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lmd_Li2013_abstracts.html

2013 .

(19 publications)

M. Zhang, C. S. Bretherton, P. N. Blossey, P. H. Austin, J. T. Bacmeister, S. Bony, F. Brient, S. K. Cheedela, A. Cheng, A. D. Genio, S. R. Roode, S. Endo, C. N. Franklin, J.-C. Golaz, C. Hannay, T. Heus, F. A. Isotta, J.-L. Dufresne, I.-S. Kang, H. Kawai, M. Köhler, V. E. Larson, Y. Liu, A. P. Lock, U. Lohmann, M. F. Khairoutdinov, A. M. Molod, R. A. J. Neggers, P. Rasch, I. Sandu, R. Senkbeil, A. P. Siebesma, C. Siegenthaler-Le Drian, B. Stevens, M. J. Suarez, K.-M. Xu, K. Salzen, M. J. Webb, A. Wolf, and M. Zhao. CGILS: Results from the first phase of an international project to understand the physical mechanisms of low cloud feedbacks in single column models. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 5:826-842, December 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

CGILSthe CFMIP-GASS Intercomparison of Large Eddy Models (LESs) and single column models (SCMs)investigates the mechanisms of cloud feedback in SCMs and LESs under idealized climate change perturbation. This paper describes the CGILS results from 15 SCMs and 8 LES models. Three cloud regimes over the subtropical oceans are studied: shallow cumulus, cumulus under stratocumulus, and well-mixed coastal stratus/stratocumulus. In the stratocumulus and coastal stratus regimes, SCMs without activated shallow convection generally simulated negative cloud feedbacks, while models with active shallow convection generally simulated positive cloud feedbacks. In the shallow cumulus alone regime, this relationship is less clear, likely due to the changes in cloud depth, lateral mixing, and precipitation or a combination of them. The majority of LES models simulated negative cloud feedback in the well-mixed coastal stratus/stratocumulus regime, and positive feedback in the shallow cumulus and stratocumulus regime. A general framework is provided to interpret SCM results: in a warmer climate, the moistening rate of the cloudy layer associated with the surface-based turbulence parameterization is enhanced; together with weaker large-scale subsidence, it causes negative cloud feedback. In contrast, in the warmer climate, the drying rate associated with the shallow convection scheme is enhanced. This causes positive cloud feedback. These mechanisms are summarized as the ”NESTS” negative cloud feedback and the ”SCOPE” positive cloud feedback (Negative feedback from Surface Turbulence under weaker SubsidenceShallow Convection PositivE feedback) with the net cloud feedback depending on how the two opposing effects counteract each other. The LES results are consistent with these interpretations.

J. Zhang, D. Li, L. Li, and W. Deng. Decadal variability of droughts and floods in the Yellow River basin during the last five centuries and relations with the North Atlantic SST. International Journal of Climatology, 33:3217-3228, December 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

J. Zhang, L. Li, T. Zhou, and X. Xin. Evaluation of spring persistent rainfall over East Asia in CMIP3/CMIP5 AGCM simulations. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 30:1587-1600, November 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The progress made from Phase 3 to Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 to CMIP5) in simulating spring persistent rainfall (SPR) over East Asia was examined from the outputs of nine atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs). The majority of the models overestimated the precipitation over the SPR domain, with the mean latitude of the SPR belt shifting to the north. The overestimation was about 1mm d-1 in the CMIP3 ensemble, and the northward displacement was about 3deg, while in the CMIP5 ensemble the overestimation was suppressed to 0.7 mm d-1 and the northward shift decreased to 2.5deg. The SPR features a northeast-southwest extended rain belt with a slope of 0.4degN/degE. The CMIP5 ensemble yielded a smaller slope (0.2degN/degE), whereas the CMIP3 ensemble featured an unrealistic zonally-distributed slope. The CMIP5 models also showed better skill in simulating the interannual variability of SPR. Previous studies have suggested that the zonal land-sea thermal contrast and sensible heat flux over the southeastern Tibetan Plateau are important for the existence of SPR. These two thermal factors were captured well in the CMIP5 ensemble, but underestimated in the CMIP3 ensemble. The variability of zonal land-sea thermal contrast is positively correlated with the rainfall amount over the main SPR center, but it was found that an overestimated thermal contrast between East Asia and South China Sea is a common problem in most of the CMIP3 and CMIP5 models. Simulation of the meridional thermal contrast is therefore important for the future improvement of current AGCMs.

