Journal of Climate

Published by American Meteorological Society
Online ISSN: 1520-0442
Print ISSN: 0894-8755
In December 1985, an automated meteorological station was established at Lake Hoare in the dry valley region of Antarctica. Here, we report on the first year-round observations available for any site in Taylor Valley. This dataset augments the year-round data obtained at Lake Vanda (Wright Valley) by winter-over crews during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The mean annual solar flux at Lake Hoare was 92 W m-2 during 1986, the mean air temperature -17.3 degrees C, and the mean 3-m wind speed 3.3 m s-1. The local climate is controlled by the wind regime during the 4-month sunless winter and by seasonal and diurnal variations in the incident solar flux during the remainder of the year. Temperature increases of 20 degrees-30 degrees C are frequently observed during the winter due to strong föhn winds descending from the Polar Plateau. A model incorporating nonsteady molecular diffusion into Kolmogorov-scale eddies in the interfacial layer and similarity-theory flux-profiles in the surface sublayer, is used to determine the rate of ice sublimation from the acquired meteorological data. Despite the frequent occurrence of strong winter föhns, the bulk of the annual ablation occurs during the summer due to elevated temperatures and persistent moderate winds. The annual ablation from Lake Hoare is estimated to have been 35.0 +/- 6.3 cm for 1986.
Moored surface wind measurements were recorded along the Pacific equator at 140, 124, 110, and 95 deg W during portions of 1980-1985. Minimum record length is one year. The annual mean and monthly mean westward speeds at 110 deg W were about 1.5 m/s higher during the year preceding the 1982-1983 El Nino than in the year following this event. The annual cycle, which moved westward at about 0.8 m/s, consisted of weak westward and northward speeds in February-April and vice versa in September-October. The spectral slope between 5-day and 0.05-day periods was -1.5. The rms amplitude of the 95-percent statistically significant diurnal period oscillation was 0.3 m/s, and the meridional component was nearly twice as large as the zonal component. The diurnal period wave was coherent (at the 95-percent confidence level) between 95 and 124 deg W, with westward phase propagation of about 138 m/s. No statistically significant spectral peak was found in the 40- to 50-day intraseasonal period band. The surface zonal ocean current component, which reached approximately 0.5 and -0.5 m/s in April and October, respectively at 110 deg W, influenced the surface wind stress computed from the quadratic bulk aerodynamic formulation by 10-20 percent.
Merchant ship observations appear to indicate an increase in the strength of the surface winds in the tropical Pacific and elsewhere in recent decades. Here, trends in tropical Pacific sea surface temperature and sea level, which has repeatedly been shown to be closely related to the winds, are investigated. The results suggest that sea levels since 1960 have been rising oceanwide at about 3.5 cm/decade, while simultaneously tilting about 2 cm/decade higher in the east and lower in the west, and that surface temperatures have been rising about 0.6 C/decade. These results are not consistent with the apparent wind change; rather, they support the contention that the apparent wind changes are an artifact introduced by changes in measurement technique, and suggest that tropical Pacific winds may have actually decreased in strength.
Monthly 2.5-deg gridpoint anomalies in the Tiros-N satellite series Microwave Sounding Unit channel 2 brightness temperatures during 1979-1988 are evaluated with multiple satellites and radiosonde data for their climate temperature monitoring capability. The MSU anomalies are computed about a 10-yr mean annual cycle at each gridpoint, with the MSUs intercalibrated to a common arbitrary level. The monthly gridpoint anomaly agreement between concurrently operating satellites reveals single-satellite precision generally better than 0.07 C in the tropics and better than 0.15 C at higher latitudes. The removal from channel 2 of the temperature influence above the 30-kPa level is addressed, providing a sharper and thus potentially more useful weighting function for monitoring lower tropospheric temperatures.
This study surveys the large-scale distribution of heating for January 1979 obtained from five sources of information. Through intercomparison of these distributions, with emphasis on satellite-derived information, an investigation is conducted into the global distribution of atmospheric heating and the impact of observations on the diagnostic estimates of heating derived from assimilated datasets. The results indicate a substantial impact of satellite information on diagnostic estimates of heating in regions where there is a scarcity of conventional observations. The addition of satellite data provides information on the atmosphere's temperature and wind structure that is important for estimation of the global distribution of heating and energy exchange.
This study contrasts the impact of the ENSO SST anomalies observed during the Northern Hemisphere winters of 1982/83 and 1986/87 predictions with a GCM. The results of an analysis of the anomalous divergence and effective Rossby wave source in the tropical and subtropical Pacific during these two years indicate that the primary observed and simulated extratropical circulation features may have been forced from the subtropics other than the tropics. Relatively small magnitudes of the SST and precipitation anomalies in the subtropics make it probable that these subtropical divergence and Rossby wave source anomalies themselves were forced from the tropics.
An attempt is made to simulate the atmospheric circulation anomalies corresponding to the observed SST anomalies in the Pacific Ocean for the 18-month period of May 1982 through October 1983. A GCM is first integrated for 25 months with monthly climatological boundary conditions of SST, soil moisture, sea, ice, and albedo. Starting from day 165 of this 'control' integration, which corresponds to May 1, the 18-month integration is carried out with the same boundary conditions except that the observed monthly SST anomalies for May 1982-October 1983 are added to the climatological values in the Pacific from 40 S to 60 N. The evolution of the model-simulated circulation and rainfall anomalies are compared to actual observations for the same period, and remarkable agreement is found.
Surface solar irradiance was derived over the extended Amazon Basin using AVHRR observations from polar-orbiting satellites during four July months (1983-1986). Observations from the geostationary satellite GOES for July 1983 were also used to assess diurnal effects. Both satellite datasets are part of the Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) B3 product. It was demonstrated that it is now possible to derive long-term surface solar irradiance, which can be useful in climate studies, and that the accuracy of the derived fields is sufficient to detect interannual differences that can exceed at times 70 W/sq m.
A new version of the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres GCM is utilized to simulate the influence of an observed sea surface temperature anomaly on rainfall and atmospheric circulation. The model can reproduce many essential features of the observed tropical rainfall and circulation anomalies during January-February 1983. Particularly, the model simulates realistic patterns of tropical anomalies of sea level pressure, 200 mb geopotential heights, and horizontal winds at the 200 and 850 mb levels. The model-simulated tropical precipitation anomaly patterns appear realistic, although the precipitation is rather excessive and the atmosphere is too energetic.
