leading EOF modes of 500 hPa GPH anomaly fields predicted by the models are firstly corrected by the linear regression between the principal components in each model and observation, respectively. Then, the corrected model GPH is chosen as the predictor to downscale the precipitation anomaly field, which is assembled by the forecasted expansion coefficients of model 500 hPa GPH and the three leading SVD modes of observed precipitation anomaly corresponding to the prediction of model 500 hPa GPH during a 19-year training period. The cross-validated forecasts suggest that this downscaling scheme may have a potential to improve the forecast skill of the precipitation anomaly in the South China Sea, western North Pacific and the East Asia Pacific regions, where the anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) has been improved by 0.14, corresponding to the reduced RMSE of 10.4% in the conventional multi-model ensemble (MME) forecast. 2008, 25(5): 885-896. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0885-8 [Abstract](992) [PDF 761KB](1877) Abstract: Ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation has a significant influence on human health, the environment and climate. A series of measurements, including UV radiation (290--400 nm) and global solar radiation$(R_{\text s})\$, were continuously recorded from August 2004 at the Lhasa and Haibei sites on the Tibetan Plateau. Both observation sites' altitudes are above 3000 m and have similar meteorological conditions. The data from 2005--2006 was used to identify the varying characteristics of UV radiation. It's relation to the clearness index Ks, the relative optical mass mr, and Rs were established. The annual mean values of total daily UV radiation are 0.92 and 0.67 MJ m-2 at Lhasa and Haibei, respectively. The UV radiation in Lhasa represented 4.6\% of the global solar radiation while in Haibei this percentage was 4.2%. In the case of clear days (Ks>0.8), these percentages ranged between 4.0% and 4.5% in Lhasa and between 5.1% and 5.5% in Haibei. In the case of cloudy days (Ks<0.4), these percentages ranged from 4.4% to 6.8% in Lhasa and from 5.1% to 5.5% in Haibei. The maximum values of UV radiation for each relative optical mass diminished exponentially with mr. Thus, for Lhasa and Haibei, UV=46.25 mr-1.29, and UV=51.76 mr-1.42, respectively. The results of this study can be used to obtain more UV radiation data for the study of UV climate characteristics, the effects of UV on ecological processes and the feedback of the thinning of the stratospheric ozone, from more routine measurements Rs data.
2008, 25(5): 897-904. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0897-4
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A three-dimensional variational method is proposed to simultaneously retrieve the 3-D atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles from satellite radiance measurements. To include both vertical structure and the horizontal patterns of the atmospheric temperature and moisture, an EOF technique is used to decompose the temperature and moisture field in a 3-D space. A number of numerical simulations are conducted and they demonstrate that the 3-D method is less sensitive to the observation errors compared to the 1-D method. When the observation error is more than 2.0 K, to get the best results, the truncation number for the EOF's expansion have to be restricted to 2 in the 1-D method, while it can be set as large as 40 in a 3-D method. This results in the truncation error being reduced and the retrieval accuracy being improved in the 3-D method. Compared to the 1-D method, the rms errors of the 3-D method are reduced by 48\% and 36\% for the temperature and moisture retrievals, respectively. Using the real satellite measured brightness temperatures at 0557 UTC 31 July 2002, the temperature and moisture profiles are retrieved over a region (20o--45oN, 100o--125oE) and compared with 37 collocated radiosonde observations. The results show that the retrieval accuracy with a 3-D method is significantly higher than those with the 1-D method.