Instituto Geofisico del Peru

Lima, Peru

Instituto Geofisico del Peru

Lima, Peru
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Espinoza J.C.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2016

This paper reviews recent progress in the study and understanding of extreme seasonal events in the Amazon region, focusing on drought and floods. The review includes a history of droughts and floods in the past, in the present and some discussions on future extremes in the context of climate change and its impacts on the Amazon region. Several extreme hydrological events, some of them characterized as 'once in a century', have been reported in the Amazon region during the last decade. While abundant rainfall in various sectors of the basin has determined extreme floods along the river's main stem in 1953, 1989, 1999, 2009, 2012-2015, deficient rainfall in 1912, 1926, 1963, 1980, 1983, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2010 has caused anomalously low river levels, and an increase in the risk and number of fires in the region, with consequences for humans. This is consistent with changes in the variability of the hydrometeorology of the basin and suggests that extreme hydrological events have been more frequent in the last two decades. Some of these intense/reduced rainfalls and subsequent floods/droughts were associated (but not exclusively) with La Niña/El Niño events. In addition, moisture transport anomalies from the tropical Atlantic into Amazonia, and from northern to southern Amazonia alter the water cycle in the region year-to-year. We also assess the impacts of such extremes on natural and human systems in the region, considering ecological, economic and societal impacts in urban and rural areas, particularly during the recent decades. In the context of the future climate change, studies show a large range of uncertainty, but suggest that drought might intensify through the 21st century. © 2016 Royal Meteorological Society.


Jauregui Y.R.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru | Takahashi K.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2017

The observed nonlinear relationship between tropical sea surface temperature ((Formula presented.)) and precipitation (P) on climate timescales, by which a threshold ((Formula presented.)) must be exceeded by (Formula presented.) in order for deep convection to occur, is the basis of a physical-empirical model (PEM) that we fitted to observational data and CMIP5 climate model output and used to show that, with essentially only two constant parameters ((Formula presented.) and the sensitivity (Formula presented.) of P to (Formula presented.)), it provides a useful first-order description of the climatological and interannual variability of the large-scale distribution of tropical P given (Formula presented.), as well as of the biases of the Global Climate Models (GCMs). A substantial limitation is its underestimation of the peak P in the convergence zones, as the necessary processes associated with the atmospheric circulation are not considered. The pattern of the intermodel correlation between the mean (Formula presented.) for each GCM and the average P distribution is in agreement with the double ITCZ bias, featuring roughly zonally-symmetric off-equatorial maxima, rather than being regionally or hemispherically restricted. The inter-comparison of GCMs indicates a relationship between (Formula presented.) with the near-equatorial low-level (850 hPa) tropospheric temperature, consistent with the interpretation that it is a measure of the convective inhibition (CIN). The underestimation of (Formula presented.) is linked to the cold free tropospheric bias in the GCMs. However, the discrepancy among the observational datasets is a limitation for assessing the GCM biases from the PEM framework quantitatively. Under the RCP4.5 climate change scenario, (Formula presented.) increases slightly more than the mean tropical (Formula presented.), implying a stabilizing trend consistent with the amplified free tropospheric warming relative to the surface. However, since (Formula presented.) increases by 10–50%/(Formula presented.)C with the surface warming, its effect dominates and results in generally positive precipitation change ((Formula presented.)) in the equatorial regions. In the equatorial eastern-central Pacific cold tongue, (Formula presented.) is positive, but the absolute (Formula presented.) remains small, which explains the double band pattern of (Formula presented.) along the equatorial flanks of the spuriously strong double ITCZs. When the GCM biases are corrected in the PEM, the positive (Formula presented.) in the southeast Pacific and Atlantic oceans is substantially reduced. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Takahashi K.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru | Martinez A.G.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2017

The 1925 El Niño (EN) event was the third strongest in the twentieth century according to its impacts in the far-eastern Pacific (FEP) associated with severe rainfall and flooding in coastal northern Peru and Ecuador in February–April 1925. In this study we gathered and synthesised a large diversity of in situ observations to provide a new assessment of this event from a modern perspective. In contrast to the extreme 1982–1983 and 1997–1998 events, this very strong “coastal El Niño” in early 1925 was characterised by warm conditions in the FEP, but cool conditions elsewhere in the central Pacific. Hydrographic and tide-gauge data indicate that downwelling equatorial Kelvin waves had little role in its initiation. Instead, ship data indicate an abrupt onset of strong northerly winds across the equator and the strengthening/weakening of the intertropical convergence zones (ITCZ) south/north of the equator. Observations indicate lack of external atmospheric forcing by the Panama gap jet and the south Pacific anticyclone and suggest that the coupled ocean–atmosphere feedback dynamics associated with the ITCZs, northerly winds, and the north–south SST asymmetry in the FEP lead to the enhancement of the seasonal cycle that produced this EN event. We propose that the cold conditions in the western-central equatorial Pacific, through its teleconnection effects on the FEP, helped destabilize the ITCZ and enhanced the meridional ocean–atmosphere feedback, as well as helping produce the very strong coastal rainfall. This is indicated by the nonlinear relation between the Piura river record at 5°S and the SST difference between the FEP and the western-central equatorial Pacific, a stability proxy. In summary, there are two types of EN events with very strong impacts in the FEP, both apparently associated with nonlinear convective feedbacks but with very different dynamics: the very strong warm ENSO events like 1982–1983 and 1997–1998, and the very strong “coastal” EN events like 1925. © 2017 The Author(s)