The 'apparent' heat source method (Q1 budget) is used to compute the total derivative of dry static energy from 30 deg N to 30 deg S for the period June 1, 1984-May 31, 1987. The dataset is produced from the ECMWF global analyses and consists of twice-daily values of temperature, geopotential height, horizontal wind components, and vertical velocity at increments of 2.5 x 2.5 deg lat/long at seven pressure levels. Vertically integrated values of ds/dt, which are equal to total diabatic heating, Q1, are combined with estimates of net columnar radiation and surface sensible heat exchange to compute mean monthly precipitation rates, P0, as the residual in the Q1 budget. The accuracy of these P0 values is thoroughly examined, and it is suggested that the technique produces reliable estimates of precipitation over tropical oceanic areas on a monthly basis. Time series of mean monthly P0 for several geographic regions of the Southern Hemisphere tropics and the equatorial western Pacific (TOGA-COARE region) reveal that (1) the South Pacific convergence zone has the highest precipitation rates in the Southern Hemisphere; (2) a clear and distinct seasonal cycle is prominent in all regions; and (3) the 1986-87 ENSO event is easily identified, particularly in the TOGA-COARE region.
This paper studies the intraseasonal oscillation of convection and related variables in the Southern Hemisphere tropics utilizing European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts analyses of 1984 to 1986. One aspect of the research was that the original, unfiltered, time series of various variables was first analyzed to determine if a statistically significant signal occurred on the intraseasonal time scale. The analysis showed that two variables, outgoing longwave radiation and velocity potential at 200 hPa, provided the best evidence of an intraseasonal oscillation. The oscillation propagated eastward, and the convective activity for both years was more intense over the Indian Ocean-Indonesia-western Pacific region than elsewhere.
A composite of 10 cases of zonal wind maxima at 200 hPa over the subtropical region stretching from Australia to the central Pacific is examined for the six-month period, November 1984-April 1985. This region is unique in that distinct westerly jets frequently form and propagate eastward at latitudes between 20 deg and 35 deg S in the summer season. Some statistical tests were applied and suggest that the flow patterns are quasi periodic, consisting of a tendency for new jet streaks to develop over the eastern Australian region approximately every one to two weeks. These jets then take about 10 days to propagate across the western Pacific before dissipating or, perhaps, moving toward higher latitudes. Their average propagation speed is approximately 4 m/s. An examination of the case-to-case variability of the jets provides additional evidence that they are significant features. A diagnosis of the trough/ridge systems at 200 and 850 hPa, together with calculations of the vertically integrated mean and shear kinetic energies suggests that baroclinic processes dominate in the entrance and center regions of the jet, whereas barotropic processes dominate in the exit and downstream regions.
The response of the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies general circulation model (GCM) to large tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies is investigated by evaluating model simulations of the particularly contrasting summer monsoon seasons 1987 and 1988. These years are representative of the warm and cold phases, respectively, of a recent El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event. An ensemble averaging the results of three simulations was considered for each season, using monthly mean observed SST anomalies for June-August 1987 and 1988 as lower boundary forcing. Consistent with the European Center for Medium Weather Forecast (ECMWF)-analyzed winds, the simulations based on 1988 as compared to 1987 SST exhibit stronger upper-tropospheric irrotational circulation between the monsoon regions and the Southern Hemispheric sub-tropical anticyclones, a stronger Pacific Walker cell and a weaker subtropical westerly jet over the South Pacific. In the same vein, the modeled precipitation, indicating a more northerly position of the Pacific Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in 1988 compared with 1987, is supported by satellite observations of outgoing longwave radiation and highly reflective clouds.
The causes and physical mechanisms involved in the 1988 North American drought are investigated. The issue of when the drought circulation anomalies developed and their relation to changes in tropical Pacific SSTs is examined. The evolution of the Pacific SSTs and tropical convection, as revealed by outgoing LW radiation, is shown to be consistent with the development of the conditions favorable for initiating the drought circulation pattern in April through June of 1988. On the equator at 110 deg W, SST anomalies exceeded -2.75 C only in April, May, and June, and were largest (-4.1 C) in May 1988. Diagnostic calculations of atmospheric diabatic heating confirm that atmospheric heating anomalies existed in the tropical Pacific in association with the major SST anomalies during this time. It is argued that feedback-caused soil moisture anomalies were secondary sources for the drought circulation but could not have been the primary instigator.
A series of simulations of the late spring and early summer of 1988 were conducted in order to study the relative importance of different boundary forcings to the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres (GLA) model's simulation of the heat wave and drought over the Great Plains of the United States during this time period. Separate 60-day simulations were generated from 10, 20, and 30 May 1988 with a variety of boundary condition datasets. For the control experiment, climatological boundary conditions were used. This was followed by experiments in which either the observed 1988 sea surface temperatures (SST) or derived 1988 soil moisture values, or both, were used in place of the climatological fields. Additional experiments were conducted in which only tropical or midlatitude SST anomalies were used. The impact of the different boundary forcings was evaluated relative to the control simulations of the precipitation and surface air temperature over the Great Plains. It was found that the tropical SST anomalies had a significant effect in reducing precipitation in this area, while the midlatitude anomalies did not. Due to the prescribed climatological soil moistures for the SST experiments, a significant increase in surface temperature did not occur in these simulations. In contrast, the simulations with the anomalous 1988 soil moistures produced both a larger reduction of precipitation and a significant increase in surface temperature over the Great Plains. The simulations with both anomalous SST and soil moisture showed only a slight augmentation of the heat wave and drought relative to the experiments with anomalous soil moisture alone.
