Current Articles

Display Method:
Editorial Notes
Understanding Third Pole Atmospheric Dynamics and Land Surface Processes and Their Associations with the Cryosphere, Air Quality, and Climate Change
Yun Qian, Hailong Wang, Chuanfeng Zhao, Chun Zhao, Siyu Chen, Xiao-Ming Hu, Shichang Kang
2022, 39(7): 1017-1020. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-2004-7
Abstract:
Original Paper
Intensity Evolution of Zonal Shear Line over the Tibetan Plateau in Summer: A Perspective of Divergent and Rotational Kinetic Energies
Xiaohong BAO, Xiuping YAO
2022, 39(7): 1021-1033. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1302-9
Abstract:
Based on the ERA5 reanalysis datasets during 1980–2019, a total of eleven zonal shear lines (ZSLs) that caused heavy precipitation and lasted more than 60 hours over the Tibetan Plateau in summer are selected for composite analysis. By decomposing the kinetic energy (K) near the ZSL into divergent and rotational kinetic energies (KD and KR) and the kinetic energy of interaction between the divergent wind and the rotational wind (KRD), the influence of the rotational and divergent winds on the evolution of the ZSL intensity is investigated from the perspective of KD and KR. The main results are as follows. The ZSL is a comprehensive reflection of rotation and convergence. The intensity evolution of ZSL is essentially synchronized with those of K, KR, and KRD but lags behind KD by about three hours. The enhancement of K is mainly contributed by KR, which is governed by the conversion from KD to KR. Furthermore, the increase in the conversion from KD to KR is controlled by the geostrophic effect term Af, which is determined by the joint enhancement of the zonal rotational and meridional divergent wind components (uR and vD). Therefore, the joint enhancement of uR and vD controls the increase of the ZSL intensity, leading to increased precipitation.
Seasonal and Diurnal Variations of Cloud Systems over the Eastern Tibetan Plateau and East China: A Cloud-resolving Model Study
Jinghua CHEN, Xiaoqing WU, Chunsong LU, Yan YIN
2022, 39(7): 1034-1049. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-0391-9
Abstract:
The seasonal and diurnal variations of cloud systems are profoundly affected by the large-scale and local environments. In this study, a one-year-long simulation was conducted using a two-dimensional cloud-resolving model over the Eastern Tibetan Plateau (ETP) and two subregions of Eastern China: Southern East China and Central East China. Deep convective clouds (DCCs) rarely occur in the cold season over ETP, whereas DCCs appear in Eastern China throughout the year, and the ETP DCCs are approximately 20%−30% shallower than those over Eastern China. Most strong rainfall events (precipitation intensity, PI> 2.5 mm h−1) in Eastern China are related to warm-season DCCs with ice cloud processes. Because of the high elevation of the ETP, the warm-season freezing level is lower than in Eastern China, providing favorable conditions for ice cloud processes. DCCs are responsible for the diurnal variations of warm-season rainfall in all three regions. Warm-season DCCs over the ETP have the greatest total cloud water content and frequency in the afternoon, resulting in an afternoon rainfall peak. In addition, rainfall events in the ETP also exhibit a nocturnal peak in spring, summer, and autumn due to DCCs. Strong surface heat fluxes around noon can trigger or promote DCCs in spring, summer, and autumn over the ETP but produce only cumulus clouds in winter due to the cold and dry environment.
Interannual Influences of the Surface Potential Vorticity Forcing over the Tibetan Plateau on East Asian Summer Rainfall
Chen SHENG, Bian HE, Guoxiong WU, Yimin LIU, Shaoyu ZHANG
2022, 39(7): 1050-1061. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1218-4
Abstract:
The influences of interannual surface potential vorticity forcing over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on East Asian summer rainfall (EASR) and upper-level circulation are explored in this study. The results show that the interannual EASR and associated circulations are closely related to the surface potential vorticity negative uniform leading mode (PVNUM) over the TP. When the PVNUM is in the positive phase, more rainfall occurs in the Yangtze River valley, South Korea, Japan, and part of northern China, less rainfall occurs in southern China, and vice versa. A possible mechanism by which PVNUM affects EASR is proposed. Unstable air induced by the positive phase of PVNUM could stimulate significant upward motion and a lower-level anomalous cyclone over the TP. As a result, a dipole heating mode with anomalous cooling over the southwestern TP and anomalous heating over the southeastern TP is generated. Sensitivity experiment results regarding this dipole heating mode indicate that anomalous cooling over the southwestern TP leads to local and northeastern Asian negative height anomalies, while anomalous heating over the southeastern TP leads to local positive height anomalies. These results greatly resemble the realistic circulation pattern associated with EASR. Further analysis indicates that the anomalous water vapor transport associated with this anomalous circulation pattern is responsible for the anomalous EASR. Consequently, changes in surface potential vorticity forcing over the TP can induce changes in EASR.