Chau J.L.,Instituto Geofisico Del Peru | Goncharenko L.P.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Fejer B.G.,Utah State University | Liu H.-L.,High Altitude Observatory
Space Science Reviews | Year: 2012

There are several external sources of ionospheric forcing, including these are solar wind-magnetospheric processes and lower atmospheric winds and waves. In this work we review the observed ion-neutral coupling effects at equatorial and low latitudes during large meteorological events called sudden stratospheric warming (SSW). Research in this direction has been accelerated in recent years mainly due to: (1) extensive observing campaigns, and (2) solar minimum conditions. The former has been instrumental to capture the events before, during, and after the peak SSW temperatures and wind perturbations. The latter has permitted a reduced forcing contribution from solar wind-magnetospheric processes. The main ionospheric effects are clearly observed in the zonal electric fields (or vertical E×B drifts), total electron content, and electron and neutral densities. We include results from different ground- and satellite-based observations, covering different longitudes and years. We also present and discuss the modeling efforts that support most of the observations. Given that SSW can be forecasted with a few days in advance, there is potential for using the connection with the ionosphere for forecasting the occurrence and evolution of electrodynamic perturbations at low latitudes, and sometimes also mid latitudes, during arctic winter warmings. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Goncharenko L.P.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Coster A.J.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Chau J.L.,Instituto Geofisico Del Peru | Valladares C.E.,Boston College
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics | Year: 2010

We investigate the ionospheric response to several stratospheric sudden warming events which occurred in Northern Hemisphere winters of 2008 and 2009 during solar minimum conditions. We use GPS total electron content data in a broad latitudinal region at ±40° geographic latitude and a single longitude, 75°W. In all cases, we find a strong daytime ionospheric response to stratospheric sudden warmings. This response is characterized by a semidiurnal character, large amplitude, and persistence of perturbations for up to 3 weeks after the peak in high-latitude stratospheric temperatures. The ionospheric perturbations at the lower latitudes usually begin a few days after the peak in stratospheric temperature and are observed as an enhancement of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) in the morning sector and a suppression of the EIA in the afternoon sector. There is also evidence of a secondary enhancement in the postsunset hours. Once observed in the low latitudes, the phase of semidiurnal perturbations progressively shifts to later local times in subsequent days. This progressive shift occurs at a different rate for different stratospheric warming events. The large magnitude and persistence of ionospheric perturbations, together with the predictability of stratospheric sudden warmings several days in advance, present an opportunity to investigate these phenomena in a systematic manner which may eventually lead to a multiday forecast of low-latitude ionosphere conditions. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Goncharenko L.P.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Chau J.L.,Instituto Geofisico Del Peru | Liu H.-L.,U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research | Coster A.J.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2010

The coupling of the ionosphere to processes from below remains an elusive and difficult problem, as rapidly changing external drivers from above mask variations related to lower atmospheric sources. Here we use superposition of unique circumstances, current deep solar minimum and a record-breaking stratospheric warming event, to gain new insights into causes of ionospheric perturbations. We show large (50-150%) persistent variations in the low-latitude ionosphere (200-1000 km) that occur several days after a sudden warming event in the high-latitude winter stratosphere (∼30 km). We rule out solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity as explanations of the observed variation. Using a general circulation model, we interpret these observations in terms of large changes in atmospheric tides from their nonlinear interaction with planetary waves that are strengthened during sudden warmings. We anticipate that further understanding of the coupling processes with planetary waves, accentuated during the stratospheric sudden warming events, has the potential of enabling the forecast of low-latitude ionospheric weather up to several days in advance. Copyright © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Fejer B.G.,Utah State University | Tracy B.D.,Utah State University | Olson M.E.,Utah State University | Chau J.L.,Instituto Geofisico Del Peru
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2011

Large scale electrodynamic and plasma density variations in the low latitude ionosphere have recently been associated with sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events. We present average patterns of largely enhanced lunar semidiurnal equatorial vertical plasma drift perturbations during arctic winter low and high solar flux SSW events. These perturbations play a dominant role in the electrodynamic response of the low latitude ionosphere to SSWs. Our models indicate that the amplitudes of the enhanced lunar semidiurnal drifts are strongly local time and solar flux dependent, with largest values during early morning low solar flux SSW periods. These results suggest that ionospheric conductance strongly modulate low latitude ionospheric changes during SSWs. They also indicate that lunar semidiurnal effects need to be taken into account by global ionospheric models for their improved forecasting of the low latitude ionospheric response to SSW events, especially for low solar flux conditions. © 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.