The upper-ocean temperature distribution along the Pacific equator from 139 to 103 deg W was observed in January 1992 with temperature profiles recorded from a ship and inferred from an ocean general circulation model calculation involving data assimilation (i.e., hindcast). An El Nino episode was in progress. The l00-m-thick mixed layer depth, the mixed-layer temperature, and the depth-averaged temperature below the thermocline were similar in both data products. Considerable differences occurred in the representation of the 15-25 C thermocline, such as the depth-averaged temperatures above and below the 20 C isotherm, the east-west slope of the 20 C isotherm, and a 1000-km-wide depression. The longitudinal-averaged root-mean-square difference between the hindcast and observed depths of the center of the thermocline was 17 m. Most of the disparities could be attributed to a high wavenumber transient event that the model-based assimilation system was not intended to resolve.
The usefulness of cloud classification for detecting and quantifying air temperature and humidity anomalies above the ocean surface is examined. Cloud fields are classified in 20 classes following the automated method of Garand (1988), here applied over the northwestern Atlantic during the winter season. From collocation of the classified cloud fields (scale of 130 km) with ship or buoy observations of air temperature and humidity, significant anomalies are found for specific cloud classes while for other classes no anomaly is found. All results are verified from independent data taken in early 1984 and 1986.The results confirm that for the mesoscale cellular convective patterns (MCC), i.e., cloud `streets', rolls, and open cells, the air and dew point temperatures are colder than climatology by several degrees, implying large latent and sensible heat fluxes. A latitudinal dependency of the anomaly is also observed. The removal of this bias provides estimates of surface air temperature with an accuracy of 2.8 K for these cloud types. Cirrus cloud classes and low stratus are associated with surface relative humidities above 80% while MCC patterns are associated with relatively dry surface humidity, below 70%. For those classes, the dew point depression can be inferred with an accuracy of 2 K; the corresponding relative humidity is determined with an accuracy of 10%.The implications for numerical weather prediction are discussed by comparing the error statistics of the satellite estimates with those of the trial fields (6-h forecasts) used in the analysis cycle of the Canadian Meteorological Center. The humidity estimates are expected to have a greater influence than the temperature estimates because the temperature field is already well analyzed by conventional means whereas the humidity analyses are often deficient.
An atmospheric solar radiation model and surface albedo models that include wavelength dependence and surface anisotropy are combined to study the possibility of inferring the surface solar absorption from satellite measurements. The model includes ocean, desert, pasture land, savannah, and bog surface categories. Problems associated with converting narrowband measurements to broadband quantities are discussed, suggesting that it would be easier to infer surface solar absorption from broadband measurements directly. The practice of adopting a linear relationship between planetary and surface albedo to estimate surface albedos from satellite measurements is examined, showing that the linear conversion between broadband planetary and surface albedos is strongly dependent on vegetation type. It is suggested that there is a linear slope-offset relationship between surface and surface-atmosphere solar absorption.
Using data from collocated satellite pixel measurements obtained during the Earth Radiation Budget Experiement and near-surface measurements carried out at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory Tower, the shortwave (SW) surface radiation from broadband satellite measurements for clear-sky conditions was compared with surface measurements. Results demonstrate that the surface-SW absorption is a more meaningful quantity for climate studies than is surface insolation. It is also shown that a direct evaluation of the surface-SW absorption can be more accurately obtained from satellite measurements than can be surface insolation. An algorithm is presented for transferring satellite SW measurements to surface-SW absorption.
Simple and accurate parameterizations have been developed for computing the absorption of solar radiation due to O2 and CO2. The parameterizations are based on the findings that temperature has a minimal effect on the absorption and that the one-parameter scaling can be applied to take into account the effect of pressure variation along a path. Overlapping of the absorption due to CO2 and water vapor is treated accurately in the parameterizations. Simulations with a zonally averaged multilayer energy balance model show that the absorption of solar radiation due to O2 and CO2 has a small, albeit nonnegligible, effect on climate. The global surface solar radiation is reduced by 2.2 W/sq m, and the warming of the surface temperature due to a doubled CO2 concentration is reduced by 10 percent in the Northern Hemisphere.
The direct radiative effect of aerosols (DREA) is defined as the difference between radiative fluxes in the absence and presence of aerosols. In this study, the direct radiative effect of aerosols is estimated for 46 months (March, 2000 to December, 2003) of merged CERES and MODIS Terra global measurements over ocean. This analysis includes the contribution from clear regions in both clear and partly cloudy CERES footprints. MODIS-CERES narrow-to-broadband regressions are developed to convert clear-sky MODIS narrowband radiances to broadband SW radiances, and CERES clear-sky Angular Distribution Models (ADMs) are used to estimate the corresponding TOA radiative fluxes needed to determine the DREA. Clear-sky MODIS pixels are identified using two independent cloud masks: (i) the NOAA-NESDIS algorithm used for inferring aerosol properties from MODIS on the CERES Single Scanner Footprint TOA/Surface Fluxes and Clouds (SSF) product (NOAA-SSF); and (ii) the standard algorithm used by the MODIS aerosol group to produce the MODO4 product (MODO4). Over global oceans, direct radiative cooling by aerosols for clear scenes identified from MODO4 is estimated to be 5.5 W m-2, compared to 3.8 W m-2 for clear scenes from NOAA-SSF. Regionally, differences are largest in areas affected by dust aerosol, such as oceanic regions adjacent to the Saharan and Saudi Arabian deserts, and in northern Pacific Ocean regions influenced by dust transported from Asia. The net total-sky (clear and cloudy) DREA is negative (cooling) and is estimated to be -2.0 W m-2 from MOD04, and -1.6 W m-2 from NOAA-SSF. The DREA is shown to have pronounced seasonal cycles in the Northern Hemisphere and large year-to-year fluctuations near deserts. However, no systematic trend in deseasonalized anomalies of the DREA is observed over the 46-month time series considered.
The response of the climate system to a temporally and spatially constant amount of volcanic particles is simulated using a general circulation model (GCM). The optical depth of the aerosols is chosen so as to produce approximately the same amount of forcing as results from doubling the present CO2 content of the atmosphere and from the boundary conditions associated with the peak of the last ice age. The climate changes produced by long-term volcanic aerosol forcing are obtained by differencing this simulation and one made for the present climate with no volcanic aerosol forcing. The simulations indicate that a significant cooling of the troposphere and surface can occur at times of closely spaced multiple sulfur-rich volcanic explosions that span time scales of decades to centuries. The steady-state climate response to volcanic forcing includes a large expansion of sea ice, especially in the Southern Hemisphere; a resultant large increase in surface and planetary albedo at high latitudes; and sizable changes in the annually and zonally averaged air temperature.