Comparative Analysis of the Characteristics of Rainy Season Raindrop Size Distributions in Two Typical Regions of the Tibetan Plateau
Gaili WANG, Ran LI, Jisong SUN, Xiangde XU, Renran ZHOU, Liping LIU
2022, 39(7): 1062-1078. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1135-6
Abstract:
Mêdog and Nagqu are two typical regions of the Tibetan Plateau with different geographical locations and climate regimes. These differences may lead to discrepancies in the raindrop size distributions (DSDs) and precipitation microphysical processes between the two regions. This paper investigates discrepancies in the DSDs using disdrometer data obtained during the rainy season in Mêdog and Nagqu. The DSD characteristics are studied under five different rainfall rate categories and two precipitation types (stratiform and convective). For the total datasets, the number concentrations of drops with diameters D > 0.6 (D < 0.6) mm are higher (lower) in Nagqu than in Mêdog. The fitted normalized gamma distributions of the averaged DSDs for the five rainfall rate categories show that Nagqu has a larger (lower) mass-weighted mean diameter Dm (normalized intercept parameter, lgNw) than Mêdog does. The difference in Dm between Nagqu and Mêdog increases with the rainfall rate. Convective clusters in Nagqu could be identified as continental-like, while convective precipitation in Mêdog could be classified as maritime-like. The relationships between the shape factor μ and slope parameter Λ of the gamma distribution model, the radar reflectivity Z, and the rainfall rate R are also derived. Furthermore, the possible causative mechanism for the notable DSD variation between the two regions during the rainy season is illustrated using reanalysis data and automated weather station observations. Cold rain processes are mainly responsible for the lower concentrations of larger drops observed in Nagqu, whereas warm rain prevails in Mêdog, producing abundant small drops.
Improved Parameterization of Snow Albedo in WRF + Noah: Methodology Based on a Severe Snow Event on the Tibetan Plateau
Lian LIU, Massimo MENENTI, Yaoming MA, Weiqiang MA
2022, 39(7): 1079-1102. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-1232-1
Abstract:
Snowfall and the subsequent evolution of the snowpack have a large effect on the surface energy balance and water cycle of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). The effects of snow cover can be represented by the WRF coupled with a land surface scheme. The widely used Noah scheme is computationally efficient, but its poor representation of albedo needs considerable improvement. In this study, an improved albedo scheme is developed using a satellite-retrieved albedo that takes snow depth and age into account. Numerical experiments were then conducted to simulate a severe snow event in March 2017. The performance of the coupled WRF/Noah model, which implemented the improved albedo scheme, is compared against the model’s performance using the default Noah albedo scheme and against the coupled WRF/CLM that applied CLM albedo scheme. When the improved albedo scheme is implemented, the albedo overestimation in the southeastern TP is reduced, reducing the RMSE of the air temperature by 0.7°C. The improved albedo scheme also attains the highest correlation between the satellite-derived and the model-estimated albedo, which provides for a realistic representation of both the snow water equivalent (SWE) spatial distribution in the heavy snowbelt (SWE > 6 mm) and the maximum SWE in the eastern TP. The underestimated albedo in the coupled WRF/CLM leads to underestimating the regional maximum SWE and a consequent failure to estimate SWE in the heavy snowbelt accurately. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of improving the Noah albedo scheme and provides a theoretical reference for researchers aiming to improve albedo schemes further.
The Impact of Tibetan Plateau Snow Cover on the Summer Temperature in Central Asia
Xuke LIU, Xiaojing JIA, Min WANG, Qifeng QIAN
2022, 39(7): 1103-1114. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-1011-4
Abstract:
The current work examines the impact of the snow cover extent (SCE) of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on the interannual variation in the summer (June−July−August) surface air temperature (SAT) over Central Asia (CA) (SAT_CA) during the 1979−2019 period. The leading mode of the summer SAT_CA features a same-sign temperature anomalies in CA and explains 62% of the total variance in SAT_CA. The atmospheric circulation associated with a warming SAT_CA is characterized by a pronounced high-pressure system dominating CA. The high-pressure system is accompanied by warm advection as well as descending motion over CA, favoring the warming of the SAT_CA. Analysis shows that the interannual variation in the summer SAT_CA is significantly positively correlated with the April SCE over the central-eastern TP. In April, higher than normal SCE over the central-eastern TP has a pronounced cooling effect on the column of the atmosphere above the TP and can persist until the following early summer. Negative and positive height anomalies appear above and to the west of the TP. In the following months, the perturbation forcing generated by the TP SCE anomalies lies near the western center of the Asian subtropical westerly jet (SWJ), which promotes atmospheric waves in the zonal direction guided by the Asian SWJ. Associated with this atmospheric wave, in the following summer, a significant high-pressure system dominates CA, which is a favorable condition for a warm summer SAT_CA.