R. Vautard, T. Noël, L. Li, M. Vrac, E. Martin, P. Dandin, J. Cattiaux, and S. Joussaume. Climate variability and trends in downscaled high-resolution simulations and projections over Metropolitan France. Climate Dynamics, 41:1419-1437, September 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

In order to fulfill the society demand for climate information at the spatial scale allowing impact studies, long-term high-resolution climate simulations are produced, over an area covering metropolitan France. One of the major goals of this article is to investigate whether such simulations appropriately simulate the spatial and temporal variability of the current climate, using two simulation chains. These start from the global IPSL-CM4 climate model, using two regional models (LMDz and MM5) at moderate resolution (15-20 km), followed with a statistical downscaling method in order to reach a target resolution of 8 km. The statistical downscaling technique includes a non-parametric method that corrects the distribution by using high-resolution analyses over France. First the uncorrected simulations are evaluated against a set of high-resolution analyses, with a focus on temperature and precipitation. Uncorrected downscaled temperatures suffer from a cold bias that is present in the global model as well. Precipitations biases have a season- and model-dependent behavior. Dynamical models overestimate rainfall but with different patterns and amplitude, but both have underestimations in the South-Eastern area (Cevennes mountains) in winter. A variance decomposition shows that uncorrected simulations fairly well capture observed variances from inter-annual to high-frequency intra-seasonal time scales. After correction, distributions match with analyses by construction, but it is shown that spatial coherence, persistence properties of warm, cold and dry episodes also match to a certain extent. Another aim of the article is to describe the changes for future climate obtained using these simulations under Scenario A1B. Results are presented on the changes between current and mid-term future (2021-2050) averages and variability over France. Interestingly, even though the same global climate model is used at the boundaries, regional climate change responses from the two models significantly differ.

X. Jin, T. Wu, and L. Li. The quasi-stationary feature of nocturnal precipitation in the Sichuan Basin and the role of the Tibetan Plateau. Climate Dynamics, 41:977-994, August 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The nocturnal precipitation in the Sichuan Basin in summer has been studied in many previous works. This paper expands the study on the diurnal cycle of precipitation in the Sichuan Basin to the whole year. Results show that the nocturnal precipitation has a specific quasi-stationary feature in the basin. It occurs not only in summer but also in other three seasons, even more remarkable in spring and autumn than in summer. There is a prominent eastward timing delay in the nocturnal precipitation, that is, the diurnal peak of precipitation occurs at early-night in the western basin whereas at late-night in the center and east of the basin. The Tibetan Plateau plays an essential role in the formation of this quasi-stationary nocturnal precipitation. The early-night peak of precipitation in the western basin is largely due to strong ascending over the plateau and its eastern lee side. In the central and eastern basin, three coexisting factors contribute to the late-night peak of precipitation. One is the lower-tropospheric southwesterly flow around the southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, which creates a strong cyclonic rotation and ascendance in the basin at late-night, as well as brings abundant water vapor. The second is the descending motion downslope along the eastern lee side of the plateau, together with an air mass accumulation caused by the warmer air mass transport from the southeast of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, creating a diabatic warming at low level of the troposphere in the central basin. The third is a cold advection from the plateau to the basin at late-night, which leads to a cooling in the middle troposphere over the central basin. All these factors are responsible for precipitation to occur at late-night in the central to eastern basin.

B. L'Hévéder, L. Li, F. Sevault, and S. Somot. Interannual variability of deep convection in the Northwestern Mediterranean simulated with a coupled AORCM. Climate Dynamics, 41:937-960, August 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A hindcast experiment of the Mediterranean present-day climate is performed using a fully-coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Regional Climate Model (AORCM) for the Mediterranean basin. The new model, called LMDz-NEMO-Med, is composed of LMDz4-regional as atmospheric component and of NEMOMED8 as oceanic component. This AORCM equilibrates freely, without any flux adjustment, neither in fresh water nor in heat. At its atmospheric lateral boundary conditions, it is driven by ERA-40 data from 1958 to 2001, after a spin-up of 40 years in coupled configuration. The model performance is assessed and compared with available observational datasets. The model skill in reproducing mean state and inter-annual variability of main atmospheric and oceanic surface fields is in line with that of state-of-the-art AORCMs. Considering the ocean behaviour, the inter-annual variations of the basin-scale heat content are in very good agreement with the observations. The model results concerning salt content could not be adequately validated. High inter-annual variability of deep convection in the Gulf of Lion is simulated, with 53 % of convective winters, representative of the present climate state. The role of different factors influencing the deep convection and its inter-annual variability is examined, including dynamic and hydrostatic ocean preconditioning and atmospheric surface forcing. A conceptual framework is outlined and validated in linking the occurrence of deep convection to the efficiency of the integrated surface buoyancy fluxes along the winter season to mix the initially stratified averaged water column down to the convective threshold depth. This simple framework (based only on 2 independent variables) is able to explain 60 % (resp. 69 %) of inter-annual variability of the deep water formation rate (resp. maximum mixed layer depth) for the West Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW) formation process.

