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2008 Vol. 25, No. 6

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Fu Congbin, Ailikun
2008, 25(6): 905-905. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0905-8
An Overview of the Semi-arid Climate and Environment Research Observatory over the Loess Plateau
HUANG Jianping, ZHANG Wu, ZUO Jinqing, BI Jianrong, SHI Jinsen, WANG Xin, CHANG Zhoulin, HUANG Zhongwei, YANG Su, ZHANG Beidou, WANG Guoyin, FENG Guanghong, YUAN Jiuyi, ZHANG Lei, ZUO Hongchao, WANG Shigong, FU Congbin, CHOU Jifan
2008, 25(6): 906-921. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0906-7
Arid and semi-arid areas comprise about 30\% of the earth's surface. Changes in climate and climate variability will likely have a significant impact on these regions. The Loess Plateau over Northwest China is a special semi-arid land surface and part of a dust aerosol source. To improve understanding and capture the direct evidence of the impact of human activity on the semi-arid climate over the Loess Plateau, the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL) was established in 2005. SACOL consists of a large set of instruments and focuses on: (1) monitoring of long term tendencies in semi-arid climate changes; (2) monitoring of the aerosol effect on the water cycle; (3) studies of interaction between land surface and the atmosphere; (4) improving the land surface and climate models; and (5) validation of space-borne observations. This paper presents a description of SACOL objectives, measurements, and sampling strategies. Preliminary observation results are also reviewed in this paper.
Characteristics of Elemental Composition of PM2.5 in the Spring Period at Tongyu in the Semi-arid Region of Northeast China
ZHANG Renjian, FU Congbin, HAN Zhiwei, ZHU Chongshu
2008, 25(6): 922-931. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0922-7
Continuous observations of mass concentration and elemental composition of aerosol particles (PM2.5) were conducted at Tongyu, a semi-arid site in Northeast China in the spring of 2006. The average mass concentration of PM2.5 at Tongyu station was 260.9±274.4 μg m-3 during the observation period. Nine dust events were monitored with a mean concentration of 528.0$\pm$302.7 μg m-3. The PM2.5 level during non-dust storm (NDS) period was 111.65±63.37 μg m-3. High mass concentration shows that fine-size particles pollution was very serious in the semi-arid area in Northeast China. The enrichment factor values for crust elements during the dust storm (DS) period are close to those in the NDS period, while the enrichment factor values for pollution elements during the NDS period are much higher than those in the DS period, showing these elements were from anthropogenic sources. The ratios of dust elements to Fe were relative constant during the DS period. The Ca/Fe ratio in dust aerosols at Tongyu is remarkably different from that observed in other source regions and downwind regions. Meteorological analysis shows that dust events at Tongyu are usually associated with dry, low pressure and high wind speed weather conditions. Air mass back-trajectory analysis identified three kinds of general pathways were associated with the aerosol particle transport to Tongyu, and the northwest direction pathway was the main transport route.
Sensitivity of the Indian Monsoon to Human Activities
2008, 25(6): 932-945. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0932-5
In this paper the authors perform an extensive sensitivity analysis of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall to changes in parameters and boundary conditions which are influenced by human activities. For this study, the authors use a box model of the Indian monsoon which reproduces key features of the observed monsoon dynamics such as the annual course of precipitation and the transitions between winter and summer regimes. Because of its transparency and computational efficiency, this model is highly suitable for exploring the effects of anthropogenic perturbations such as emissions of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide, and land cover changes, on the Indian monsoon. Results of a systematic sensitivity analysis indicate that changes in those parameters which are related to emissions of greenhouse gases lead to an increase in Indian summer rainfall. In contrast, all parameters related to higher atmospheric aerosol concentrations lead to a decrease in Indian rainfall. Similarly, changes in parameters which can be related to forest conversion or desertification, act to decrease the summer precipitation. The results indicate that the sign of precipitation changes over India will be dependent on the direction and relative magnitude of different human perturbations.