The response of the middle atmosphere to an increase in stratospheric aerosols, normally associated with increased volcanic activity, is investigated. The aerosols are found to induce a direct stratospheric response, with warming in the tropical lower stratosphere, and cooling at higher latitudes. On the shorter time scales, this radiative effect increases tropospheric static stability at low- to midlatitudes, which reduces the intensity of the Hadley cell and Ferrel cell. There is an associated increase in tropospheric standing wave energy and a decrease in midlatitude west winds, which result in additional wave energy propagation into the stratosphere at lower midlatitudes in both hemispheres. On the longer time scale, a strong hemispheric asymmetry arises. In the Northern Hemisphere eddy energy decreases, as does the middle-atmosphere residual circulation, and widespread stratospheric cooling results. In the Southern Hemisphere, the large increase in sea ice increases the tropospheric latitudinal temperature gradient, leading to increased eddy energy, an increased middle-atmosphere residual circulation, and some high-latitude stratospheric warming.
A numerical scheme is specifically designed to develop a time-dependent climate model to ensure the conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and water vapor, in order to study the biogeophysical feedback for the climate of Africa. A vegetation layer is incorporated in the present two-dimensional climate model. Using the coupled climate-vegetation model, two tests were performed involving the removal and expansion of the Sahara Desert. Results show that variations in the surface conditions produce a significant feedback to the climate system. It is noted that the simulation responses to the temperature and zonal wind in the case of an expanded desert agree with the climatological data for African dry years. Perturbed simulations have also been performed by changing the albedo only, without allowing the variation in the vegetation layer. It is shown that the variation in latent heat release is significant and is related to changes in the vegetation cover. As a result, precipitation and cloud cover are reduced.
The climate of West Africa, in particular the Sahel, is characterized by multiyear persistence of anomalously wet or dry conditions. Its Southern Hemisphere counterpart, the Kalahari, lacks the persistence that is evident in the Sahel even though both regions are subject to similar large-scale forcing. It has been suggested that land surface-atmosphere feedback contributes to this persistence and to the severity of drought. In this study, surface energy and water balance are quantified for nine stations along a latitudinal transect that extends from the Sahara to the Guinea coast. In the wetter regions of West Africa, the difference between wet and dry years is primarily reflected in the magnitude of runoff. For the Sahel and drier locations, evapotranspiration and soil moisture are more sensitive to rainfall anomalies. The increase in evapotranspiration, and hence latent heating, over the Sahel in wet years alters the thermal structure and gradients of the overlying atmosphere and thus the strength of the African easterly jet (AEJ) at 700 mb. The difference between dry and wet Augusts corresponds to a decrease in magnitude of the AEJ at 15 deg N on the order of 2.6 m/s, which is consistent with previous studies of observed winds. Spatial patterns were also developed for surface water balance parameters for both West Africa and southern Africa. Over southern Africa, the patterns are not as spatially homogeneous as those over West Africa and are lower in magnitude, thus supporting the suggestion that the persistence of rainfall anomalies in the Sahel might be due, at least in part, to land-atmosphere feedback, and that the absence of such persistence in the Kalahari is a consequence of less significant changes in surface water and energy balance.
The future development of contrails is investigated considering changes in air traffic and aircraft technology as well as climate change by means of a contrail parameterization developed for the ECHAM general circulation model. Time slice simulations show an increase in global annual mean contrail cover from 0.06% in 1992, to 0.14% in 2015, and to 0.22% in 2050. In the northern extratropics, the enhancement of contrail cover is mainly determined by the growth of aviation. In the Tropics, contrail cover is, additionally, highly affected by climate change. In order to quantify the effect of systematic errors in the model climate on contrail cover, offline diagnostic studies are also performed. These studies suggest an underestimation of global contrail cover in the ECHAM simulations by a factor of about 0.8-0.9. The effect of the bias in the model climate is strongest in tropical latitudes. The temporal development of the simulated contrail radiative forcing is most closely related to total contrail cover, although the mean optical depth is found to increase in a warmer climate. Our best estimate is an increase of global annual mean radiative forcing from 3.5 mW m2 in 1992, to 9.4 mW m2 in 2015, and to 14.8 mW m2 in 2050. Uncertainties in contrail radiative forcing mainly arise from uncertainties in microphysical and optical properties such as particle shape, particle size, and optical depth.
Results are presented of a comparison of four present-day GCM simulations (GFDL, OSU, GISS, and UKMO) of high-resolution surface air temperature climatology, with both January and July scenarios being evaluated for each GCM. Results indicate that the surface air temperature simulations are significantly affected by model representations of the topography, sea level pressure, and precipitation, with the other factors being the inclusion of the diurnal cycle and the type of ocean model. The GISS and UKMO GCMs were found to simulate well the mean January and July surface air temperatures, whereas the OSU GCM overestimated and the GFDL GCM underestimated the temperatures.
Cloud layer thicknesses are derived from base and top altitudes by combining 14 years (1975-1988) of surface and upper-air observations at 63 sites in the Northern Hemisphere. Rawinsonde observations are employed to determine the locations of cloud-layer top and base by testing for dewpoint temperature depressions below some threshold value. Surface observations serve as quality checks on the rawinsonde-determined cloud properties and provide cloud amount and cloud-type information. The dataset provides layer-cloud amount, cloud type, high, middle, or low height classes, cloud-top heights, base heights and layer thicknesses, covering a range of latitudes from 0 deg to 80 deg N. All data comes from land sites: 34 are located in continental interiors, 14 are near coasts, and 15 are on islands. The uncertainties in the derived cloud properties are discussed. For clouds classified by low-, mid-, and high-top altitudes, there are strong latitudinal and seasonal variations in the layer thickness only for high clouds. High-cloud layer thickness increases with latitude and exhibits different seasonal variations in different latitude zones: in summer, high-cloud layer thickness is a maximum in the Tropics but a minimum at high latitudes. For clouds classified into three types by base altitude or into six standard morphological types, latitudinal and seasonal variations in layer thickness are very small. The thickness of the clear surface layer decreases with latitude and reaches a summer minimum in the Tropics and summer maximum at higher latitudes over land, but does not vary much over the ocean. Tropical clouds occur in three base-altitude groups and the layer thickness of each group increases linearly with top altitude. Extratropical clouds exhibit two groups, one with layer thickness proportional to their cloud-top altitude and one with small (less than or equal to 1000 m) layer thickness independent of cloud-top altitude.