M. Rojas, L. Z. Li, M. Kanakidou, N. Hatzianastassiou, G. Seze, and H. Le Treut. Winter weather regimes over the Mediterranean region: their role for the regional climate and projected changes in the twenty-first century. Climate Dynamics, 41:551-571, August 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The winter time weather variability over the Mediterranean is studied in relation to the prevailing weather regimes (WRs) over the region. Using daily geopotential heights at 700 hPa from the ECMWF ERA40 Reanalysis Project and Cluster Analysis, four WRs are identified, in increasing order of frequency of occurrence, as cyclonic (22.0 %), zonal (24.8 %), meridional (25.2 %) and anticyclonic (28.0 %). The surface climate, cloud distribution and radiation patterns associated with these winter WRs are deduced from satellite (ISCCP) and other observational (E-OBS, ERA40) datasets. The LMDz atmosphere-ocean regional climate model is able to simulate successfully the same four Mediterranean weather regimes and reproduce the associated surface and atmospheric conditions for the present climate (1961-1990). Both observational- and LMDz-based computations show that the four Mediterranean weather regimes control the region's weather and climate conditions during winter, exhibiting significant differences between them as for temperature, precipitation, cloudiness and radiation distributions within the region. Projections (2021-2050) of the winter Mediterranean weather and climate are obtained using the LMDz model and analysed in relation to the simulated changes in the four WRs. According to the SRES A1B emission scenario, a significant warming (between 2 and 4 degC) is projected to occur in the region, along with a precipitation decrease by 10-20 % in southern Europe, Mediterranean Sea and North Africa, against a 10 % precipitation increase in northern European areas. The projected changes in temperature and precipitation in the Mediterranean are explained by the model-predicted changes in the frequency of occurrence as well as in the intra-seasonal variability of the regional weather regimes. The anticyclonic configuration is projected to become more recurrent, contributing to the decreased precipitation over most of the basin, while the cyclonic and zonal ones become more sporadic, resulting in more days with below normal precipitation over most of the basin, and on the eastern part of the region, respectively. The changes in frequency and intra-seasonal variability highlights the usefulness of dynamics versus statistical downscaling techniques for climate change studies.

N. Huneeus, O. Boucher, and F. Chevallier. Atmospheric inversion of SO2 and primary aerosol emissions for the year 2010. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 13:6555-6573, July 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Natural and anthropogenic emissions of primary aerosols and sulphur dioxide (SO2) are estimated for the year 2010 by assimilating daily total and fine mode aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite instrument into a global aerosol model of intermediate complexity. The system adjusts monthly emission fluxes over a set of predefined regions tiling the globe. The resulting aerosol emissions improve the model performance, as measured from usual skill scores, both against the assimilated observations and a set of independent ground-based measurements. The estimated emission fluxes are 67 Tg S yr-1 for SO2, 12 Tg yr-1 for black carbon (BC), 87 Tg yr-1 for particulate organic matter (POM), 17 000 Tg yr-1 for sea salt (SS, estimated at 80 % relative humidity) and 1206 Tg yr-1 for desert dust (DD). They represent a difference of +53, +73, +72, +1 and -8%, respectively, with respect to the first guess (FG) values. Constant errors throughout the regions and the year were assigned to the a priori emissions. The analysis errors are reduced with respect to the a priori ones for all species and throughout the year, they vary between 3 and 18% for SO2, 1 and 130% for biomass burning, 21 and 90 % for fossil fuel, 1 and 200% for DD and 1 and 5% for SS. The maximum errors on the global-yearly scale for the estimated fluxes (considering temporal error dependence) are 3% for SO2, 14% for BC, 11% for POM, 14% for DD and 2% for SS. These values represent a decrease as compared to the global-yearly errors from the FG of 7% for SO2, 40% for BC, 55% for POM, 81% for DD and 300% for SS. The largest error reduction, both monthly and yearly, is observed for SS and the smallest one for SO2. The sensitivity and robustness of the inversion system to the choice of the first guess emission inventory is investigated by using different combinations of inventories for industrial, fossil fuel and biomass burning sources. The initial difference in the emissions between the various set-ups is reduced after the inversion. Furthermore, at the global scale, the inversion is sensitive to the choice of the BB (biomass burning) inventory and not so much to the industrial and fossil fuel inventory. At the regional scale, however, the choice of the industrial and fossil fuel inventory can make a difference. The estimated baseline emission fluxes for SO2, BC and POM are within the estimated uncertainties of the four experiments. The resulting emissions were compared against projected emissions for the year 2010 for SO2, BC and POM. The new estimate presents larger emissions than the projections for all three species, with larger differences for SO2 than POM and BC. These projected SO2 emissions are outside the uncertainties of the estimated emission inventories.