Characteristics of Anthropogenic Sulfate and Carbonaceous Aerosols over East Asia: Regional Modeling and Observation
2008, 25(6): 946-959. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0946-z
The authors present spatial and temporal characteristics of anthropogenic sulfate and carbonaceous aerosols over East Asia using a 3-D coupled regional climate-chemistry-aerosol model, and compare the simulation with the limited aerosol observations over the region. The aerosol module consists of SO2, SO4 2-, hydrophobic and hydrophilic black carbon (BC) and organic carbon compounds (OC), including emission, advections, dry and wet deposition, and chemical production and conversion. The simulated patterns of SO2 are closely tied to its emission rate, with sharp gradients between the highly polluted regions and more rural areas. Chemical conversion (especially in the aqueous phase) and dry deposition remove 60% and 30% of the total SO2 emission, respectively. The SO4 2- shows less horizontal gradient and seasonality than SO2, with wet deposition (60%) and export (27%) being two major sinks. Carbonaceous aerosols are spatially smoother than sulfur species. The aging process transforms more than 80% of hydrophobic BC and OC to hydrophilic components, which are removed by wet deposition (60%) and export (30%). The simulated spatial and seasonal SO4 2-, BC and OC aerosol concentrations and total aerosol optical depth are generally consistent with the observations in rural areas over East Asia, with lower bias in simulated OC aerosols, likely due to the underestimation of anthropogenic OC emissions and missing treatment of secondary organic carbon. The results suggest that our model is a useful tool for characterizing the anthropogenic aerosol cycle and for assessing its potential climatic and environmental effects in future studies.
Impacts of Global Warming on Hydrological Cycles in the Asian Monsoon Region
2008, 25(6): 960-973. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0960-1
The hydrologic changes and the impact of these changes constitute a fundamental global-warming-related concern. Faced with threats to human life and natural ecosystems, such as droughts, floods, and soil erosion, water resource planners must increasingly make future risk assessments. Though hydrological predictions associated with the global climate change are already being performed, mainly through the use of GCMs, coarse spatial resolutions and uncertain physical processes limit the representation of terrestrial water/energy interactions and the variability in such systems as the Asian monsoon. Despite numerous studies, the regional responses of hydrologic changes resulting from climate change remains inconclusive. In this paper, an attempt at dynamical downscaling of future hydrologic projection under global climate change in Asia is addressed. The authors conducted present and future Asian regional climate simulations which were nested in the results of Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM) experiments. The regional climate model could capture the general simulated features of the AGCM. Also, some regional phenomena such as orographic precipitation, which did not appear in the outcome of the AGCM simulation, were successfully produced. Under global warming, the increase of water vapor associated with the warmed air temperature was projected. It was projected to bring more abundant water vapor to the southern portions of India and the Bay of Bengal, and to enhance precipitation especially over the mountainous regions, the western part of India and the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. As a result of the changes in the synoptic flow patterns and precipitation under global warming, the increases of annual mean precipitation and surface runoff were projected in many regions of Asia. However, both the positive and negative changes of seasonal surface runoff were projected in some regions which will increase the flood risk and cause a mismatch between water demand and water availability in the agricultural season.
Satellite Monitoring of the Surface Water and Energy Budget in the Central Tibetan Plateau
YANG Kun, Toshio KOIKE
2008, 25(6): 974-985. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0974-8
The water and energy cycle in the Tibetan Plateau is an important component of Monsoon Asia and the global energy and water cycle. Using data at a CEOP (Coordinated Enhanced Observing Period)-Tibet site, this study presents a first-order evaluation on the skill of weather forecasting from GCMs and satellites in producing precipitation and radiation estimates. The satellite data, together with the satellite leaf area index, are then integrated into a land data assimilation system (LDAS-UT) to estimate the soil moisture and surface energy budget on the Plateau. The system directly assimilates the satellite microwave brightness temperature, which is strongly affected by soil moisture but not by cloud layers, into a simple biosphere model. A major feature of this system is a dual-pass assimilation technique, which can auto-calibrate model parameters in one pass and estimate the soil moisture and energy budget in the other pass. The system outputs, including soil moisture, surface temperature, surface energy partition, and the Bowen ratio, are compared with observations, land surface models, the Global Land Data Assimilation System, and four general circulation models. The results show that this satellite data-based system has a high potential for a reliable estimation of the regional surface energy budget on the Plateau.
Holocene Climate Evolution of the Ugii Nuur Basin, Mongolia
Wolfgang SCHWANGHART, Brigitta SCH\"UTT, Michael WALTHER
2008, 25(6): 986-998. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0986-4
In order to evaluate the Holocene palaeoenvironmental evolution of the Ugii Nuur basin, central Mongolia, investigations on chemical and mineralogical properties of lacustrine sediments were carried out on a 630 cm sediment core from lake Ugii Nuur. The interpretation of the record is based on a principal component analysis (PCA) of the elemental composition of the samples. The results show that lacustrine deposition started at 10.6 kyr BP. Low lake level conditions were identified during the Early Holocene (10.6--7.9 kyr BP). The Mid Holocene (7.9--4.2 kyr BP) was characterized by generally higher lake levels and thus higher moisture supply, but it experienced strong climatic fluctuations. Arid conditions prevailed from 4.2--2.8 kyr BP and were followed by a stable, more humid phase until today.