One of the more viable research techniques into global climate change for the purpose of understanding the consequent environmental impacts is based on the use of general circulation models (GCMs). However, GCMs are currently unable to reliably predict the regional climate change resulting from global warming, and it is at the regional scale that predictions are required for understanding human and environmental responses. Regional climates in the extratropics are in large part governed by the synoptic-scale circulation and the feasibility of using this interscale relationship is explored to provide a way of moving to grid cell and sub-grid cell scales in the model. The relationships between the daily circulation systems and surface air temperature for points across the continental United States are first developed in a quantitative form using a multivariate index based on principal components analysis (PCA) of the surface circulation. These relationships are then validated by predicting daily temperature using observed circulation and comparing the predicted values with the observed temperatures. The relationships predict surface temperature accurately over the major portion of the country in winter, and for half the country in summer. These relationships are then applied to the surface synoptic circulation of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) GCM control run, and a set of surface grid cell temperatures are generated. These temperatures, based on the larger-scale validated circulation, may now be used with greater confidence at the regional scale. The generated temperatures are compared to those of the model and show that the model has regional errors of up to 10 C in individual grid cells.
Aircraft-based observations of turbulence fields of velocity, moisture, and temperature are used to study coherent turbulent structures that dominate turbulent transfer of moisture and heat above three different eco-systems. Flux traces are defragmented, to reconstruct the presumed full size (along the sampled transect) of these structures, and flux traces are simplified by elimination of those that contribute negligibly to the flux estimate. Structures are analyzed in terms of size, spatial distribution, and contribution to the flux, in the four 'quadrant' modes of eddy-covariance transfer (excess up/down and deficit up/down). The effect of nonlinear detrending of moisture and temperature data on this 'structural analysis,' over surfaces with heterogeneous surface wetness, is also examined. Results over grassland, wetland, and moist and dry agricultural land, show that nonlinear detrending may provide a more physically realistic description of structures. Significant differences are observed between structure size and associated relative flux contribution, between moist and dry areas, with smaller structures playing a more important role over the moist areas. Structure size generally increases with height, as spatial reorganization from smaller structures into larger ones takes place. This coincides with a gradual loss of surface 'signature' (position and clustering of plumes above localized source areas). The data are expected to provide a basis for an eventual statistical description of boundary-layer transfer events , and help to interpret the link between boundary-layer transfer and hydrological surface conditions.
The next generation of Earth radiation budget satellite instruments will routinely merge estimates of global top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes with cloud properties. This information will offer many new opportunities for validating radiative transfer models and cloud parameterizations in climate models. In this study, five months of POLarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances (POLDER) 670 nm radiance measurements are considered in order to examine how satellite cloud property retrievals can be used to define empirical Angular Distribution Models (ADMs) for estimating top-of-atmosphere (TOA) albedo. ADMs are defined for 19 scene types defined by satellite retrievals of cloud fraction and cloud optical depth. Two approaches are used to define the ADM scene types: The first assumes there are no biases in the retrieved cloud properties and defines ADMs for fixed discrete intervals of cloud fraction and cloud optical depth (fixed-tau approach). The second approach involves the same cloud fraction intervals, but uses percentile intervals of cloud optical depth instead (percentile-tau approach). Albedos generated using these methods are compared with albedos inferred directly from the mean observed reflectance field. Albedos based on ADMs that assume cloud properties are unbiased (fixed-tau approach) show a strong systematic dependence on viewing geometry. This dependence becomes more pronounced with increasing solar zenith angle, reaching approximately equals 12% (relative) between near-nadir and oblique viewing zenith angles for solar zenith angles between 60 deg and 70 deg. The cause for this bias is shown to be due to biases in the cloud optical depth retrievals. In contrast, albedos based on ADMs built using percentile intervals of cloud optical depth (percentile-tau approach) show very little viewing zenith angle dependence and are in good agreement with albedos obtained by direct integration of the mean observed reflectance field (less than 1% relative error). When the ADMs are applied separately to populations consisting of only liquid water and ice clouds, significant biases in albedo with viewing geometry are observed (particularly at low sun elevations), highlighting the need to account for cloud phase both in cloud optical depth retrievals and in defining ADM scene types. ADM-derived monthly mean albedos determined for all 5 deg x 5 deg latitude/longitude regions over ocean are in good agreement (regional RMS relative errors less than 2%) with those obtained by direct integration when ADM albedos inferred from specific angular bins are averaged together. Albedos inferred from near-nadir and oblique viewing zenith angles are the least accurate, with regional RMS errors reaching approximately 5-10% (relative). Compared to an earlier study involving ERBE ADMs, regional mean albedos based on the 19 scene types considered here show a factor of 4 reduction in bias error and a factor of 3 reduction in RMS error.
An atmospheric radiation model is used here to illustrate several features associated with modeling the diurnal cycle of the planetary albedo. It is found that even for clear regions there appear to be deficiencies in our knowledge of how to model this quantity. The diurnal amplitude factor, defined as the ratio of the diurnally averaged planetary albedo to that at noon, between two GCMs and measurements made from a geostationary satellite. While reasonable consistency is found, the comparisons underscore difficulties associated with converting local-time albedo measurements, as made from sun-synchronous satellites, to diurnally averaged albedos.