J.-L. Dufresne, M.-A. Foujols, S. Denvil, A. Caubel, O. Marti, O. Aumont, Y. Balkanski, S. Bekki, H. Bellenger, R. Benshila, S. Bony, L. Bopp, P. Braconnot, P. Brockmann, P. Cadule, F. Cheruy, F. Codron, A. Cozic, D. Cugnet, N. de Noblet, J.-P. Duvel, C. Ethé, L. Fairhead, T. Fichefet, S. Flavoni, P. Friedlingstein, J.-Y. Grandpeix, L. Guez, E. Guilyardi, D. Hauglustaine, F. Hourdin, A. Idelkadi, J. Ghattas, S. Joussaume, M. Kageyama, G. Krinner, S. Labetoulle, A. Lahellec, M.-P. Lefebvre, F. Lefevre, C. Levy, Z. X. Li, J. Lloyd, F. Lott, G. Madec, M. Mancip, M. Marchand, S. Masson, Y. Meurdesoif, J. Mignot, I. Musat, S. Parouty, J. Polcher, C. Rio, M. Schulz, D. Swingedouw, S. Szopa, C. Talandier, P. Terray, N. Viovy, and N. Vuichard. Climate change projections using the IPSL-CM5 Earth System Model: from CMIP3 to CMIP5. Climate Dynamics, 40:2123-2165, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We present the global general circulation model IPSL-CM5 developed to study the long-term response of the climate system to natural and anthropogenic forcings as part of the 5th Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). This model includes an interactive carbon cycle, a representation of tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry, and a comprehensive representation of aerosols. As it represents the principal dynamical, physical, and bio-geochemical processes relevant to the climate system, it may be referred to as an Earth System Model. However, the IPSL-CM5 model may be used in a multitude of configurations associated with different boundary conditions and with a range of complexities in terms of processes and interactions. This paper presents an overview of the different model components and explains how they were coupled and used to simulate historical climate changes over the past 150 years and different scenarios of future climate change. A single version of the IPSL-CM5 model (IPSL-CM5A-LR) was used to provide climate projections associated with different socio-economic scenarios, including the different Representative Concentration Pathways considered by CMIP5 and several scenarios from the Special Report on Emission Scenarios considered by CMIP3. Results suggest that the magnitude of global warming projections primarily depends on the socio-economic scenario considered, that there is potential for an aggressive mitigation policy to limit global warming to about two degrees, and that the behavior of some components of the climate system such as the Arctic sea ice and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation may change drastically by the end of the twenty-first century in the case of a no climate policy scenario. Although the magnitude of regional temperature and precipitation changes depends fairly linearly on the magnitude of the projected global warming (and thus on the scenario considered), the geographical pattern of these changes is strikingly similar for the different scenarios. The representation of atmospheric physical processes in the model is shown to strongly influence the simulated climate variability and both the magnitude and pattern of the projected climate changes.

