skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Entekhabi, Dara"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    It is widely accepted that Arctic amplification—accelerated Arctic warming—will increasingly moderate cold air outbreaks to the mid-latitudes. Yet, an increasing number of recent studies also argue that Arctic amplification can contribute to more severe winter weather. Here we show that the temperature of cold extremes across the United States east of the Rockies, Northeast Asia and Europe have remained nearly constant over recent decades, in clear contrast to a robust Arctic warming trend. Analysis of trends in the frequency and magnitude of cold extremes is mixed across the US and Asia but with a clearer decreasing trend in occurrence across Europe, especially Southern Europe. This divergence between robust Arctic warming and no detectable trends in mid-latitude cold extremes highlights the need for a better understanding of the physical links between Arctic amplification and mid-latitude cold extremes.

     
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Climate change amplifies dry and hot extremes, yet the mechanism, extent, scope, and temporal scale of causal linkages between dry and hot extremes remain underexplored. Here using the concept of system dynamics, we investigate cross-scale interactions within dry-to-hot and hot-to-dry extreme event networks and quantify the magnitude, temporal-scale, and physical drivers of cascading effects (CEs) of drying-on-heating and vice-versa, across the globe. We find that locations exhibiting exceptionally strong CE (hotspots) for dry-to-hot and hot-to-dry extremes generally coincide. However, the CEs differ strongly in their timescale of interaction, hydroclimatic drivers, and sensitivity to changes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and background aridity. The CE of drying-on-heating in the hotspot locations reaches its peak immediately driven by the compounding influence of vapor pressure deficit, potential evapotranspiration, and precipitation. In contrast, the CE of heating-on-drying peaks gradually dominated by concurrent changes in potential evapotranspiration, precipitation, and net-radiation with the effect of vapor pressure deficit being strongly controlled by ecosystem isohydricity and background aridity. Our results help improve our understanding of the causal linkages and the predictability of compound extremes and related impacts. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Changes in surface water and energy balance can influence weather through interactions between the land and lower atmosphere. In convecting atmospheres, increases in convective available potential energy (CAPE) at the base of the column are driven by surface turbulent fluxes and can lead to precipitation. Using two global satellite datasets, we analyze the impact of surface energy balance partitioning on convective development by tracking CAPE over soil moisture drydowns (interstorms) during the summer, when land–atmosphere coupling is strongest. Our results show that the sign and magnitude of CAPE development during summertime drydowns depends on regional hydroclimate and initial soil moisture content. On average, CAPE increases between precipitation events over humid regions (e.g., the eastern United States) and decreases slightly over arid regions (e.g., the western United States). The soil moisture content at the start of a drydown was found to only impact CAPE evolution over arid regions, leading to greater decreases in CAPE when initial soil moisture content was high. The effect of these factors on CAPE can be explained by their influence principally on surface evaporation, demonstrating the importance of evaporative controls on CAPE and providing a basis for understanding the soil moisture–precipitation relationship, as well as land–atmosphere interaction as a whole.

    Significance Statement

    Land–atmosphere coupling is a long-standing topic with growing interest within the climate and modeling communities. Understanding and characterizing the feedbacks between the land surface and lower atmosphere has important implications for weather and climate prediction. One component of land–atmosphere coupling not yet fully understood is the soil moisture–precipitation relationship. Our work quantifies the land influence on one pathway for precipitation, convection, by tracking the evolution of atmospheric convective energy as soils dry between storms. Using global satellite observations, we find clear spatial and temporal trends that link summertime convective development to soil moisture content and evaporation. Our observational results provide a benchmark for evaluating how well weather and climate models capture the complex coupling between land and atmosphere.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    A frequently expressed viewpoint across the Earth science community is that global soil moisture estimates from satellite L‐band (1.4 GHz) measurements represent moisture only in a shallow surface layer (0–5 cm) and consequently are of limited value for studying global terrestrial ecosystems because plants use water from deeper rootzones. Using this argumentation, many observation‐based land surface studies avoid satellite‐observed soil moisture. Here, based on peer‐reviewed literature across several fields, we argue that such a viewpoint is overly limiting for two reasons. First, microwave soil emission depth considerations and statistical considerations of vertically correlated soil moisture information together indicate that L‐band measurements carry information about soil moisture extending below the commonly referenced 5 cm in many conditions. However, spatial variations of effective depths of representation remain uncertain. Second, in reviewing isotopic tracer field studies of plant water uptake, we find a prevalence of vegetation that primarily draws moisture from these upper soil layers. This is especially true for grasslands and croplands covering more than a third of global vegetated surfaces. Even some deeper‐rooted species (i.e., shrubs and trees) preferentially or seasonally draw water from the upper soil layers. Therefore, L‐band satellite soil moisture estimates are more relevant to global vegetation water uptake than commonly appreciated (i.e., relevant beyond only shallow soil processes like soil evaporation). Our commentary encourages the application of satellite soil moisture across a broader range of terrestrial hydrosphere and biosphere studies while urging more rigorous estimates of its effective depth of representation.

     
    more » « less