Notes of Numerical Simulation of Summer Rainfall in China with a Regional Climate Model REMO
CUI Xuefeng, HUANG Gang, CHEN Wen
2008, 25(6): 999-1008. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0999-z
Regional climate models are major tools for regional climate simulation and their output are mostly used for climate impact studies. Notes are reported from a series of numerical simulations of summer rainfall in China with a regional climate model. Domain sizes and running modes are major foci. The results reveal that the model in forecast mode driven by ``perfect" boundaries could reasonably represent the inter-annual differences: heavy rainfall along the Yangtze River in 1998 and dry conditions in 1997. Model simulation in climate mode differs to a greater extent from observation than that in forecast mode. This may be due to the fact that in climate mode it departs further from the driving fields and relies more on internal model dynamical processes. A smaller domain in climate mode outperforms a larger one. Further development of model parameterizations including dynamic vegetation are encouraged in future studies.
Three-year Variations of Water, Energy and CO$_2$ Fluxes of Cropland and Degraded Grassland Surfaces in a Semi-arid Area of Northeastern China
LIU Huizhi, TU Gang, FU Congbin, SHI Liqing
2008, 25(6): 1009-1020. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1009-1
Based on 3 years (2003--05) of the eddy covariance (EC) observations on degraded grassland and cropland surfaces in a semi-arid area of Tongyu (44 25'N, 122 52'E, 184 m a.s.l.), Northeast China, seasonal and annual variations of water, energy and CO2 fluxes have been investigated. The soil moisture in the thin soil layer (at 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20 m) clearly indicates the pronounced annual wet-dry cycle; the annual cycle is divided into the wet (growing season) and dry seasons (non-growing season). During the growing season (from May to September), the sensible and latent heat fluxes showed a linear dependence on the global solar radiation. However, in the non-growing season, the latent heat flux was always less than 50 W m-2, while the available energy was dissipated as sensible, rather than latent heat flux. During the growing season in 2003--05, the daily average sensible and latent heat fluxes were larger on the cropland surface than on the degraded grassland surface. The cropland ecosystem absorbed more CO2 than the degraded grassland ecosystem in the growing season in 2003--05. The total evapotranspiration on the cropland was more than the total precipitation, while the total evapotranspiration on the degraded grassland was almost the same as the total annual precipitation in the growing season. The soil moisture had a good correlation with the rainfall in the growing season. Precipitation in the growing season is an important factor on the water and carbon budget in the semi-arid area.
Regional Moisture Source Changes Inferred from Late Holocene Stable Isotope Records
Zhonghui LIU, Andrew C. G. HENDERSON, Yongsong HUANG
2008, 25(6): 1021-1028. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1021-5
Qinghai Lake, China, is located near the northern limit of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and thus is an ideal region for studies of past monsoonal changes. However, isotope records from this region reflect the combined effects of multiple climatic factors, and make climatic interpretations difficult. The authors use multi-proxy records, generated from the same sediment core from Qinghai Lake, to disentangle these multiple effects in isotope records and to infer EASM variability during the late Holocene. Records of leaf wax (C28) δD, lake carbonate δ18O and the Dunde ice core δ18O all indicate a millennial-scale depletion of mean isotopic values at ~1500--1250 years before present. Compared with independent lake temperature and salinity records, the authors suggest that this depletion of long-term mean isotopic values must have resulted from changes in moisture sources in this region. In contrast, the authors attribute high-frequency (centennial timescale) C28 δD and ice core δ18O variability dominantly to a temperature effect. The multi-proxy records provide a coherent picture in that many aspects of this regional climate (temperature, dryness, and moisture source) are strongly linked to the EASM variability.