The seasonal cycle of surface albedo of sea ice in the Arctic is estimated from measurements made with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the polar-orbiting satellites NOAA-10 and NOAA-11. The albedos of 145 200-km-square cells are analyzed. The cells are from March through September 1989 and include only those for which the sun is more than 10 deg above the horizon. Cloud masking is performed manually. Corrections are applied for instrument calibration, nonisotropic reflection, atmospheric interference, narrowband to broadband conversion, and normalization to a common solar zenith angle. The estimated albedos are relative, with the instrument gain set to give an albedo of 0.80 for ice floes in March and April. The mean values for the cloud-free portions of individual cells range from 0.18 to 0.91. Monthly averages of cells in the central Arctic range from 0.76 in April to 0.47 in August. The monthly averages of the within-cell standard deviations in the central Arctic are 0.04 in April and 0.06 in September. The surface albedo and surface temperature are correlated most strongly in March (R = -0.77) with little correlation in the summer. The monthly average lead fraction is determined from the mean potential open water, a scaled representation of the temperature or albedo between 0.0 (for ice) and 1.0 (for water); in the central Arctic it rises from an average 0.025 in the spring to 0.06 in September. Sparse data on aerosols, ozone, and water vapor in the atmospheric column contribute uncertainties to instantaneous, area-average albedos of 0.13, 0.04, and 0.08. Uncertainties in monthly average albedos are not this large. Contemporaneous estimation of these variables could reduce the uncertainty in the estimated albedo considerably. The poor calibration of AVHRR channels 1 and 2 is another large impediment to making accurate albedo estimates.
Surface-meteorology and shortwave/longwave irradiance measurements taken on the northwest tip of San Nicolas Island off the coast of Southern California from March through October 1987 are analyzed. Experimental details are summarized, and shortwave cloud-radiation parameterization is outlined with emphasis on a shortwave algorithm. Frequency distributions indicate the stratocumulus clouds at the island have a cloud base on the order of 400 m, an integrated liquid water content of 75 g/sq m, and an albedo of 0.55 with substantial diurnal variations. The longwave parameterization for cloud fraction is also considered, and it is noted that using these models for downward longwave and shortwave irradiances, cloud fraction, integrated liquid water content, and albedo are deduced from the data.
The scanning instruments of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment provide measurements of instantaneous broadband albedo and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) with a spatial resolution of about 50 km. Data from the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), which is in an orbit that precesses through local time at the rate of one hour every three days, can be used to describe the mean, hourly diurnal variations in the distribution of OLR and albedo on this scale. Much of this variation is caused by cloud type and amount changes. Two-dimensional histograms show the coevolution of OLR and albedo with the diurnal cycle, and the distribution of albedo-OLR pairings associated with the cloud distribution in a particular region and season. The albedo-OLR pairing characterizes a cloud type and determines its net effect on the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. Diurnal variations in cloud type and amount in many regions are sufficient to cause substantial errors in radiation budget quantities and cloud properties estimated from observations taken from a single sun-synchronous orbit. Errors in estimated net radiation can be as large as 50 W/sq m for oceanic stratus regions and for land regions during summer.
The relationship between sea surface temperature (SST) and albedo or cloud cover is examined for two tropical regions with high values of cloud radiative forcing and persistent marine stratocumulus (mSc)-one off the west coast of Peru, the other off the west coast of Angola. The data span five years, from December 1984 to November 1989. Albedos are from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), cloud covers are from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), and SSTS are from the Climate Analysis Center. Negative correlation coefficients between albedo and SST are found to be about -0.8 when the seasonal variation of the entire dataset is analyzed. The interannual variation and the spatial variation of individual months also yields correlation coefficients that are negative. The correlation between cloud cover and SST is found to be similar to but weaker than the correlation between albedo and SST, suggesting a decrease in cloud amount and a decrease in cloud albedo with increasing SST for these regions. The corresponding albedo sensitivity averages -0.018/K with local values reaching -0.04/K. These findings are valid from 19 C to 25 C for the Peru mSc and 22 C to 27 C for the Angola mSc. These temperatures approximately bound the domains over which mSc is the prevalent cloud type within each region. These results imply a potential positive feedback to global warming by marine stratocumulus that ranges from approximately 0.14 W/sq m/K to approximately 1 W/sq m/K, depending on whether or not our results apply to all marine stratocumulus. While these values are uncertain to at least +/- 50%, the sensitivity of albedo to sea surface temperature in the present climate may serve as a useful diagnostic tool in monitoring the performance of global climate models.
Issues related to the dependence of planetary albedo upon solar zenith angle are studied using Nimbus-7, GOES, and Meteosat data over deserts. Geographical variations of the planetary albedo are isolated from the albedo's solar zenith angle dependence. An atmospheric solar radiation model is coupled with desert surface bidirectional reflectance measurements to test the consistency of satellite-derived directional planetary albedos. Consideration is given to the use of narrowband versus broadband instruments, the impact of desert aerosols on the directional planetary albedo, and potential differences in the directional planetary albedo associated with different types of deserts. The results show that the directional planetary albedo is dominated by the directional surface albedo, although surface brightness influences the atmospheric limb brightening and limb darkening processes.
An atmospheric solar radiation model has been coupled with surface reflectance measurements for two vegetation types, pasture land and savannah, in order to address several issues associated with understanding the directional planetary albedo; i.e., the dependence of planetary albedo upon solar zenith angle. These include an elucidation of processes that influence the variation of planetary albedo with solar zenith angle, as well as emphasizing potential problems associated with converting narrowband planetary albedo measurements to broadband quantities. It is suggested that, for vegetated surfaces, this latter task could be somewhat formidable, since the model simulations indicate that narrowband to broadband conversions strongly depend upon vegetation type. A further aspect of this paper is to illustrate a procedure by which reciprocity inconsistencies within a bidirectional reflectance dataset, if they are not too severe, can be circumvented.
The present exploration of climate-anomaly mechanisms, on the basis of surface-climatological and hydrological series, as well as upper-air and satellite observations, gives attention to the March-April rainy season peak in northern Amazonia. While the moderately wet year 1986 exhibited a far-southerly location of the Atlantic near-equatorial trough, and an embedded intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), the extremely dry El Nino year 1983 featured a more northerly ITCZ. Major mechanisms of extreme rainfall events are synthesized on the basis of these analyses.
