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Creators/Authors contains: "Richter, Jadwiga H."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Subseasonal prediction fills the gap between weather forecasts and seasonal outlooks. There is evidence that predictability on subseasonal timescales comes from a combination of atmosphere, land, and ocean initial conditions. Predictability from the land is often attributed to slowly varying changes in soil moisture and snowpack, while predictability from the ocean is attributed to sources such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Here we use a set of subseasonal reforecast experiments with CESM2 to quantify the respective roles of atmosphere, land, and ocean initial conditions on subseasonal prediction skill over land. These reveal that the majority of prediction skill for global surface temperature in weeks 3–4 comes from the atmosphere, while ocean initial conditions become important after week 4, especially in the Tropics. In the CESM2 subseasonal prediction system, the land initial state does not contribute to surface temperature prediction skill in weeks 3–6 and climatological land conditions lead to higher skill, disagreeing with our current understanding. However, land-atmosphere coupling is important in week 1. Subseasonal precipitation prediction skill also comes primarily from the atmospheric initial condition, except for the Tropics, where after week 4 the ocean state is more important.

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  3. Abstract

    The subpolar North Atlantic (SPNA) shows contrasting responses in two sensitivity experiments with increased stratospheric aerosols, offering insight into the physical processes that may impact the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in a warmer climate. In one, the upper ocean becomes warm and salty, but in the other it becomes cold and fresh. The changes are accompanied by diverging AMOC responses. The first experiment strengthens the AMOC, opposing the weakening trend in the reference simulation. The second experiment shows a much smaller impact. Both simulations use the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model component (CESM-WACCM) but differ in model versions and stratospheric aerosol specifications. Despite both experiments using similar approaches to increase stratospheric aerosols to counteract the rising global temperature, the contrasting SPNA and AMOC responses indicate a considerable dependency on model physics, climate states, and model responses to forcings. This study focuses on examining the physical processes involved with the impact of stratospheric aerosols on the SPNA salinity changes and their potential connections with the AMOC and the Arctic. We find that in both cases, increased stratospheric aerosols act to enhance the SPNA upper-ocean salinity by reducing freshwater export from the Arctic, which is closely tied to the Arctic sea ice changes. The impact on AMOC is primarily through the thermal component of the surface buoyancy fluxes, with negligible contributions from the freshwater component. These experiments shed light on the physical processes that dictate the important connections between the SPNA, the Arctic, the AMOC, and their subsequent feedbacks on the climate system.

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  4. Abstract Based on 20-day control forecasts by the 9-km Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for selected periods of summer and winter events, this study investigates global distributions of gravity wave momentum fluxes resolved by the highest-resolution-ever global operational numerical weather prediction model. Two supplementary datasets, including 18-km ECMWF IFS experiments and the 30-km ERA5, are included for comparison. In the stratosphere, there is a clear dominance of westward momentum fluxes over the winter extratropics with strong baroclinic instability, while eastward momentum fluxes are found in the summer tropics. However, meridional momentum fluxes, locally as important as the above zonal counterpart, show different behaviors of global distribution characteristics, with northward and southward momentum fluxes alternating with each other especially at lower altitudes. Both events illustrate conclusive evidence that stronger stratospheric fluxes are found in the ECMWF forecast with finer resolution, and that ERA5 datasets have the weakest signals in general, regardless of whether regridding is applied. In the troposphere, probability distributions of vertical motion perturbations are highly asymmetric with more strong positive signals especially over latitudes covering heavy rainfall, likely caused by convective forcing. With the aid of precipitation accumulation, a simple filtering method is proposed in an attempt to eliminate those tropospheric asymmetries by convective forcing, before calculating tropospheric wave-induced fluxes. Furthermore, this research demonstrates promising findings that the proposed filtering method could help in reducing the potential uncertainties with respect to estimating tropospheric wave-induced fluxes. Finally, absolute momentum flux distributions with proposed approaches are presented, for further assessment in the future. 
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  5. Abstract

    The Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 1 (E3SMv1) is a new global model that can generate a weakened tropical easterly jet (TEJ) during the easterly quasi‐biennial oscillation (EQBO) and a strengthened TEJ during the westerly QBO (WQBO), which is referred to as the QBO‐TEJ teleconnection. Although the longitudinal structure of the QBO‐TEJ teleconnection is different between reanalysis and simulations, we hypothesize that simulations can still provide insights into the observed long‐term changes in the QBO‐TEJ teleconnection. The Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project historical simulations (AMIP‐historical) generate a strengthened trend in the correlation between the QBO and TEJ indices in the period of 1950–2014 as in reanalysis. The comparison of the AMIP‐historical and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project coupled historical simulations (coupled‐historical) shows that the warming of the Indian Ocean has played a vital role in the strengthened QBO‐TEJ teleconnection over the past six decades.