Land Use Changes in Himalaya and Their Impacts on Environment, Society and Economy: A Study of the Lake Region in Kumaon Himalaya, India
Prakash TIWARI
2008, 25(6): 1029-1042. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1029-x
The traditional resource use structure in Himalaya has transformed considerably during the recent past, mainly owing to the growth of population and the resultant increased demand of natural resources in the region. This transformation in resource use practices is particularly significant in the densely populated tracts of Himalaya. As a result, cultivated land, forests, pastures and rangelands have been deteriorated and depleted steadily and significantly leading to their conversion into degraded and non-productive lands. These rapid land use changes have not only disrupted the fragile ecological equilibrium in the mountains through indiscriminate deforestation, degradation of land resources and disruption of the hydrological cycle, but also have significant and irreversible adverse impacts on the rural economy, society, livelihood and life quality of mountain communities. It has been observed that the agricultural production has declined, water sources are drying up fast due to decreased ground water recharge and a large number of villages are facing enormous deficit of critical resources, such as food, fodder, firewood and water, mainly due to unabated deforestation. As a result, the rural people, particularly the women, have to travel considerably long distances to collect fodder and firewood and to fetching water. It is therefore highly imperative to evolve a comprehensive and integrated land use framework for the conservation of the biophysical environment and sustainable development of natural resources in Himalaya. The land use policy would help local communities in making use of their natural resources scientifically and judiciously, and thus help in the conservation of the biophysical environment and in the increasing of the productivity of natural resources. The study indicates that conservation of forests and other critical natural resources through community participation, generation of alternative means of livelihood, and employment in rural areas can help increase rural income as well as restore ecosystem services.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agro-Ecosystems and Their Contribution to Environmental Change in the Indus Basin of Pakistan
M. Mohsin IQBAL, M. Arif GOHEER
2008, 25(6): 1043-1052. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1043-z
There is growing concern that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been responsible for global warming through their effect on radiation balance and temperature. The magnitude of emissions and the relative importance of different sources vary widely, regionally and locally. The Indus Basin of Pakistan is the food basket of the country and agricultural activities are vulnerable to the effects of global warming due to accelerated emissions of GHGs. Many developments have taken place in the agricultural sector of Pakistan in recent decades in the background of the changing role of the government and the encouragement of the private sector for investment in new ventures. These interventions have considerable GHG emission potential. Unfortunately, no published information is currently available on GHG concentrations in the Indus Basin to assess their magnitude and emission trends. The present study is an attempt to estimate GHG (CO2, CH4 and N2O) emissions arising from different agro-ecosystems of Indus Basin. The GHGs were estimated mostly using the IPCC Guidelines and data from the published literature. The results showed that CH$_4$ emissions were the highest (4.126 Tg yr-1) followed by N2O (0.265 Tg yr-1) and CO2 (52.6 Tg yr-1). The sources of CH$_4$ are enteric fermentation, rice cultivation and cultivation of other crops. N2O is formed by microbial denitrification of NO3 produced from applied fertilizer-N on cropped soils or by mineralization of native organic matter on fallow soils. CO2 is formed by the burning of plant residue and by soil respiration due to the decomposition of soil organic matter.
A Modified Moist Ageostrophic Q Vector
YUE Caijun, SHOU Shaowen
2008, 25(6): 1053-1061. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1053-x
The quasi-geostrophic ${\boldsymbol Q}$ vector is an important diagnostic tool for studying development of surface rainfall associated with large-scale weather systems and is calculated using data at single vertical level. When ageostrophic Q vector was introduced, it required data at two vertical levels. In this study, moist ageostrophic Q vector is modified so that it can be calculated using data at a single vertical level. The comparison study between the original and modified moist ageostrophic Q vectors is conducted using the data from 5 to 6 July 1991 during the torrential rainfall event associated with the Changjiang-Huaihe mei-yu front in China. The results reveal that divergences of original and modified moist ageostrophic Q vectors have similar horizontal distributions and their centers are almost located in the precipitation centers. This indicates that modified moist ageostrophic Q vector can be used to diagnose convective development with reasonable accuracy.
The Effect of Typhoon-Induced SST Cooling on Typhoon Intensity: The Case of Typhoon Chanchu (2006)
JIANG Xiaoping, ZHONG Zhong, LIU Chunxia
2008, 25(6): 1062-1072. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1062-9
In order to investigate air-sea interactions during the life cycle of typhoons and the quantificational effects of typhoon-induced SST cooling on typhoon intensity, a mesoscale coupled air-sea model is developed based on the non-hydrostatic mesoscale model MM5 and the regional ocean model POM, which is used to simulate the life cycle of Typhoon Chanchu (2006) from a tropical depression to a typhoon followed by a steady weakening. The results show that improved intensity prediction is achieved after considering typhoon-induced SST cooling; the trend of the typhoon intensity change simulated by the coupled model is consistent with observations. The weakening stage of Typhoon Chanchu from 1200 UTC 15 May to 1800 UTC 16 May can be well reproduced, and it is the typhoon-induced SST cooling that makes Chanchu weaken during this period. Analysis reveals that the typhoon-induced SST cooling reduces the sensible and latent heat fluxes from the ocean to the typhoon's vortex, especially in the inner-core region. In this study, the average total heat flux in the inner-core region of the typhoon decrease by 57.2%, whereas typhoon intensity weakens by 46%. It is shown that incorporation of the typhoon-induced cooling, with an average value of 2.17C, causes a 46-hPa weakening of the typhoon, which is about 20 hPa per 1C change in SST.