Takahashi K.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru | Dewitte B.,IRD LEGOS
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2016

It has been previously proposed that two El Niño (EN) regimes, strong and moderate, exist but the historical observational record is too short to establish this conclusively. Here, 1200 years of simulations with the GFDL CM2.1 model allowed us to demonstrate their existence in this model and, by showing that the relevant dynamics are also evident in observations, we present a stronger case for their existence in nature. In CM2.1, the robust bimodal probability distribution of equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) indices during EN peaks provides evidence for the existence of the regimes, which is also supported by a cluster analysis of these same indices. The observations agree with this distribution, with the EN of 1982–1983 and 1997–1998 corresponding to the strong EN regime and all the other observed EN to the moderate regime. The temporal evolution of various indices during the observed strong EN agrees very well with the events in CM2.1, providing further validation of this model as a proxy for nature. The two regimes differ strongly in the magnitude of the eastern Pacific warming but not much in the central Pacific. Observations and model agree in the existence of a finite positive threshold in the SST anomaly above which the zonal wind response to warming is strongly enhanced. Such nonlinearity in the Bjerknes feedback, which increases the growth rate of EN events if they reach sufficiently large amplitude, is very likely the essential mechanism that gives rise to the existence of the two EN regimes. Oceanic nonlinear advection does not appear essential for the onset of strong EN. The threshold nonlinearity could make the EN regimes very sensitive to stochastic forcing. Observations and model agree that the westerly wind stress anomaly in the central equatorial Pacific in late boreal summer has a substantial role determining the EN regime in the following winter and it is suggested that a stochastic component at this time was key for the development of the strong EN towards the end of 1982. © 2015, The Author(s).


Takahashi K.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru | Dewitte B.,Toulouse
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2015

It has been previously proposed that two El Niño (EN) regimes, strong and moderate, exist but the historical observational record is too short to establish this conclusively. Here, 1200 years of simulations with the GFDL CM2.1 model allowed us to demonstrate their existence in this model and, by showing that the relevant dynamics are also evident in observations, we present a stronger case for their existence in nature. In CM2.1, the robust bimodal probability distribution of equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) indices during EN peaks provides evidence for the existence of the regimes, which is also supported by a cluster analysis of these same indices. The observations agree with this distribution, with the EN of 1982–1983 and 1997–1998 corresponding to the strong EN regime and all the other observed EN to the moderate regime. The temporal evolution of various indices during the observed strong EN agrees very well with the events in CM2.1, providing further validation of this model as a proxy for nature. The two regimes differ strongly in the magnitude of the eastern Pacific warming but not much in the central Pacific. Observations and model agree in the existence of a finite positive threshold in the SST anomaly above which the zonal wind response to warming is strongly enhanced. Such nonlinearity in the Bjerknes feedback, which increases the growth rate of EN events if they reach sufficiently large amplitude, is very likely the essential mechanism that gives rise to the existence of the two EN regimes. Oceanic nonlinear advection does not appear essential for the onset of strong EN. The threshold nonlinearity could make the EN regimes very sensitive to stochastic forcing. Observations and model agree that the westerly wind stress anomaly in the central equatorial Pacific in late boreal summer has a substantial role determining the EN regime in the following winter and it is suggested that a stochastic component at this time was key for the development of the strong EN towards the end of 1982. © 2015 The Author(s)


Takahashi K.,Instituto Geofisico del Peru
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2012

The diurnal cycle in the oceanic surface winds in the tropical eastern Pacific is shown, through numerical experiments with a regional atmospheric model, to be associated with the migrating diurnal atmospheric thermal tide, forced by absorption of solar near-IR radiation by tropospheric water vapor, and a topographically-modified extended sea-breeze, forced by diurnal land heating. Idealized experiments prove capable of discriminating the effects of both processes, showing that beyond 2000km from the coast, the thermal tide is dominant, while closer to the coast both processes are of the same order. The shortwave forcing due to water vapor is also found to produce a diurnal cycle in precipitation, but the process appears to be independent from the thermal tide and it is proposed that this effect is mediated by the radiatively-forced changes in the column stability. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.

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