C. Rio, J.-Y. Grandpeix, F. Hourdin, F. Guichard, F. Couvreux, J.-P. Lafore, A. Fridlind, A. Mrowiec, R. Roehrig, N. Rochetin, M.-P. Lefebvre, and A. Idelkadi. Control of deep convection by sub-cloud lifting processes: the ALP closure in the LMDZ5B general circulation model. Climate Dynamics, 40:2271-2292, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Recently, a new conceptual framework for deep convection scheme triggering and closure has been developed and implemented in the LMDZ5B general circulation model, based on the idea that deep convection is controlled by sub-cloud lifting processes. Such processes include boundary-layer thermals and evaporatively-driven cold pools (wakes), which provide an available lifting energy that is compared to the convective inhibition to trigger deep convection, and an available lifting power (ALP) at cloud base, which is used to compute the convective mass flux assuming the updraft vertical velocity at the level of free convection. While the ALP closure was shown to delay the local hour of maximum precipitation over land in better agreement with observations, it results in an underestimation of the convection intensity over the tropical ocean both in the 1D and 3D configurations of the model. The specification of the updraft vertical velocity at the level of free convection appears to be a key aspect of the closure formulation, as it is weaker over tropical ocean than over land and weaker in moist mid-latitudes than semi-arid regions. We propose a formulation making this velocity increase with the level of free convection, so that the ALP closure is adapted to various environments. Cloud-resolving model simulations of observed oceanic and continental case studies are used to evaluate the representation of lifting processes and test the assumptions at the basis of the ALP closure formulation. Results favor closures based on the lifting power of sub-grid sub-cloud processes rather than those involving quasi-equilibrium with the large-scale environment. The new version of the model including boundary-layer thermals and cold pools coupled together with the deep convection scheme via the ALP closure significantly improves the representation of various observed case studies in 1D mode. It also substantially modifies precipitation patterns in the full 3D version of the model, including seasonal means, diurnal cycle and intraseasonal variability.

F. Cheruy, A. Campoy, J.-C. Dupont, A. Ducharne, F. Hourdin, M. Haeffelin, M. Chiriaco, and A. Idelkadi. Combined influence of atmospheric physics and soil hydrology on the simulated meteorology at the SIRTA atmospheric observatory. Climate Dynamics, 40:2251-2269, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The identification of the land-atmosphere interactions as one of the key source of uncertainty in climate models calls for process-level assessment of the coupled atmosphere/land continental surface system in numerical climate models. To this end, we propose a novel approach and apply it to evaluate the standard and new parametrizations of boundary layer/convection/clouds in the Earth System Model (ESM) of Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), which differentiate the IPSL-CM5A and IPSL-CM5B climate change simulations produced for the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 exercise. Two different land surface hydrology parametrizations are also considered to analyze different land-atmosphere interactions. Ten-year simulations of the coupled land surface/atmospheric ESM modules are confronted to observations collected at the SIRTA (Site Instrumental de Recherche par Télédection Atmosphérique), located near Paris (France). For sounder evaluation of the physical parametrizations, the grid of the model is stretched and refined in the vicinity of the SIRTA, and the large scale component of the modeled circulation is adjusted toward ERA-Interim reanalysis outside of the zoomed area. This allows us to detect situations where the parametrizations do not perform satisfactorily and can affect climate simulations at the regional/continental scale, including in full 3D coupled runs. In particular, we show how the biases in near surface state variables simulated by the ESM are explained by (1) the sensible/latent heat partitionning at the surface, (2) the low level cloudiness and its radiative impact at the surface, (3) the parametrization of turbulent transport in the surface layer, (4) the complex interplay between these processes. We also show how the new set of parametrizations can improve these biases.

R. A. Eagle, C. Risi, J. L. Mitchell, J. M. Eiler, U. Seibt, J. D. Neelin, G. Li, and A. K. Tripati. High regional climate sensitivity over continental China constrained by glacial-recent changes in temperature and the hydrological cycle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 110:8813-8818, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The East Asian monsoon is one of Earth's most significant climatic phenomena, and numerous paleoclimate archives have revealed that it exhibits variations on orbital and suborbital time scales. Quantitative constraints on the climate changes associated with these past variations are limited, yet are needed to constrain sensitivity of the region to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Here, we show central China is a region that experienced a much larger temperature change since the Last Glacial Maximum than typically simulated by climate models. We applied clumped isotope thermometry to carbonates from the central Chinese Loess Plateau to reconstruct temperature and water isotope shifts from the Last Glacial Maximum to present. We find a summertime temperature change of 6-7 degC that is reproduced by climate model simulations presented here. Proxy data reveal evidence for a shift to lighter isotopic composition of meteoric waters in glacial times, which is also captured by our model. Analysis of model outputs suggests that glacial cooling over continental China is significantly amplified by the influence of stationary waves, which, in turn, are enhanced by continental ice sheets. These results not only support high regional climate sensitivity in Central China but highlight the fundamental role of planetary-scale atmospheric dynamics in the sensitivity of regional climates to continental glaciation, changing greenhouse gas levels, and insolation.