Many modeling studies have concluded that widespread deforestation of Amazonia would lead to decreased rainfall. We analyze geosynchronous infrared satellite data with respect to percent cloudiness, and analyze rain estimates from microwave sensors aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite. We conclude that in the dry-season, when the effects of the surface are not overwhelmed by synoptic-scale weather disturbances, shallow cumulus cloudiness, deep convective cloudiness, and rainfall occurrence all are larger over the deforested and non-forested (savanna) regions than over areas of dense jungle. This difference is in response to a local circulation initiated by the differential heating of the region s varying forestation. Analysis of the diurnal cycle of cloudiness reveals a shift in the onset of convection toward afternoon hours in the deforested and towards the morning hours in the savanna regions when compared to the neighboring forested regions. Analysis of 14 years of monthly estimates from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager data revealed that in only in August was there a pattern of higher monthly rainfall amounts over the deforested region.
Previous results concerning the role that summertime soil moisture reductions can play in amplifying or maintaining North American droughts are extended to include the role of springtime soil moisture reductions and the role that natural climatic variability, as expressed in soil moisture, can play. General circulation model (GCM) simulations with the NCAR Community Climate Model have been made with initial desert-like soil moisture anomalies imposed on 1 May and on 1 March. The May simulation maintained the imposed anomaly throughout the summer, while in the March simulation the anomaly was ameliorated within one month. Thus, the timing of soil moisture reductions may be crucial. A 10-year model control integration with prescribed sea surface temperatures yielded 1 year with late spring and summer soil moisture values similar to those of the 1 May anomaly simulation. This suggests that occasional widespread North American droughts may be an inherent feature of at least the GCM employed for this study. The results also demonstrate the important role played by moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico in modulating or ameliorating drought conditions for much of the south-central United States, a topic that requires considerable further investigation.
Numerical sensitivity experiments on the effects of soil moisture on North American summertime climate are performed using a 12-layer global atmospheric general circulation model. Consideration is given to the hypothesis that reduced soil moisture may induce and amplify warm, dry summers of midlatitude continental interiors. The simulations resemble the conditions of the summer of 1988, including an extensive drought over much of North America. It is found that a reduction in soil moisture leads to an increase in surface temperature, lower surface pressure, increased ridging aloft, and a northward shift of the jet stream. It is shown that low-level moisture advection from the Gulf of Mexico is important in the maintenance of persistent soil moisture deficits.
A new 8-year global cloud climatology has been produced by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) that provides information every 3 h at 280-km spatial resolution covering the period from July 1983 through June 1991. If cloud detection errors and differences in area sampling are neglected, individual ISCCP cloud amounts agree with individual surface observations to within 15% rms with biases of only a few percent. When measurements of small-scale, broken clouds are isolated in the comparison, the rms differences between satellite and surface cloud amounts are about 25%, similar to the rms difference between ISCCP and Landsat determinations of cloud amount. For broken clouds, the average ISCCP cloud amounts are about 5% smaller than estimated by surface observers (difference between earth cover and sky cover), but about 5% larger than estimated from very high spatial resolution satellite observations (overestimate due to low spatial resolution offset by underestimate due to finite radiance thresholds). -from Authors
Land-surface parameterizations based on a statistical-dynamical have been suggested recently to improve the representation of the surface forcing from heterogeneous land in atmospheric models. With this approach, land-surface characteristics are prescribed by probability density functions (PDFs) rather than single 'representative' values as in 'big-leaf' parameterizations. Yet the use of many PDFs results in an increased computational burden and requires the complex problem of representing covariances between PDFs to be addressed. In this study, a sensitivity analysis of a land-surface parameterization for atmospheric modeling was performed to evaluate the surface parameters most important to the variability of surface heat fluxes. The Fourier amplitude sensitivity test (FAST) used for this analysis determines the relative contribution of individual input parameters to the variance of energy fluxes resulting from a heterogeneous surface. By simultaneously varying all parameters according to their individual probability density functions, the number of computations needed is very much reduced by this technique. This analysis demonstrates that most of the variability of surface heat fluxes may be described by the distributions of relative stomatal conductance and surface roughness. Thus, the statistical-dynamical approach may be simplified by the use of only these two probability density functions.
Satellite data reveal a 20% decline in sea ice extent in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas in the two decades following 1973. This change is negatively correlated with surface air temperatures on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which have increased -0.5 C / decade- since the mid-1940s, The recession was strongest during summer, when monthly average minima in 1991-92 removed much of the incipient multiyear ice over the continental shelf. This would have lowered the regional-mean ice thickness, impacting snow ice formation, brine production, and vertical heat flux. The northern ice edge contracted by 1 deg of latitude in all seasons from 1973-79 to 1987-93, returning toward mean conditions in 1993-95. The decline included multiyear cycles of several years in length, superimposed on high interannual variability. A review of atmospheric forcing shows winds consistent with mean and extreme ice extents, and suggests links to larger-scale circulation changes in the South Pacific. Historical ocean measurements are sparse in this sector, but mixed-layer depths and upper pycnoclines beneath the sea ice resemble those in the Weddell Sea. Weaker surface currents or changes in the upwelling of Circumpolar Deep Water on the continental shelf could have contributed to the anomaly persistence.
Earlier analyses of the annual cycle of the axial angular momentum (AAM) are extended to include mass flows and vertical transports as observed, and to establish angular momentum budgets for various control volumes, using the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analyses (ERA) for the years 1979–92, transformed to height coordinates. In particular, the role of the torques is examined. The annual cycle of the zonally averaged angular momentum is large in the latitude belt 20°  |ϕ|  45°, with little attenuation in the vertical up to a height of ∼12 km. The oscillation of the mass term (AAM due to the earth’s rotation) dominates in the lower troposphere, but that of the wind term (relative AAM) is more important elsewhere. The cycle of the friction torque as related to the trade winds prevails in the Tropics. Mountain torque and friction torque are equally important in the extratropical latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The annual and the semiannual cycle of the global angular momentum are in good balance with the global mountain and friction torques. The addition of the global gravity wave torque destroys this agreement. The transports must be adjusted if budgets of domains of less than global extent are to be considered. Both a streamfunction, representing the nondivergent part of the fluxes, and a flux potential, describing the divergences/convergences, are determined. The streamfunction pattern mainly reflects the seasonal shift of the Hadley cell. The flux potential links the annual oscillations of the angular momentum with the torques. It is concluded that the interaction of the torques with the angular momentum is restricted to the lower troposphere, in particular, in the Tropics. The range of influence is deeper in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere, presumably because of the mountains. The angular momentum cycle in the upper troposphere and stratosphere is not affected by the torques and reflects interhemispheric flux patterns. Budgets for the polar as well as for the midlatitude domains show that fluxes in the stratosphere are important.