Use of a Land Surface Model to Evaluate the Observed Soil Moisture of Grassland at the Tongyu Reference Site
DAN Li, JI Jinjun, LIU Huizhi
2008, 25(6): 1073-1084. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1073-6
A land surface model driven by the continuous three-year observed meteorological data with a time interval of 30 minutes at the Tongyu station, a reference site of the Coordinated Enhanced Observing Period (CEOP), was used to evaluate the observation bias of soil moisture (SM) data and analyze the variation of SM at different time scales. The saline-alkaline soil of the grassland at the Tongyu site makes the measured SM too high, especially in boreal summer of 2003--05. The simulated annual mean SM has the lowest value in 2004 and its three-year variation corresponds to the change of precipitation, whereas the observation shows the increasing trend from 2003 to 2005. Compared to the variation range between -60% and 40% for the anomaly percentage of the simulated daily mean SM during May--October of 2004, the measured data show the higher values more than 40%. The magnitude of the variation trend of the observed daily mean SM in 2003 and 2005 is generally consistent with the simulation. The largest deficiency for the soil moisture observation of the grassland is the overestimated value in the drought year with less precipitation. The simulated monthly mean SM has the lowest value in March due to the large contribution of evaporation relative to precipitation and this phenomenon can not be reproduced in the observation.
Simulation and Analysis of China Climate Using Two-Way Interactive Atmosphere-Vegetation Model (RIEMS-AVIM)
GAO Rong, DONG Wenjie, WEI Zhigang
2008, 25(6): 1085-1097. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1085-2
In this paper, an Atmosphere-Vegetation Interaction Model (AVIM) is coupled to the Regional Integrated Environment Model System (RIEMS), and a 10-year integration for China is performed using the RIEMS-AVIM. The analysis of the results of the 10-year integration shows that the characters of the spatial distributions of temperature and precipitation over China are well simulated. The patterns of simulated surface sensible and latent heat fluxes match well with the spatial climatological atlas: the values of winter surface sensible and latent heat fluxes are both lower than climatological values over the whole country. Summer surface sensible heat flux is higher than climatological values in western China and lower in eastern China, while summer surface latent heat flux is higher than climatological values in the eastern and lower in the western. Seasonal variations of simulated temperature and precipitation of RIMES-AVIM agree with those of the observed. Simulated temperature is lower than the observed in the Tibetan Plateau and Northwest China for the whole year, slightly lower in the remaining regions in winter, but consistent with the observed in summer. The simulated temperature of RIEMS-AVIM is higher in winter and lower in summer than that of RIEMS, which shows that the simulated temperature of RIEMS-AVIM is closer to the observed value. Simulated precipitation is excessive in the first half of the year, but consistent with the observed in the second half of the year. The simulated summer precipitation of RIEMS-AVIM has significant improvement compared to that of RIEMS, which is less and closer to the observed value. The interannual variations of temperature and precipitation are also fairly well simulated, with temperature simulation being superior to precipitation simulation. The interannual variation of simulated temperature is significantly correlated with the observed in Northeast China, the Transition Region, South China, and the Tibetan Plateau, but the correlation between precipitation simulation and observation is only significant in Northwest China.
Variation of Radio Refractivity with Respect to Moisture and Temperature and Influence on Radar Ray Path
Jidong GAO, Keith BREWSTER, Ming XUE
2008, 25(6): 1098-1106. doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-1098-x
In this study, the variation of radio refractivity with respect to temperature and moisture is analyzed. Also, the effects of vertical gradients in temperature and moisture on the propagation paths of electromagnetic waves of weather radar are examined for several sites across the United States using several years of sounding data from the National Weather Service. The ray path is important for identifying storm characteristics and for properly using the radar data in initializing numerical weather prediction models. It is found that during the warm season the radio refractivity gradient is more sensitive to moisture gradients than to temperature gradients. Ray paths from the commonly accepted vertical ray path model are compared to a ray path computed from a stepwise ray tracing algorithm using data from actual soundings. For the sample of about 16 000 soundings examined, we find that only a small fraction of the ray paths diverge significantly from those calculated using a ray path model based on the US Standard Atmosphere. While the problem of ray ducting in the presence of a temperature inversion is fairly well known, we identify the presence of a strong vertical moisture gradient as the culprit in the majority of the cases where significant deviations occurred.