T. Wu, W. Li, J. Ji, X. Xin, L. Li, Z. Wang, Y. Zhang, J. Li, F. Zhang, M. Wei, X. Shi, F. Wu, L. Zhang, M. Chu, W. Jie, Y. Liu, F. Wang, X. Liu, Q. Li, M. Dong, X. Liang, Y. Gao, and J. Zhang. Global carbon budgets simulated by the Beijing Climate Center Climate System Model for the last century. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 118:4326-4347, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The paper examines terrestrial and oceanic carbon budgets from preindustrial time to present day in the version of Beijing Climate Center Climate System Model (BCC_CSM1.1) which is a global fully coupled climate-carbon cycle model. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is calculated from a prognostic equation taking into account global anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the interactive CO2 exchanges of land-atmosphere and ocean-atmosphere. When forced by prescribed historical emissions of CO2 from combustion of fossil fuels and land use change, BCC_CSM1.1 can reproduce the trends of observed atmospheric CO2 concentration and global surface air temperature from 1850 to 2005. Simulated interannual variability and long-term trend of global carbon sources and sinks and their spatial patterns generally agree with other model estimates and observations, which shows the following: (1) Both land and ocean in the last century act as net carbon sinks. The ability of carbon uptake by land and ocean is enhanced at the end of last century. (2) Interannual variability of the global atmospheric CO2 concentration is closely correlated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle, in agreement with observations. (3) Interannual variation of the land-to-atmosphere net carbon flux is positively correlated with surface air temperature while negatively correlated with soil moisture over low and midlatitudes. The relative contribution of soil moisture to the interannual variation of land-atmosphere CO2 exchange is more important than that of air temperature over tropical regions, while surface air temperature is more important than soil moisture over other regions of the globe.

J. Cattiaux, B. Quesada, A. Arakélian, F. Codron, R. Vautard, and P. Yiou. North-Atlantic dynamics and European temperature extremes in the IPSL model: sensitivity to atmospheric resolution. Climate Dynamics, 40:2293-2310, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The variability of the European climate is mostly controlled by the unstable nature of the North-Atlantic dynamics, especially in wintertime. The intra-seasonal to inter-annual fluctuations of atmospheric circulations has often been described as the alternation between a limited number of preferential weather regimes. Such discrete description can be justified by the multi-modality of the latitudinal position of the jet stream. In addition, seasonal extremes in European temperatures are generally associated with an exceptional persistence into one weather regime. Here we investigate the skill of the IPSL model to both simulate North-Atlantic weather regimes and European temperature extremes, including summer heat waves and winter cold spells. We use a set of eight IPSL experiments, with six different horizontal resolutions and the two versions used in CMIP3 and CMIP5. We find that despite a substantial deficit in the simulated poleward peak of the jet stream, the IPSL model represents weather regimes fairly well. A significant improvement is found for all horizontal resolutions higher than the one used in CMIP3, while the increase in vertical resolution included in the CMIP5 version tends to improve the wintertime dynamics. In addition to a recurrent cold bias over Europe, the IPSL model generally overestimates (underestimates) the indices of winter cold spells (summer heat waves) such as frequencies or durations. We find that the increase in horizontal resolution almost always improves these statistics, while the influence of vertical resolution is less clear. Overall, the CMIP5 version of the IPSL model appears to carry promising improvements in the simulation of the European climate variability.