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  6. Abstract

    An adequate characterization of internal modes of climate variability (MoV) is a prerequisite for both accurate seasonal predictions and climate change detection and attribution. Assessing the fidelity of climate models in simulating MoV is therefore essential; however, doing so is complicated by the large intrinsic variations in MoV and the limited span of the observational record. Large ensembles (LEs) provide a unique opportunity to assess model fidelity in simulating MoV and quantify intermodel contrasts. In this work, these goals are pursued in four recently produced LEs: the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) versions 1 and 2 LEs, and the Community Earth System Model (CESM) versions 1 and 2 LEs. In general, the representation of global coupled modes is found to improve across successive E3SM and CESM versions in conjunction with the fidelity of the base state climate while the patterns of extratropical modes are well simulated across the ensembles. Various persistent shortcomings for all MoV are however identified and discussed. The results both demonstrate the successes of these recent model versions and suggest the potential for continued improvement in the representation of MoV with advances in model physics.

    Significance Statement

    Modes of variability play a critical role in prediction of seasonal to decadal climate variability and detection of forced climate change, but historically many modes have been poorly simulated by coupled climate models. Using recently produced large ensembles, this work demonstrates the improved simulation of a broad range of internal modes in successive versions of the E3SM and CESM and discusses opportunities for further advances.

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  7. Abstract

    Atmospheric rivers (ARs) impacting western North America are analyzed under climate intervention applying stratospheric aerosol injections (SAI) using simulations produced by the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model. Sulfur dioxide injections are strategically placed to maintain present-day global, interhemispheric, and equator-to-pole surface temperatures between 2020 and 2100 using a high forcing climate scenario. Three science questions are addressed: (1) How will western North American ARs change by the end of the century with SAI applied, (2) How is this different from 2020 conditions, and (3) How will the results differ with no future climate intervention. Under SAI, ARs are projected to increase by the end of the 21st century for southern California and decrease in the Pacific Northwest and coastal British Columbia, following changes to the low-level wind. Compared to 2020 conditions, the increase in ARs is not significant. The character of AR precipitation changes under geoengineering results in fewer extreme rainfall events and more moderate ones.

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  8. Abstract

    We examine the hypothesis that the observed connection between the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and the strength of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is modulated by the sea surface temperature (SST)—for example, by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). A composite analysis shows that, globally, La Niña SSTs are remarkably similar to those that occur during the easterly phase of the QBO. A maximum covariance analysis suggests that MJO power and SST are strongly linked on both the ENSO time scale and the QBO time scale. We analyze simulations with a modified configuration of version 2 of the Community Earth System Model, with a high top and fine vertical resolution. The model is able to simulate ENSO, the QBO, and the MJO. The ocean-coupled version of the model simulates the QBO, ENSO, and MJO, but does not simulate the observed QBO–MJO connection. When driven with prescribed observed SST anomalies based on composites for QBO east and QBO west (QBOE and QBOW), however, the same atmospheric model produces a modest enhancement of MJO power during QBOE relative to QBOW, as observed. We explore the possibility that the SST anomalies are forced by the QBO itself. Indeed, composite Hovmöller diagrams based on observations show the propagation of QBO zonal wind anomalies all the way from the upper stratosphere to the surface. Also, subsurface ocean temperature composites reveal a similarity between the western Pacific and Indian Ocean subsurface signal between La Niña and QBOE.

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  9. Abstract

    The quasi‐biennial oscillation (QBO) impacts the Madden‐Julian Oscillation (MJO) activity with a stronger MJO in QBO easterly (QBOE) than QBO westerly (QBOW) winters. However, this relationship is poorly represented in the current generation climate models. For the first time, this paper applies a stratospheric zonal‐mean nudging in a subseasonal prediction system to capture it. Two strong MJO cases in a QBO‐neutral winter are investigated. The QBO temperature and zonal wind anomalies are added separately as well as together to the stratosphere using nudging in MJO case hindcast. Only by nudging the QBO temperature anomalies while leaving the zonal wind free, can the prediction system capture the observed QBO‐MJO connection. The tropopause instability is found positively correlated to the MJO amplitude, but it cannot fully explain the captured connection. The free‐evolving zonal wind anomalies in the stratosphere due to the nudged QBO temperature are crucial for the captured connection.

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