Improving Simulations of Vegetation Dynamics over the Tibetan Plateau: Role of Atmospheric Forcing Data and Spatial Resolution
Zhijie KANG, Bo QIU, Zheng XIANG, Ye LIU, Zhiqiang LIN, Weidong GUO
2022, 39(7): 1115-1132. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-1426-6
Abstract:
The efficacy of vegetation dynamics simulations in offline land surface models (LSMs) largely depends on the quality and spatial resolution of meteorological forcing data. In this study, the Princeton Global Meteorological Forcing Data (PMFD) and the high spatial resolution and upscaled China Meteorological Forcing Data (CMFD) were used to drive the Simplified Simple Biosphere model version 4/Top-down Representation of Interactive Foliage and Flora Including Dynamics (SSiB4/TRIFFID) and investigate how meteorological forcing datasets with different spatial resolutions affect simulations over the Tibetan Plateau (TP), a region with complex topography and sparse observations. By comparing the monthly Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Gross Primary Production (GPP) against observations, we found that SSiB4/TRIFFID driven by upscaled CMFD improved the performance in simulating the spatial distributions of LAI and GPP over the TP, reducing RMSEs by 24.3% and 20.5%, respectively. The multi-year averaged GPP decreased from 364.68 gC \begin{document}${\mathrm{m}}^{-2}\;{\mathrm{y}\mathrm{r}}^{-1}$\end{document} to 241.21 gC \begin{document}${\mathrm{m}}^{-2}\;{\mathrm{y}\mathrm{r}}^{-1}$\end{document} with the percentage bias dropping from 50.2% to –1.7%. When using the high spatial resolution CMFD, the RMSEs of the spatial distributions of LAI and GPP simulations were further reduced by 7.5% and 9.5%, respectively. This study highlights the importance of more realistic and high-resolution forcing data in simulating vegetation growth and carbon exchange between the atmosphere and biosphere over the TP.
Change in Precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau Projected by Weighted CMIP6 Models
Yin ZHAO, Tianjun ZHOU, Wenxia ZHANG, Jian LI
2022, 39(7): 1133-1150. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-1401-2
Abstract:
Precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is important to local and downstream ecosystems. Based on a weighting method considering model skill and independence, changes in the TP precipitation for near-term (2021–40), mid-term (2041–60) and long-term (2081–2100) under shared socio-economic pathways (SSP1-1.9, SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSSP3-7.0, SSP5-8.5) are projected with 27 models from the latest Sixth Phase of the Couple Model Intercomparison Project. The annual mean precipitation is projected to increase by 7.4%–21.6% under five SSPs with a stronger change in the northern TP by the end of the 21st century relative to the present climatology. Changes in the TP precipitation at seasonal scales show a similar moistening trend to that of annual mean precipitation, except for the drying trend in winter precipitation along the southern edges of the TP. Weighting generally suggests a slightly stronger increase in TP precipitation with reduced model uncertainty compared to equally-weighted projections. The effect of weighting exhibits spatial and seasonal differences. Seasonally, weighting leads to a prevailing enhancement of increase in spring precipitation over the TP. Spatially, the influence of weighting is more remarkable over the northwestern TP regarding the annual, summer and autumn precipitation. Differences between weighted and original MMEs can give us more confidence in a stronger increase in precipitation over the TP, especially for the season of spring and the region of the northwestern TP, which requires additional attention in decision making.
Impacts of Topographic Complexity on Modeling Moisture Transport and Precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau in Summer
Gudongze LI, Haoming CHEN, Mingyue XU, Chun ZHAO, Lei ZHONG, Rui LI, Yunfei FU, Yanhong GAO
2022, 39(7): 1151-1166. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-1409-7
Abstract:
The non-hydrostatic global variable resolution model (MPAS-atmosphere) is used to conduct the simulations for the South Asian Summer monsoon season (June, July, and August) in 2015 with a refinement over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) at the convection-permitting scale (4 km). Two experiments with different topographical datasets, complex (4-km) and smooth (60-km) topography, are designed to investigate the impacts of topographical complexity on moisture transport and precipitation. Compared with the observations and reanalysis data, the simulation can successfully capture the general features of key meteorological fields over the TP despite slightly underestimating the inflow through the southern TP. The results indicate that the complex topography can decrease the inward and outward moisture transport, ultimately increasing the total net moisture transport into the TP by ~11%. The impacts of complex topography on precipitation are negligible over the TP, but the spatial distributions of precipitation over the Himalayas are significantly modulated. With the inclusion of complex topography, the sharper southern slopes of the Himalayas shift the lifted airflow and hence precipitation northward compared to the smooth topography. In addition, more small-scale valleys are resolved by the inclusion of complex topography, which serve as channels for moisture transport across the Himalayas, further favoring a northward shift of precipitation. Overall, the difference between the two experiments with different topography datasets is mainly attributed to their differing representation of the degree of the southern slopes of the Himalayas and the extent to which the valleys are resolved.
