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Li C.,Climate Change Research Center | Li C.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Li C.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Luo J.-J.,Australian Bureau of Meteorology | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Climate | Year: 2017

The impacts of different types of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the interannual negative correlation (seesaw) between the Somali cross-equatorial flow (CEF) and the Maritime Continent (MC) CEF during boreal summer (June-August) are investigated using the ECMWF twentieth-century reanalysis (ERA-20C) dataset and numerical experiments with a global atmospheric model [the Met Office Unified Model global atmosphere, version 6 (UM-GA6)]. The results suggest that ENSO plays a prominent role in governing the CEF-seesaw relation. A high positive correlation (0.86) exists between the MC CEF and Niño-3.4 index and also in the case of eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño, central Pacific (CP) El Niño, EP La Niña, and CP La Niña events. In contrast, a negative correlation (-0.35) exists between the Somali CEF and Niño-3.4 index, and this negative relation is significant only in the EP El Niño years. Further, the variation of the MC CEF is highly correlated with the local north-south sea surface temperature (SST) gradient, while the variation of the Somali CEF displays little relation with the local SST gradient. The Somali CEF may be remotely influenced by ENSO. The model results confirm that the EP El Niño plays a major role in causing the weakened Somali CEF via modifying the Walker cell. However, the impact of the EP El Niño on the Somali CEF differs with different seasonal background. It is also found that the interannual CEF seesaw displays a multidecadal change before and after the 1950s, which is linked with the multidecadal strengthening of the intensity of the EP ENSO. © 2017 American Meteorological Society.

Westra S.,University of Adelaide | Alexander L.V.,Climate Change Research Center | Alexander L.V.,University of New South Wales | Zwiers F.W.,University of Victoria
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

This study investigates the presence of trends in annual maximum daily precipitation time series obtained from a global dataset of 8326 high-quality land-based observing stations with more than 30 years of record over the period from 1900 to 2009. Two complementary statistical techniques were adopted to evaluate the possible nonstationary behavior of these precipitation data. The first was a Mann-Kendall nonparametric trend test, and it was used to evaluate the existence of monotonic trends. The second was a nonstationary generalized extreme value analysis, and it was used to determine the strength of association between the precipitation extremes and globally averaged near-surface temperature. The outcomes are that statistically significant increasing trends can be detected at the global scale, with close to two-thirds of stations showing increases. Furthermore, there is a statistically significant association with globally averaged near-surface temperature, with the median intensity of extreme precipitation changing in proportion with changes in global mean temperature at a rate of between 5.9% and 7.7%K-1, depending on the method of analysis. This ratio was robust irrespective of record length or time period considered and was not strongly biased by the uneven global coverage of precipitation data. Finally, there is a distinct meridional variation, with the greatest sensitivity occurring in the tropics and higher latitudes and the minima around 13°S and 11°N. The greatest uncertainty was near the equator because of the limited number of sufficiently long precipitation records, and there remains an urgent need to improve data collection in this region to better constrain future changes in tropical precipitation. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

Green D.,Climate Change Research Center | Billy J.,Torres Strait | Tapim A.,Torres Strait
Climatic Change | Year: 2010

Although the last 200 years of colonisation has brought radical changes in economic and governance structures for thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in remote areas of northern Australia, many of these Indigenous people still rely upon, and live closely connected to, their natural environment. Over millennia, living 'on country', many of these communities have developed a sophisticated appreciation of their local ecosystems and the climatic patterns associated with the changes in them. Some of this knowledge is recorded in their oral history passed down through generations, documented in seasonal weather calendars in local languages and, to a limited degree, transcribed and translated into English. This knowledge is still highly valued by these communities today, as it is used to direct hunting, fishing and planting as well as to inform many seasonally dependant cultural events. In recent years, local observations have been recognised by non-Indigenous scientists as a vital source of environmental data where few historic records exist. Similar to the way that phenological observations in the UK and US provide baseline information on past climates, this paper suggests that Indigenous observations of seasonal change have the potential to fill gaps in climate data for tropical northern Australia, and could also serve to inform culturally appropriate adaptation strategies. One method of recording recent direct and indirect climate and weather observations for the Torres Strait Islands is documented in this paper to demonstrate the currency of local observations of climate and its variability. The paper concludes that a comprehensive, participatory programme to record Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge of past climate patterns, and recent observations of change, would be timely and valuable for the communities themselves, as well as contributing to a greater understanding of regional climate change that would be useful for the wider Australian population. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Evans J.P.,Climate Change Research Center | McCabe M.F.,University of New South Wales | McCabe M.F.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Climate Research | Year: 2013

Dynamically downscaling climate projections from global climate models (GCMs) for use in impacts and adaptation research has become a common practice in recent years. In this study, the CSIRO Mk3.5 GCM is downscaled using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model (RCM) to medium (50 km) and high (10 km) resolution over southeast Australia. The influence of model resolution on the present-day (1985 to 2009) modelled regional climate and projected future (2075 to 2099) changes are examined for both mean climate and extreme precipitation characteristics. Increasing model resolution tended to improve the simulation of present day climate, with larger improvements in areas affected by mountains and coastlines. Examination of circumstances under which increasing the resolution decreased performance revealed an error in the GCM circulation, the effects of which had been masked by the coarse GCM topography. Resolution modifications to projected changes were largest in regions with strong topographic and coastline influences, and can be large enough to change the sign of the climate change projected by the GCM. Known physical mechanisms for these changes included orographic uplift and low-level blocking of air-masses caused by mountains. In terms of precipitation extremes, the GCM projects increases in extremes even when the projected change in the mean was a decrease: but this was not always true for the higher resolution models. Thus, while the higher resolution RCM climate projections often concur with the GCM projections, there are times and places where they differ significantly due to their better representation of physical processes. It should also be noted that the model resolution can modify precipitation characteristics beyond just its mean value. © Inter-Research 2013.