The annual cycle of sea surface temperature (SST) in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean was estimated using four years (July 1984-July 1988) of NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer observations. High resolution satellite observations at 1-km space and daily time resolution were grided at 100-km space and 5-day time intervals to develop an analysis dataset for determination of low frequency SST variability. The integral time scale, a measure of serial correlation, was found to vary from 40 to 60 days in the domain of interest. The existence of superannual trends in the SST data was investigated, but conclusive results could not be obtained. The annual cycle (and, in particular, the annual harmonic) explains a large proportion of the SST variability. The estimated amplitude of the cycle ranges between 5 deg and 13 deg C throughout the study area, with minima in August-September and maxima in February. The resultant climatology is compared with an arbitrary 5-day satellite SST field, and with the COADS/ICE SST climatology. It was found that the higher resolution satellite-based SST climatology resolves boundary current structure and has significantly better structural agreement with the observed field.
The structure of ocean-atmosphere annual cycle variability is extracted from the revised Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set SSTs, surface winds, and the latent heat (LH) and net shortwave (SW) surface fluxes using the covariance-based rotated principal component analysis method. The coupled annual cycle variability is concisely described using two modes that are in temporal quadrature. The first, peaking in June/July (and Dec/Jan), represents monsoonal flow onto Indochina, Central America, and western Africa. The second mode peaks in September/October and March/April when it represents the extreme phases of the SST annual cycle in the eastern oceans. Analysis of the surface momentum balance in the Pacific cold tongue core shows the equatorial flow, and in particular the zonal wind, to be dynamically consistent with the SST gradient during both the cold tongue's nascent (Jun/Jul) and mature (Sep/Oct) phases; the dynamical consistency improves when the impact of near-surface static stability variation on horizontal momentum dissipation is also considered. Evolution structure of the extracted annual cycle, moreover, shows the easterly wind tendency to lead SST cooling in the off-coastal zone. Taken together, these findings suggest that the Pacific cold tongue westward expansion results from local interaction of the zonal wind and zonal SST gradient, as encapsulated in the proposed "westward expansion hypothesis"-a simple analytic model of which is also presented. Although positive LH flux tendency leads SST cooling in the off-coastal zone, its modest magnitude (approx. 5 W/sq m/mo) indicates that its direct impact on SSTS, while additive, is secondary to the impact of equatorial upwelling. Comparison of the open ocean and coastal annual evolutions reveals that the northward expansion of the Pacific cold tongue likely results from the positive feedback between coastal meridional winds and the upwelled meridional SST gradient, but suggests that the reason for the nonobservance of equatorially antisymmetric SSTs is the counter LH-flux impact northward of the equator. The comparatively modest SST annual cycle in the northern equatorial Indian Ocean is forced by the Asian-monsoon-driven (i.e., nonlocally forced) surface winds through coastal upwelling along the Somali coast and from the monsoon-cloudiness-impacted net SW surface flux and wind-speed-influenced LH flux in the off-coastal sector.
In Part 1 of this study, monthly 2.5 deg. gridpoint anomalies in the TIROS-N (Television and Infrared Operational Satellite-N) series Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) channel 2 brightness temperatures during 1979-88 are evaluated with multiple satellites and radiosonde data for their climate temperature monitoring capability. The MSU anomalies we computed about a 10-year mean annual cycle at each grid point, with the MSUs intercalibrated to a common arbitrary level. The intercalibrations remove relative biases between instruments of up to several tenths of a degree celsius. The monthly gridpoint anomaly agreement between concurrently operating satellites reveals single-satellite precision on generally better than 0.07 C in the tropics and better than 0.15 C at higher latitudes. Monthly anomalies in radiosonde channel 2 brightness temperatures computed with the radiative transfer equation compare very closely to the MSU measured anomalies in all climate zones, with correlations generally from 0.94 to 0.98 and standard errors of 0.15 C in the tropics to 0.30 C at high latitudes. Simplification of these radiative transfer calculations to a static weighting profile applied to the radiosonde temperature profile leads to an average degradation of only 0.02 deg. in the monthly skill. In terms of a more traditionally measured quantity, the MSU channel 2 anomalies match best with either the radiosonde 100-20-kPa or 100-15-kPa layer anomalies. No significant spurious trends were found in the 10-yr satellite dataset compared to the radiosondes that would indicate a calibration drift in either system. Thus, sequentially launched, overlapping passive microwave radiometers provide a useful system for monitoring intraseasonal to interannual climate anomalies and offer hope for monitoring of interdecadal trends from space. The Appendix includes previously unpublished details of the MSU gridpoint anomaly dataset construction. Part II of this study addresses the removal from channel 2 of the temperature influence above the 30-kPa level, providing a sharper and thus potentially more useful weighting function for monitoring lower tropospheric temperatures.
An ocean general circulation model (OGCM) is used to study the response of ocean heat and mass transport to positive and negative heat flux anomalies at the ocean surface. As expected, tropical and low-latitude mixed layers respond rapidly (e-folding time about 50-70 years) to external forcing, while the response of the high-latitude mixed layer, especially the Southern Ocean and northern North Atlantic, is very slow (e-folding time greater than 300 yr). The overall response is faster for negative than positive heat flux anomaly at the surface. The meridional heat transport changes by 15% in the first 50 yr in the southern high latitudes. Surprisingly, for the next 400-500 yr the change is very small. The analysis shows that the meridional mass transport intensifies in response to a negative surface heat flux anomaly but weakens in response to a positive heat flux anomaly. For example, at model year 100 the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) is reduced from about 18 Sv to about 10 Sv for the positive heat flux experiment but increased to about 26 Sv for the negative heat flux experiment.
Top-cited authors
Kenneth S Casey
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Chunying Liu
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Jay Lawrimore
  • NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Zong-Liang Yang
  • University of Texas at Austin
P. J. Rasch
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory