skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Kirtman, Ben P."

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. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2024
  2. Key Points Subseasonal monsoon variability is linked to rainfall signals over U.S. Great Plains and its associated dynamical drivers A cause‐and‐effect algorithm verified a pathway from regional monsoon rainfall to Great Plains rainfall, which takes approximately 2 weeks Weekly East Asian monsoon rainfall is causally linked to Rossby wave excitation and active Great Plains convection about 1 week later 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Climate variability affects sea levels as certain climate modes can accelerate or decelerate the rising sea level trend, but subseasonal variability of coastal sea levels is underexplored. This study is the first to investigate how remote tropical forcing from the MJO and ENSO impact subseasonal U.S. coastal sea level variability. Here, composite analyses using tide gauge data from six coastal regions along the U.S. East and West Coasts reveal influences on sea level anomalies from both the MJO and ENSO. Tropical MJO deep convection forces a signal that results in U.S. coastal sea level anomalies that vary based on MJO phase. Further, ENSO is shown to modulate both the MJO sea level response and background state of the teleconnections. The sea level anomalies can be significantly enhanced or weakened by the MJO-associated anomaly along the East Coast due to constructive or destructive interference with the ENSO-associated anomaly, respectively. The West Coast anomaly is found to be dominated by ENSO. We examine physical mechanisms by which MJO and ENSO teleconnections impact coastal sea levels and find consistent relationships between low-level winds and sea level pressure that are spatially varying drivers of the variability. Two case studies reveal how MJO and ENSO teleconnection interference played a role in notable coastal flooding events. Much of the focus on sea level rise concerns the long-term trend associated with anthropogenic warming, but on shorter time scales, we find subseasonal climate variability has the potential to exacerbate the regional coastal flooding impacts.

    Significance Statement

    Coastal flooding due to sea level rise is increasingly threatening communities, but natural fluctuations of coastal sea levels can exacerbate the human-caused sea level rise trend. This study assesses the role of tropical influences on coastal subseasonal (2 weeks–3 months) sea level heights. Further, we explore the mechanisms responsible, particularly for constructive interference of signals contributing to coastal flooding events. Subseasonal signals amplify or suppress the lower-frequency signals, resulting in higher or lower sea level heights than those expected from known climate modes (e.g., ENSO). Low-level onshore winds and reduced sea level pressure connected to the tropical phenomena are shown to be indicators of increased U.S. coastal sea levels, and vice versa. Two case studies reveal how MJO and ENSO teleconnection interference played a role in notable coastal flooding events. Much of the focus on sea level rise concerns the long-term trend associated with anthropogenic warming, but on shorter time scales, we find subseasonal climate variability has the potential to exacerbate the regional coastal flooding impacts.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We investigate the predictability of the sign of daily southeastern U.S. (SEUS) precipitation anomalies associated with simultaneous predictors of large-scale climate variability using machine learning models. Models using index-based climate predictors and gridded fields of large-scale circulation as predictors are utilized. Logistic regression (LR) and fully connected neural networks using indices of climate phenomena as predictors produce neither accurate nor reliable predictions, indicating that the indices themselves are not good predictors. Using gridded fields as predictors, an LR and convolutional neural network (CNN) are more accurate than the index-based models. However, only the CNN can produce reliable predictions that can be used to identify forecasts of opportunity. Using explainable machine learning we identify which variables and grid points of the input fields are most relevant for confident and correct predictions in the CNN. Our results show that the local circulation is most important as represented by maximum relevance of 850-hPa geopotential heights and zonal winds to making skillful, high-probability predictions. Corresponding composite anomalies identify connections with El Niño–Southern Oscillation during winter and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and North Atlantic subtropical high during summer.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Currently available historical climate change simulations indicate a relatively delayed Southern Ocean warming, particularly poleward of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) compared much of the rest of the globe. However, even this simulated delayed warming is inconsistent with observational estimates which show a cooling trend poleward of the ACC for the period 1979–2014. A fully coupled model run at two resolutions, i.e. ocean eddy parameterized and ocean eddy resolving, driven by historical and fixed CO2 concentration is used to investigate forced trends south of the ACC. We analyze the 1961–2005 Southern Ocean surface and upper ocean temperatures trends simulated by the model and observational estimates to understand the observed trends in the SO. At both resolutions, the models successfully reproduce the observed warming response for the northern flank of the ACC. The eddy resolving simulations, however, are able to reproduce the observed near Antarctic cooling in contrast to the eddy parameterized simulation which shows a warming trend. The cause of this inconsistency between the observations and the ocean eddy parameterized climate models is still a matter of debate, and we show here results that suggest resolved ocean meso-scale processes may be an integral part of capturing the observed trends in the Southern Ocean.

     
    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    High-frequency precipitation variance is calculated in 12 different free-running (non-data-assimilative) coupled high resolution atmosphere–ocean model simulations, an assimilative coupled atmosphere–ocean weather forecast model, and an assimilative reanalysis. The results are compared with results from satellite estimates of precipitation and rain gauge observations. An analysis of irregular sub-daily fluctuations, which was applied by Covey et al. (Geophys Res Lett 45:12514–12522, 2018.https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL078926) to satellite products and low-resolution climate models, is applied here to rain gauges and higher-resolution models. In contrast to lower-resolution climate simulations, which Covey et al. (2018) found to be lacking with respect to variance in irregular sub-daily fluctuations, the highest-resolution simulations examined here display an irregular sub-daily fluctuation variance that lies closer to that found in satellite products. Most of the simulations used here cannot be analyzed via the Covey et al. (2018) technique, because they do not output precipitation at sub-daily intervals. Thus the remainder of the paper focuses on frequency power spectral density of precipitation and on cumulative distribution functions over time scales (2–100 days) that are still relatively “high-frequency” in the context of climate modeling. Refined atmospheric or oceanic model grid spacing is generally found to increase high-frequency precipitation variance in simulations, approaching the values derived from observations. Mesoscale-eddy-rich ocean simulations significantly increase precipitation variance only when the atmosphere grid spacing is sufficiently fine (< 0.5°). Despite the improvements noted above, all of the simulations examined here suffer from the “drizzle effect”, in which precipitation is not temporally intermittent to the extent found in observations.

     
    more » « less
  7. null (Ed.)
  8. We investigate the interannual variability of Agulhas leakage in an ocean-eddy-resolving coupled simulation and characterize its influence on regional climate. Many observational leakage estimates are based on the study of Agulhas rings, whereas recent model studies suggest that rings and eddies carry less than half of leakage transport. While leakage variability is dominated by eddies at seasonal time scales, the noneddy leakage transport is likely to be constrained by large-scale forcing at longer time scales. To investigate this, leakage transport is quantified using an offline Lagrangian particle tracking approach. We decompose the velocity field into eddying and large-scale fields and then recreate a number of total velocity fields by modifying the eddying component to assess the dependence of leakage variability on the eddies. We find that the resulting leakage time series show strong coherence at periods longer than 1000 days and that 50% of the variance at interannual time scales is linked to the smoothed, large-scale field. As shown previously in ocean models, we find Agulhas leakage variability to be related to a meridional shift and/or strengthening of the westerlies. High leakage periods are associated with east–west contrasting patterns of sea surface temperature, surface heat fluxes, and convective rainfall, with positive anomalies over the retroflection region and negative anomalies within the Indian Ocean to the east. High leakage periods are also related to reduced inland convective rainfall over southeastern Africa in austral summer.

     
    more » « less