Sun Y.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Sun Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zhou T.,Climate Change Research Center
Journal of Climate | Year: 2014

Analyses of 30-yr four reanalysis datasets [NCEP-NCAR reanalysis (NCEP1), NCEP-Department of Energy reanalysis (NCEP2), Japanese 25-year Reanalysis Project (JRA-25), and Interim ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim)] reveal remarkably interannual variability of the Hadley circulation (HC) in boreal summer (June-August). The two leading modes of interannual variability of boreal summer HC are obtained by performing empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis on the mass streamfunction. A general intensification of boreal summer HC is seen in EOF-1 mode among NCEP1, NCEP2, and JRA-25 but the corresponding EOF-2 mode in ERA-Interim, while a weakened northern Hadley cell and remarkable regional variation of a southern Hadley cell are captured by the EOF-2 mode (from NCEP1, NCEP2, and JRA-25) and EOF-1 mode (from ERA-Interim), as evidenced by the enhanced (decreased) southern Hadley cell in the southern tropics (the northern tropics and southern subtropics). Both modes are driven by El Nĩno-like SST forcing in boreal summer, but are relevant to different phases of El Nĩno events. The EOF-1 (or EOF-2 derived from ERA-Interim) [EOF-2 (or EOF-1 derived from ERA-Interim)] mode is driven by SST anomalies in developing (decaying) El Nĩno summers. The interannual variations of the northern Hadley cell in both modes are driven by El Niño through modulating the interannual variations of the East Asian summer monsoon, while anomalous local Hadley circulation (LHC) in the regions 30°S-20°N, 110°E-180° and 30°S-20°N, 160°E-120°W in response to El Niño forcing largely determine the interannual variations of southern Hadley cell in both modes, respectively. The different behaviors of the southern Hadley cell between two leading modes can be well explained by the southward shift of the tropical heating center from north of 10°N in developing El Niño summers to south of 10°N in decaying El Niño summers.© 2014 American Meteorological Society.

Peirson W.,University of New South Wales | Shand T.,Tonkin and Taylor Ltd. | Ruprecht J.,University of New South Wales | Guerry N.,University of New South Wales | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of the Coastal Engineering Conference | Year: 2014

Coastal inundation has both potential marine and inland contributions. Using a suite of Global Circulation Models, their skill in representing the key fundamental coastal engineering design forcings (mean sea level pressure, wind and precipitation) has been quantified at the 20 year ARI. Skill is assessed by comparison with measured and assembled data along the temperate east Australian coast. Clear extreme distributions are available from GCM output which show no sign of saturation within the tails of extreme distributions. Extreme surface pressures and winds are comparable with the available data giving confidence to the coastal engineering community that GCMs provide data that is suitable for coastal engineering design. GCMs also provide much longer and more detailed data than is available from equivalent measured records. When changes under the A2 scenario are considered, the consensus of the models is that little change in 20 year extreme surface pressures and rainfall are anticipated over the next 100 years with an accompanying 10% decrease in design wind.

Guo Z.,Climate Change Research Center | Guo Z.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Zhou T.J.,Climate Change Research Center | Zhou T.J.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics
Science China Earth Sciences | Year: 2014

Based on satellite data and the estimated inversion strength (EIS) derived by Wood et al. (2006), a feasible and uncomplicated stratocumulus scheme is proposed, referred to as EIS scheme. It improves simulation of cloud radiative forcing (CRF) in the Grid-point Atmospheric Model of IAP/LASG version 2 (GAMIL2.0) model. When compared with the original lower troposphere stability (LTS) scheme, the EIS scheme reproduces more reasonable climatology distributions of clouds and CRF. The parameterization partly corrects CRF underestimation at mid and high latitudes and overestimation in the convective region. Such improvements are achieved by neglecting the effect of free-tropospheric stratification changes that follow a cooler moist adiabat at middle and high latitude, thereby improving simulated cloudiness. The EIS scheme also improves simulation of the CRF interannual variability. The positive net CRF and negative stratiform anomaly in the East Asian and western North Pacific monsoon regions (EAWNPMR) are well simulated. The EIS scheme is more sensitive to sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) than the LTS. Therefore, under the effect of a warmer SSTA in the EAWNPMR, the EIS generates a stronger negative stratiform response, which reduces radiative heating in the low and mid troposphere, in turn producing strong subsidence and negative anomalies of both moisture and cloudiness. Consequent decreases in cloud reflection and shading effects ultimately improve simulation of incoming surface shortwave radiative fluxes and CRF. Because of the stronger subsidence, a stronger anomalous anticyclone over the Philippines Sea is simulated by the EIS run, which leads to a better positive precipitation anomaly in eastern China during ENSO winter. © 2014, Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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