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2019 Vol. 36, No. 11

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Original Paper
Systematic Hydrological Evaluation of the Noah-MP Land Surface Model over China
Jingjing LIANG, Zongliang YANG, Peirong LIN
2019, 36(11): 1171-1187. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-9016-y
We evaluate water budget components—namely, soil moisture, runoff, evapotranspiration, and terrestrial water storage (TWS)—simulated by the Noah land surface model with multi-parameterization options (Noah-MP) in China, a large geographic domain challenging for hydrological modeling due to poor observational data and a lack of one single parameterization that can fit for complex hydrological processes. By comparing the model simulations with multi-source reference data, we show that Noah-MP can generally reproduce the overall spatiotemporal patterns of runoff and evapotranspiration over six major river basins, with the annual correlation coefficients generally greater than 0.8 and the Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient exceeding 0.5. Among the six basins evaluated, the best model performance is seen over the Huaihe River basin. The temporal trend of the modeled TWS anomalies agrees well with GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) observations, capturing major flood and drought events in different basins. Experiments with 12 selected physical parameterization options show that the runoff parameterization has a stronger impact on the simulated soil moisture–runoff–evapotranspiration relationships than the soil moisture factor for stomatal resistance schemes, a result consistent with previous studies. Overall, Noah-MP driven by GLDAS forcing simulates the hydrological variables well, except for the Songliao basin in northeastern China, likely because this is a transitional region with extensive freeze–thaw activity, while representations of human activities may also help improve the model performance.
Atmospheric Warming Slowdown during 1998−2013 Associated with Increasing Ocean Heat Content
Changyu LI, Jianping HUANG, Yongli HE, Dongdong LI, Lei DING
2019, 36(11): 1188-1202. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-8281-0
Although atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continuously increased, there was relatively little change in global-averaged surface temperatures from 1998 to 2013, which is known as atmospheric warming slowdown. For further understanding the mechanism involved, we explored the energy redistribution between the atmosphere and ocean in different latitudes and depths by using data analysis as well as simulations of a coupled atmosphere–ocean box model. The results revealed that, compared with observational changes of ocean heat content (OHC) associated with rapid warming, the OHC changes related to warming slowdown are relatively larger in multiple ocean basins, particularly in the deeper layer of the Atlantic. The coupled box model also showed that there is a larger increasing trend of OHC under the warming slowdown scenario than the rapid warming scenario. Particularly, during the warming slowdown period, the heat storage in the deeper ocean increases faster than the ocean heat uptake in the surface ocean. The simulations indicated that the warming patterns under the two scenarios are accompanied by distinct outgoing longwave radiation and atmospheric meridional heat transport, as well as other related processes, thus leading to different characteristics of ocean heat uptake. Due to the global energy balance, we suggest this slowdown has a tight relationship with the accelerated heat transport into the global ocean.
Meridional Displacement of the East Asian Upper-tropospheric Westerly Jet and Its Relationship with the East Asian Summer Rainfall in CMIP5 Simulations
Yuhan YAN, Chaofan LI, Riyu LU
2019, 36(11): 1203-1216. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-9066-1
As the first leading mode of upper-tropospheric circulation in observations, the meridional displacement of the East Asian westerly jet (EAJ) varies closely with the East Asian rainfall in summer. In this study, the interannual variation of the EAJ meridional displacement and its relationship with the East Asian summer rainfall are evaluated, using the historical simulations of CMIP5 (phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project). The models can generally reproduce the meridional displacement of the EAJ, which is mainly manifested as the first principal mode in most of the simulations. For the relationship between the meridional displacement of the EAJ and East Asian rainfall, almost all the models depict a weaker correlation than observations and exhibit considerably large spread across the models. It is found that the discrepancy in the interannual relationship is closely related to the simulation of the climate mean state, including the climatological location of the westerly jet in Eurasia and rainfall bias in South Asia and the western North Pacific. In addition, a close relationship between the simulation discrepancy and intensity of EAJ variability is also found: the models with a stronger intensity of the EAJ meridional displacement tend to reproduce a closer interannual relationship, and vice versa.