J. Zhang, L. Li, T. Zhou, and X. Xin. Variation of surface temperature during the last millennium in a simulation with the FGOALS-gl climate system model. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 30:699-712, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A reasonable past millennial climate simulation relies heavily on the specified external forcings, including both natural and anthropogenic forcing agents. In this paper, we examine the surface temperature responses to specified external forcing agents in a millennium-scale transient climate simulation with the fast version of LASG IAP Flexible Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System model (FGOALS-gl) developed in the State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics (LASG/IAP). The model presents a reasonable performance in comparison with reconstructions of surface temperature. Differentiated from significant changes in the 20th century at the global scale, changes during the natural-forcing-dominant period are mainly manifested in the Northern Hemisphere. Seasonally, modeled significant changes are more pronounced during the wintertime at higher latitudes. This may be a manifestation of polar amplification associated with sea-ice-temperature positive feedback. The climate responses to total external forcings can explain about half of the climate variance during the whole millennium period, especially at decadal timescales. Surface temperature in the Antarctic shows heterogeneous and insignificant changes during the preindustrial period and the climate response to external forcings is undetectable due to the strong internal variability. The model response to specified external forcings is modulated by cloud radiative forcing (CRF). The CRF acts against the fluctuations of external forcings. Effects of clouds are manifested in shortwave radiation by changes in cloud water during the natural-forcing-dominant period, but mainly in longwave radiation by a decrease in cloud amount in the anthropogenic-forcing-dominant period.

H. C. Steen-Larsen, S. J. Johnsen, V. Masson-Delmotte, B. Stenni, C. Risi, H. Sodemann, D. Balslev-Clausen, T. Blunier, D. Dahl-Jensen, M. D. Ellehøj, S. Falourd, A. Grindsted, V. Gkinis, J. Jouzel, T. Popp, S. Sheldon, S. B. Simonsen, J. Sjolte, J. P. Steffensen, P. Sperlich, A. E. Sveinbjörnsdóttir, B. M. Vinther, and J. W. C. White. Continuous monitoring of summer surface water vapor isotopic composition above the Greenland Ice Sheet. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 13:4815-4828, May 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We present here surface water vapor isotopic measurements conducted from June to August 2010 at the NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Drilling Project) camp, NW Greenland (77.45deg N, 51.05deg W, 2484 m a.s.l.). Measurements were conducted at 9 different heights from 0.1 m to 13.5 m above the snow surface using two different types of cavity-enhanced near-infrared absorption spectroscopy analyzers. For each instrument specific protocols were developed for calibration and drift corrections. The inter-comparison of corrected results from different instruments reveals excellent reproducibility, stability, and precision with a standard deviations of ˜ 0.23 for δ18O and ˜ 1.4 for δD. Diurnal and intraseasonal variations show strong relationships between changes in local surface humidity and water vapor isotopic composition, and with local and synoptic weather conditions. This variability probably results from the interplay between local moisture fluxes, linked with firn-air exchanges, boundary layer dynamics, and large-scale moisture advection. Particularly remarkable are several episodes characterized by high ( 40) surface water vapor deuterium excess. Air mass back-trajectory calculations from atmospheric analyses and water tagging in the LMDZiso (Laboratory of Meteorology Dynamics Zoom-isotopic) atmospheric model reveal that these events are associated with predominant Arctic air mass origin. The analysis suggests that high deuterium excess levels are a result of strong kinetic fractionation during evaporation at the sea-ice margin.

P. Stier, N. A. J. Schutgens, N. Bellouin, H. Bian, O. Boucher, M. Chin, S. Ghan, N. Huneeus, S. Kinne, G. Lin, X. Ma, G. Myhre, J. E. Penner, C. A. Randles, B. Samset, M. Schulz, T. Takemura, F. Yu, H. Yu, and C. Zhou. Host model uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing estimates: results from the AeroCom Prescribed intercomparison study. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 13:3245-3270, March 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Simulated multi-model ”diversity” in aerosol direct radiative forcing estimates is often perceived as a measure of aerosol uncertainty. However, current models used for aerosol radiative forcing calculations vary considerably in model components relevant for forcing calculations and the associated ”host-model uncertainties” are generally convoluted with the actual aerosol uncertainty. In this AeroCom Prescribed intercomparison study we systematically isolate and quantify host model uncertainties on aerosol forcing experiments through prescription of identical aerosol radiative properties in twelve participating models. <BR /><BR /> Even with prescribed aerosol radiative properties, simulated clear-sky and all-sky aerosol radiative forcings show significant diversity. For a purely scattering case with globally constant optical depth of 0.2, the global-mean all-sky top-of-atmosphere radiative forcing is -4.47 Wm-2 and the inter-model standard deviation is 0.55 Wm-2, corresponding to a relative standard deviation of 12%. For a case with partially absorbing aerosol with an aerosol optical depth of 0.2 and single scattering albedo of 0.8, the forcing changes to 1.04 Wm-2, and the standard deviation increases to 1.01 W-2, corresponding to a significant relative standard deviation of 97%. However, the top-of-atmosphere forcing variability owing to absorption (subtracting the scattering case from the case with scattering and absorption) is low, with absolute (relative) standard deviations of 0.45 Wm-2 (8%) clear-sky and 0.62 Wm-2 (11%) all-sky. <BR /><BR /> Scaling the forcing standard deviation for a purely scattering case to match the sulfate radiative forcing in the AeroCom Direct Effect experiment demonstrates that host model uncertainties could explain about 36% of the overall sulfate forcing diversity of 0.11 Wm-2 in the AeroCom Direct Radiative Effect experiment. <BR /><BR /> Host model errors in aerosol radiative forcing are largest in regions of uncertain host model components, such as stratocumulus cloud decks or areas with poorly constrained surface albedos, such as sea ice. Our results demonstrate that host model uncertainties are an important component of aerosol forcing uncertainty that require further attention.

