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  • 1
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Climate change projections were evaluated over both the whole Iran and six zones having different precipitation regimes considering the CORDEX South Asia dataset, for assessing space–time distribution of drought occurrences in the future period 2070–2099 under RCP4.5 scenario. Initially, the performances of eight available CORDEX South Asia Regional Climate Models (RCMs) were assessed for the baseline period 1970–2005 through the GPCC v.7 precipitation dataset and the CFSR temperature dataset, which were previously selected as the most reliable within a set of five global datasets compared to 41 available synoptic stations. Though the CCLM RCM driven by the MPI-ESM-LR General Circulation Model is in general the most suitable for temperature and, together with the REMO 2009 RCM also driven by MPI-ESM-LR, for precipitation, their performances do not overwhelm other models for every season and zone in which Iranian territory was divided according to a principal component analysis approach. Hence, a weighting approach was tested and adopted to take into account useful information from every RCM in each of the six zones. The models resulting more reliable compared to current climate show a strong precipitation decrease. Weighted average predicts an overall yearly precipitation decrease of about 20%. Temperature projections provide a mean annual increase of 2.4 °C. Future drought scenarios were depicted by means of the self-calibrating version of the Palmer drought severity index (SC-PDSI) model. Weighted average predicts a sharp drying that can be configured as a real shift in mean climate conditions, drastically affecting water resources of the country.
    Print ISSN: 0930-7575
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0894
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 2
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, this paper analyzes the spatiotemporal features of heat waves in 20-year regional climate simulations over East Asia, and investigates the capability of WRF to reproduce observational heat waves in China. Within the framework of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX), the WRF model is driven by the ERA-Interim (ERAIN) reanalysis, and five continuous simulations are conducted from 1989 to 2008. Of these, four runs apply the interior spectral nudging (SN) technique with different wavenumbers, nudging variables and nudging coefficients. Model validations show that WRF can reasonably reproduce the spatiotemporal features of heat waves in China. Compared with the experiment without SN, the application of SN is effectie on improving the skill of the model in simulating both the spatial distributions and temporal variations of heat waves of different intensities. The WRF model shows advantages in reproducing the synoptic circulations with SN and therefore yields better representations for heat wave events. Besides, the SN method is able to preserve the variability of large-scale circulations quite well, which in turn adjusts the extreme temperature variability towards the observation. Among the four SN experiments, those with stronger nudging coefficients perform better in modulating both the spatial and temporal features of heat waves. In contrast, smaller nudging coefficients weaken the effects of SN on improving WRF’s performances.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0894
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 3
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: The impacts of the eastern-Pacific (EP) and central-Pacific (CP) El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the southern China wintertime rainfall (SCWR) have been investigated. Results show that wintertime rainfall over most stations in southern China is enhanced (suppressed) during the EP (CP) El Niño, which are attributed to different atmospheric responses in the western North Pacific (WNP) and South China Sea (SCS) during two types of ENSO. When EP El Niño occurs, an anomalous low-level anticyclone is present over WNP/the Philippines region, resulting in stronger-than-normal southwesterlies over SCS. Such a wind branch acts to suppress East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) and enhance moisture supply, implying surplus SCWR. During CP El Niño, however, anomalous sinking and low-level anticyclonic flow are found to cover a broad region in SCS. These circulation features are associated with moisture divergence over the northern part of SCS and suppressed SCWR. General circulation model experiments have also been conducted to study influence of various tropical sea surface temperature (SST) patterns on the EAWM atmospheric circulation. For EP El Niño, formation of anomalous low-level WNP anticyclone is jointly attributed to positive/negative SST anomalies (SSTA) over the central-to-eastern/ western equatorial Pacific. However, both positive and negative CP Niño-related-SSTA, located respectively over the central Pacific and WNP/SCS, offset each other and contribute a weak but broad-scale anticyclone centered at SCS. These results suggest that, besides the vital role of SST warming, SST cooling over SCS/WNP during two types of El Niño should be considered carefully for understanding the El Niño-EAWM relationship.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0894
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 4