Investigating the Transport Mechanism of PM2.5 Pollution during January 2014 in Wuhan, Central China
Miaomiao LU, Xiao TANG, Zifa WANG, Lin WU, Xueshun CHEN, Shengwen LIANG, Hui ZHOU, Huangjian WU, Ke HU, Longjiao SHEN, Jia YU, Jiang ZHU
2019, 36(11): 1217-1234. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-8260-5
Severe haze pollution that occurred in January 2014 in Wuhan was investigated. The factors leading to Wuhan’s PM2.5 pollution and the characteristics and formation mechanism were found to be significantly different from other megacities, like Beijing. Both the growth rates and decline rates of PM2.5 concentrations in Wuhan were lower than those in Beijing, but the monthly PM2.5 value was approximately twice that in Beijing. Furthermore, the sharp increases of PM2.5 concentrations were often accompanied by strong winds. A high-precision modeling system with an online source-tagged method was established to explore the formation mechanism of five haze episodes. The long-range transport of the polluted air masses from the North China Plain (NCP) was the main factor leading to the sharp increases of PM2.5 concentrations in Wuhan, which contributed 53.4% of the monthly PM2.5 concentrations and 38.5% of polluted days. Furthermore, the change in meteorological conditions such as weakened winds and stable weather conditions led to the accumulation of air pollutants in Wuhan after the long-range transport. The contribution from Wuhan and surrounding cities to the PM2.5 concentrations was determined to be 67.4% during this period. Under the complex regional transport of pollutants from surrounding cities, the NCP, East China, and South China, the five episodes resulted in 30 haze days in Wuhan. The findings reveal important roles played by transregional and intercity transport in haze formation in Wuhan.
Analysis of Low-level Temperature Inversions and Their Effects on Aerosols in the Lower Atmosphere
Jun LI, Hongbin CHEN, Zhanqing LI, Pucai WANG, Xuehua FAN, Wenying HE, Jinqiang ZHANG
2019, 36(11): 1235-1250. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-9018-9
High-quality and continuous radiosonde, aerosol and surface meteorology datasets are used to investigate the statistical characteristics of meteorological parameters and their effects on aerosols. The data were collected at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains climate research facility during 2000–15. The parameters and vertical distribution of temperature inversion layers were found to have strong diurnal and seasonal changes. For surface-based temperature inversion (SBI), the mean frequency and depth of temperature inversion layers were 39.4% and 198 m, respectively. The temperature difference between the top and bottom of SBI was 4.8℃, and so the temperature gradient was 2.4℃ (100 m)−1. The detailed vertical distributions of temperature inversion had been determined, and only the temperature inversion layers below 1000 m showed diurnal and seasonal variations. Mean surface aerosol number concentrations increased by 43.0%, 21.9% and 49.2% when SBIs were present at 0530, 1730 and 2330 LST, respectively. The effect of SBI on surface aerosol concentration was weakest in summer (18.1%) and strongest in winter (58.4%). During elevated temperature inversion events, there was no noticeable difference in surface aerosol number concentrations. Temperature differences and temperature gradients across SBIs correlated fairly well with aerosol number concentrations, especially for temperature gradients. The vertical distribution of aerosol optical properties with and without temperature inversions was different. Surface aerosol measurements were representative of the air within (below), but not above, SBIs and EIs. These results provide a basis for developing a boundary layer aerosol accumulation model and for improving radiative transfer models in the lower atmosphere.
Recent Strengthening of the Regional Hadley Circulation over the Western Pacific during Boreal Spring
Ruping HUANG, Shangfeng CHEN, Wen CHEN, Peng HU, Bin YU
2019, 36(11): 1251-1264. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-9004-2
Previous studies suggested that there are large discrepancies in the intensity trend of the zonally averaged Hadley circulation (ZAHC) among different reanalyses. As the land, ocean, and topography are not evenly distributed, the ZAHC may mask the regional variability. Changes in the regional HC have important implications for regional climate change. Here, we detect the long-term trend of the boreal spring regional Hadley circulation intensity over the western Pacific (WPHC) since 1979 in both hemispheres using six reanalysis datasets. Unlike the ZAHC, we find that the trend of the spring WPHC intensity is consistent among various reanalysis datasets. All reanalyses show pronounced strengthening trends for the WPHC in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, which may be partly attributable to the robust warming trends of sea surface temperature in the tropical western Pacific. The result could improve our understanding of Hadley circulation variability at the regional scale and has implications for regional climate changes.