Evaluating the Ozone Valley over the Tibetan Plateau in CMIP6 Models
Kequan ZHANG, Jiakang DUAN, Siyi ZHAO, Jiankai ZHANG, James KEEBLE, Hongwen LIU
2022, 39(7): 1167-1183. doi: 10.1007/s00376-021-0442-2
Abstract:
Total column ozone (TCO) over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is lower than that over other regions at the same latitude, particularly in summer. This feature is known as the “TP ozone valley”. This study evaluates long-term changes in TCO and the ozone valley over the TP from 1984 to 2100 using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). The TP ozone valley consists of two low centers, one is located in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), and the other is in the middle and upper stratosphere. Overall, the CMIP6 models simulate the low ozone center in the UTLS well and capture the spatial characteristics and seasonal cycle of the TP ozone valley, with spatial correlation coefficients between the modeled TCO and the Multi Sensor Reanalysis version 2 (MSR2) TCO observations greater than 0.8 for all CMIP6 models. Further analysis reveals that models which use fully coupled and online stratospheric chemistry schemes simulate the anticorrelation between the 150 hPa geopotential height and zonal anomaly of TCO over the TP better than models without interactive chemistry schemes. This suggests that coupled chemical-radiative-dynamical processes play a key role in the simulation of the TP ozone valley. Most CMIP6 models underestimate the low center in the middle and upper stratosphere when compared with the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) observations. However, the bias in the middle and upper stratospheric ozone simulations has a marginal effect on the simulation of the TP ozone valley. Most CMIP6 models predict the TP ozone valley in summer will deepen in the future.
Influence of South Asian Biomass Burning on Ozone and Aerosol Concentrations Over the Tibetan Plateau
Junhua YANG, Shichang KANG, Yuling HU, Xintong CHEN, Mukesh RAI
2022, 39(7): 1184-1197. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-1197-0
Abstract:
In this work, the influence of South Asian biomass burning emissions on O3 and PM2.5 concentrations over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is investigated by using the regional climate chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. The simulation is validated by comparing meteorological fields and pollutant concentrations against in situ observations and gridded datasets, providing a clear perspective on the spatiotemporal variations of O3 and PM2.5 concentrations across the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau. Further sensitivity simulations and analyses show that emissions from South Asian biomass burning mainly affect local O3 concentrations. For example, contribution ratios were up to 20% in the Indo-Gangetic Plain during the pre-monsoon season but below 1% over the TP throughout the year 2016. In contrast, South Asian biomass burning emissions contributed more than 60% of PM2.5 concentration over the TP during the pre-monsoon season via significant contribution of primary PM2.5 components (black carbon and organic carbon) in western India that were lofted to the TP by westerly winds. Therefore, it is suggested that cutting emissions from South Asian biomass burning is necessary to alleviate aerosol pollution over the TP, especially during the pre-monsoon season.
Letters and Notes
The Warming of the Tibetan Plateau in Response to Transient and Stabilized 2.0°C/1.5°C Global Warming Targets
Jintao ZHANG, Qinglong YOU, Fangying WU, Ziyi CAI, Nick PEPIN
2022, 39(7): 1198-1206. doi: 10.1007/s00376-022-1299-8
Abstract:
As "the third pole", the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is sensitive to climate forcing and has experienced rapid warming in recent decades. This study analyzes annual and seasonal near-surface air temperature changes on the TP in response to transient and stabilized 2.0°C/1.5°C global warming targets based on simulations of the Community Earth System Model (CESM). Elevation-dependent warming (EDW) with faster warming at higher elevations is predicted. A surface energy budget analysis is adopted to uncover the mechanisms responsible for the temperature changes. Our results indicate a clear amplified warming on the TP with positive EDW in 2.0°C/1.5°C warmer futures, especially in the cold season. Mean TP warming relative to the reference period (1961–90) is dominated by an enhanced downward longwave radiation flux, while the variations in surface albedo shape the detailed pattern of EDW. For the same global warming level, the temperature changes under transient scenarios are ~0.2°C higher than those under stabilized scenarios, and the characteristics of EDW are broadly similar for both scenarios. These differences can be primarily attributed to the combined effects of differential downward longwave radiation, cloud radiative forcing, and surface sensible and latent heat fluxes. These findings contribute to a more detailed understanding of regional climate on the TP in response to the long-term climate goals of the Paris Agreement and highlight the differences between transient and stabilized warming scenarios.