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: This study evaluates the role of MCSs in the total rainfall distribution as a function of season from a climatological perspective (1998–2014) over sub-Saharan northern Africa and examines how the diurnal cycle of rainfall changes with season. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42V7 rainfall estimates and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ERA-Interim reanalysis are used to evaluate the climatology. The percentages of the full TRMM precipitation delivered by MCSs have meridional structures in spring, fall and winter, ranging from 0 to 80% across sub-Saharan northern Africa, while the percentages are homogenous in summer (〉 80%). The diurnal cycles of MCS-associated precipitation coincide with the full TRMM rainfall. Attributes of MCSs, including size, count, and intensity, vary synchronously with the diurnal cycle of rainfall. The diurnal peaks are classified into three categories: single afternoon peak, continuous afternoon peak, and nocturnal peak. Single afternoon peaks dominate in spring and fall while continuous afternoon and nocturnal peaks are more common in summer, indicating the seasonality of the diurnal cycle. The continuous afternoon peak combines rainfall from two system types—one locally-generated and one propagating. The seasonality of the diurnal cycle is related to the seasonality of MCS lifetimes, and propagation speeds and directions. The moisture component of the MSE profile contributes to the instability most in summer when convection is more frequent. Low-level temperature, which is related to surface warming and sensible heat fluxes, influences the instability more during winter and spring.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0894
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 5
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: In this study, future changes in rainfall due to global climate change are investigated over the western Maritime Continent based on dynamically downscaled climate projections using the MIT Regional Climate Model (MRCM) with 12 km horizontal resolution. A total of nine 30-year regional climate projections driven by multi-GCMs projections (CCSM4, MPI-ESM-MR and ACCESS1.0) under multi-scenarios of greenhouse gases emissions (Historical: 1976–2005, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5: 2071–2100) from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) are analyzed. Focusing on dynamically downscaled rainfall fields, the associated systematic biases originating from GCM and MRCM are removed based on observations using Parametric Quantile Mapping method in order to enhance the reliability of future projections. The MRCM simulations with bias correction capture the spatial patterns of seasonal rainfall as well as the frequency distribution of daily rainfall. Based on projected rainfall changes under both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, the ensemble of MRCM simulations project a significant decrease in rainfall over the western Maritime Continent during the inter-monsoon periods while the change in rainfall is not relevant during wet season. The main mechanism behind the simulated decrease in rainfall is rooted in asymmetries of the projected changes in seasonal dynamics of the meridional circulation along different latitudes. The sinking motion, which is marginally positioned in the reference simulation, is enhanced and expanded under global climate change, particularly in RCP8.5 scenario during boreal fall season. The projected enhancement of rainfall seasonality over the western Maritime Continent suggests increased risk of water stress for natural ecosystems as well as man-made water resources reservoirs.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 6
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: Over the past few million years, the Earth descended from the relatively warm and stable climate of the Pliocene into the increasingly dramatic ice age cycles of the Pleistocene. The influences of orbital forcing and atmospheric CO 2 on land-based ice sheets have long been considered as the key drivers of the ice ages, but less attention has been paid to their direct influences on the circulation of the deep ocean. Here we provide a broad view on the influences of CO 2 , orbital forcing and ice sheet size according to a comprehensive Earth system model, by integrating the model to equilibrium under 40 different combinations of the three external forcings. We find that the volume contribution of Antarctic (AABW) vs. North Atlantic (NADW) waters to the deep ocean varies widely among the simulations, and can be predicted from the difference between the surface densities at AABW and NADW deep water formation sites. Minima of both the AABW-NADW density difference and the AABW volume occur near interglacial CO 2 (270–400 ppm). At low CO 2 , abundant formation and northward export of sea ice in the Southern Ocean contributes to very salty and dense Antarctic waters that dominate the global deep ocean. Furthermore, when the Earth is cold, low obliquity (i.e. a reduced tilt of Earth’s rotational axis) enhances the Antarctic water volume by expanding sea ice further. At high CO 2 , AABW dominance is favoured due to relatively warm subpolar North Atlantic waters, with more dependence on precession. Meanwhile, a large Laurentide ice sheet steers atmospheric circulation as to strengthen the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, but cools the Southern Ocean remotely, enhancing Antarctic sea ice export and leading to very salty and expanded AABW. Together, these results suggest that a ‘sweet spot’ of low CO 2 , low obliquity and relatively small ice sheets would have poised the AMOC for interruption, promoting Dansgaard–Oeschger-type abrupt change. The deep ocean temperature and salinity simulated under the most representative ‘glacial’ state agree very well with reconstructions from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lends confidence in the ability of the model to estimate large-scale changes in water-mass geometry. The model also simulates a circulation-driven increase of preformed radiocarbon reservoir age, which could explain most of the reconstructed LGM-preindustrial ocean radiocarbon change. However, the radiocarbon content of the simulated glacial ocean is still higher than reconstructed for the LGM, and the model does not reproduce reconstructed LGM deep ocean oxygen depletions. These ventilation-related disagreements probably reflect unresolved physical aspects of ventilation and ecosystem processes, but also raise the possibility that the LGM ocean circulation was not in equilibrium. Finally, the simulations display an increased sensitivity of both surface air temperature and AABW volume to orbital forcing under low CO 2 . We suggest that this enhanced orbital sensitivity contributed to the development of the ice age cycles by amplifying the responses of climate and the carbon cycle to orbital forcing, following a gradual downward trend of CO 2 .