Analysis of the Spectral Characteristics of Triggered Lightning
Huaming ZHANG, Yijun ZHANG, Weitao LYU, Yang ZHANG, Qi QI, Yanfeng FAN
2019, 36(11): 1265-1272. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-9006-0
The spectra with wavelength range of 390 nm to 660 nm of triggered lightning were observed in Guangdong Area using a slitless spectrograph. The characteristics of the lightning spectra during the initial continuous current and return strokes were analyzed, and the differences between the metal section and air section of the lightning channel were compared. The results showed that the metal spectra were contained in the metal section during the initial continuous current. As for the lightning channel of the return strokes, the line spectra for both the metal section and the air section were identical; neither of the two sections contained the metal spectra, but the relative intensity of its emission spectrum was different. Owing to different radiation mechanisms, the spectral structures and luminance of the two sections were not the same. Combined with the current data, it was found that there was a good positive correlation between the total spectral strength and the transferred charge. The total intensity of the lightning channel spectrum increased with the height of the channel, indicating that the radiation sequence of the lightning channel was different. High temporal resolution observations showed that the spectral line duration could be divided into three categories, in which the lines with higher excitation energy appear first and decay rapidly, while those with lower excitation energy appear later but last longer.
Assessment of an Evapotranspiration Deficit Drought Index in Relation to Impacts on Ecosystems
Xia ZHANG, Mingxing LI, Zhuguo MA, Qing YANG, Meixia LV, Robin Clark
2019, 36(11): 1273-1287. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-9061-6
Ecosystems have increasingly been subject to the challenge of heavy drought under global warming. To quantitatively evaluate the impacts of drought on ecosystems, it is necessary to develop a drought index that can sensitively depict the response of vegetation to drought evolution at a biological time scale. For the ability of direct connection between climate and ecosystem by deficit of evapotranspiration, in the present study, a drought index was defined based on standardized evapotranspiration deficit (SEDI), according to the difference between actual and potential evapotranspiration, to meet the need for highlighting drought impacts on ecological processes. Comparisons with traditional indices show that SEDI can reasonably detect droughts and climatic dry and wet transitions, especially at a monthly time scale, and can also regenerate long-term trends. Moreover, SEDI can more sensitively capture the biological changes of ecosystems in response to the dynamics of drought intensity, compared with the indices of precipitation and temperature. SEDI is more practical than the precipitation and temperature indices to highlight signals of biological effects in climate droughts. Hence, it has potential for use in assessments of climate change and its impact on ecosystems.
Influences of the NAO on the North Atlantic CO2 Fluxes in Winter and Summer on the Interannual Scale
Yujie JING, Yangchun LI, Yongfu XU, Guangzhou FAN
2019, 36(11): 1288-1298. doi: 10.1007/s00376-019-8247-2
The differences in the influences of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the air–sea CO2 fluxes (fCO2) in the North Atlantic (NA) between different seasons and between different regions are rarely fully investigated. We used observation-based data of fCO2, surface-ocean CO2 partial pressure (pCO2sea), wind speed and sea surface temperature (SST) to analyze the relationship between the NAO and fCO2 of the subtropical and subpolar NA in winter and summer on the interannual time scale. Based on power spectrum estimation, there are significant interannual signs with a 2–6 year cycle in the NAO indexes and area-averaged fCO2 anomalies in winter and summer from 1980 to 2015. Regression analysis with the 2–6 year filtered data shows that on the interannual scale the response of the fCO2 anomalies to the NAO has an obvious meridional wave-train-like pattern in winter, but a zonal distribution in summer. This seasonal difference is because in winter the fCO2 anomalies are mainly controlled by the NAO-driven wind speed anomalies, which have a meridional distribution pattern, while in summer they are dominated by the NAO-driven SST anomalies, which show distinct zonal difference in the subtropical NA. In addition, in the same season, there are different factors controlling the variation of pCO2sea in different regions. In summer, SST is important to the interannual variation of pCO2sea in the subtropical NA, while some biogeochemical variables probably control the pCO2sea variation in the subpolar NA.