J. Körper, I. Höschel, J. A. Lowe, C. D. Hewitt, D. Salas y Melia, E. Roeckner, H. Huebener, J.-F. Royer, J.-L. Dufresne, A. Pardaens, M. A. Giorgetta, M. G. Sanderson, O. H. Otterå, J. Tjiputra, and S. Denvil. The effects of aggressive mitigation on steric sea level rise and sea ice changes. Climate Dynamics, 40:531-550, February 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

With an increasing political focus on limiting global warming to less than 2 degC above pre-industrial levels it is vital to understand the consequences of these targets on key parts of the climate system. Here, we focus on changes in sea level and sea ice, comparing twenty-first century projections with increased greenhouse gas concentrations (using the mid-range IPCC A1B emissions scenario) with those under a mitigation scenario with large reductions in emissions (the E1 scenario). At the end of the twenty-first century, the global mean steric sea level rise is reduced by about a third in the mitigation scenario compared with the A1B scenario. Changes in surface air temperature are found to be poorly correlated with steric sea level changes. While the projected decreases in sea ice extent during the first half of the twenty-first century are independent of the season or scenario, especially in the Arctic, the seasonal cycle of sea ice extent is amplified. By the end of the century the Arctic becomes sea ice free in September in the A1B scenario in most models. In the mitigation scenario the ice does not disappear in the majority of models, but is reduced by 42 % of the present September extent. Results for Antarctic sea ice changes reveal large initial biases in the models and a significant correlation between projected changes and the initial extent. This latter result highlights the necessity for further refinements in Antarctic sea ice modelling for more reliable projections of future sea ice.

D. Noone, C. Risi, A. Bailey, M. Berkelhammer, D. P. Brown, N. Buenning, S. Gregory, J. Nusbaumer, D. Schneider, J. Sykes, B. Vanderwende, J. Wong, Y. Meillier, and D. Wolfe. Determining water sources in the boundary layer from tall tower profiles of water vapor and surface water isotope ratios after a snowstorm in Colorado. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 13:1607-1623, February 2013. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The D/H isotope ratio is used to attribute boundary layer humidity changes to the set of contributing fluxes for a case following a snowstorm in which a snow pack of about 10 cm vanished. Profiles of H2O and CO2 mixing ratio, D/H isotope ratio, and several thermodynamic properties were measured from the surface to 300 m every 15 min during four winter days near Boulder, Colorado. Coeval analysis of the D/H ratios and CO2 concentrations find these two variables to be complementary with the former being sensitive to daytime surface fluxes and the latter particularly indicative of nocturnal surface sources. Together they capture evidence for strong vertical mixing during the day, weaker mixing by turbulent bursts and low level jets within the nocturnal stable boundary layer during the night, and frost formation in the morning. The profiles are generally not well described with a gradient mixing line analysis because D/H ratios of the end members (i.e., surface fluxes and the free troposphere) evolve throughout the day which leads to large uncertainties in the estimate of the D/H ratio of surface water flux. A mass balance model is constructed for the snow pack, and constrained with observations to provide an optimal estimate of the partitioning of the surface water flux into contributions from sublimation, evaporation of melt water in the snow and evaporation from ponds. Results show that while vapor measurements are important in constraining surface fluxes, measurements of the source reservoirs (soil water, snow pack and standing liquid) offer stronger constraint on the surface water balance. Measurements of surface water are therefore essential in developing observational programs that seek to use isotopic data for flux attribution.

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