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 7
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: This paper aims to validate inflow simulations concerning the present-day climate at Água Vermelha Hydroelectric Plant (AVHP—located on the Grande River Basin) based on the Soil Moisture Accounting Procedure (SMAP) hydrological model. In order to provide rainfall data to the SMAP model, the RegCM regional climate model was also used working with boundary conditions from the MIROC model. Initially, present-day climate simulation performed by RegCM model was analyzed. It was found that, in terms of rainfall, the model was able to simulate the main patterns observed over South America. A bias correction technique was also used and it was essential to reduce mistakes related to rainfall simulation. Comparison between rainfall simulations from RegCM and MIROC showed improvements when the dynamical downscaling was performed. Then, SMAP, a rainfall-runoff hydrological model, was used to simulate inflows at Água Vermelha Hydroelectric Plant. After calibration with observed rainfall, SMAP simulations were evaluated in two different periods from the one used in calibration. During calibration, SMAP captures the inflow variability observed at AVHP. During validation periods, the hydrological model obtained better results and statistics with observed rainfall. However, in spite of some discrepancies, the use of simulated rainfall without bias correction captured the interannual flow variability. However, the use of bias removal in the simulated rainfall performed by RegCM brought significant improvements to the simulation of natural inflows performed by SMAP. Not only the curve of simulated inflow became more similar to the observed inflow, but also the statistics improved their values. Improvements were also noticed in the inflow simulation when the rainfall was provided by the regional climate model compared to the global model. In general, results obtained so far prove that there was an added value in rainfall when regional climate model was compared to global climate model and that data from regional models must be bias-corrected so as to improve their results.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 8
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: Precipitation on the Spanish mainland and in the Balearic archipelago exhibits a high degree of spatial and temporal variability, regardless of the temporal resolution of the data considered. The fractal dimension indicates the property of self-similarity, and in the case of this study, wherein it is applied to the temporal behaviour of rainfall at a fine (10-min) resolution from a total of 48 observatories, it provides insights into its more or less convective nature. The methodology of Jenkinson & Collison which automatically classifies synoptic situations at the surface, as well as an adaptation of this methodology at 500 hPa, was applied in order to gain insights into the synoptic implications of extreme values of the fractal dimension. The highest fractal dimension values in the study area were observed in places with precipitation that has a more random behaviour over time with generally high totals. Four different regions in which the atmospheric mechanisms giving rise to precipitation at the surface differ from the corresponding above-ground mechanisms have been identified in the study area based on the fractal dimension. In the north of the Iberian Peninsula, high fractal dimension values are linked to a lower frequency of anticyclonic situations, whereas the opposite occurs in the central region. In the Mediterranean, higher fractal dimension values are associated with a higher frequency of the anticyclonic type and a lower frequency of the advective type from the east. In the south, lower fractal dimension values indicate higher frequency with respect to the anticyclonic type from the east and lower frequency with respect to the cyclonic type.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 9
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: Beside its global effects, climate change is manifested in many regionally pronounced features mainly resulting from changes in the oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Here we investigate the influence of the North Atlantic SST on shaping the winter-time response to global warming. Our results are based on a long-term climate projection with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) to investigate the influence of North Atlantic sea surface temperature pattern changes on shaping the atmospheric climate change signal. In sensitivity experiments with the model’s atmospheric component we decompose the response into components controlled by the local SST structure and components controlled by global/remote changes. MPI-ESM simulates a global warming response in SST similar to other climate models: there is a warming minimum—or ”warming hole”—in the subpolar North Atlantic, and the sharp SST gradients associated with the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current shift northward by a few a degrees. Over the warming hole, global warming causes a relatively weak increase in rainfall. Beyond this, our experiments show more localized effects, likely resulting from future SST gradient changes in the North Atlantic. This includes a significant precipitation decrease to the south of the Gulf Stream despite increased underlying SSTs. Since this region is characterised by a strong band of precipitation in the current climate, this is contrary to the usual case that wet regions become wetter and dry regions become drier in a warmer climate. A moisture budget analysis identifies a complex interplay of various processes in the region of modified SST gradients: reduced surface winds cause a decrease in evaporation; and thermodynamic, modified atmospheric eddy transports, and coastal processes cause a change in the moisture convergence. The changes in the the North Atlantic storm track are mainly controlled by the non-regional changes in the forcing. The impact of the local SST pattern changes on regions outside the North Atlantic is small in our setup.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 10
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-07
    Description: This study examines El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-related air-sea feedback processes in a coupled general circulation model (CGCM) to gauge model errors and pin down their sources in ENSO simulation. Three horizontal resolutions of the atmospheric component (T42, T63 and T106) of the CGCM are used to investigate how the simulated ENSO behaviors are affected by the resolution. We find that air-sea feedback processes in the three experiments mainly differ in terms of both thermodynamic and dynamic feedbacks. We also find that these processes are simulated more reasonably in the highest resolution version than in the other two lower resolution versions. The difference in the thermodynamic feedback arises from the difference in the shortwave-radiation (SW) feedback. Due to the severely (mildly) excessive cold tongue in the lower (higher) resolution version, the SW feedback is severely (mildly) underestimated. The main difference in the dynamic feedback processes lies in the thermocline feedback and the zonal-advection feedback, both of which are caused by the difference in the anomalous thermocline response to anomalous zonal wind stress. The difference in representing the anomalous thermocline response is attributed to the difference in meridional structure of zonal wind stress anomaly in the three simulations, which is linked to meridional resolution.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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