North West Research Associates

Boulder City, United States

North West Research Associates

Boulder City, United States
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Millan L.F.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Manney G.L.,North West Research Associates | Manney G.L.,New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2017

An ozone mini-hole is a synoptic-scale region with strongly decreased total column ozone resulting from dynamical processes. Using total column measurements from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument and ozone profile measurements from the Microwave Limb Sounder, we evaluate the accuracy of mini-hole representation in five reanalyses. This study provides a metric of the reanalyses' ability to capture dynamically driven ozone variability. The reanalyses and the measurements show similar seasonal variability and geographical distributions of mini-holes; however, all of the reanalyses underestimate the number of mini-holes and their area, and in many reanalyses their location displays an eastward bias. The reanalyses' underestimation of mini-hole number ranges from about 34 to about 83 %. The mini-hole vertical representation in the reanalyses agrees well with that in the MLS measurements and, furthermore, is consistent with previously reported mechanisms for mini-hole formation. The skill of the reanalyses is not closely tied to the ozone fields assimilated, suggesting that the dynamics of the reanalysis models are more important than the assimilated ozone fields to reproducing ozone mini-holes. © Author(s) 2017.

Smit P.B.,North West Research Associates | Janssen T.T.,CA Technologies | Herbers T.H.C.,North West Research Associates
Journal of Physical Oceanography | Year: 2017

Estimation of second-order, near-surface wave kinematics is important for interpretation of ocean surface remote sensing and surface-following instruments, determining loading on offshore structures, and understanding of upper-ocean transport processes. Unfortunately, conventional wave theories based on Stokes-type expansions do not consider fluid motions at levels above the unperturbed fluid level. The usual practice of extrapolating the fluid kinematics from the unperturbed free surface to higher points in the fluid is generally reasonable for narrowband waves, but for broadband ocean waves this results in dramatic (and nonphysical) overestimation of surface velocities. Consequently, practical approximations for random waves are at best empirical and are often only loosely constrained by physical principles. In the present work, the authors formulate the governing equations for water waves in an incompressible and inviscid fluid, using a boundary-fitted coordinate system (i.e., sigma or s coordinates) to derive expressions for near-surface kinematics in nonlinear random waves from first principles. Comparison to a numerical model valid for highly nonlinear waves shows that the new results 1) are consistent with second-order Stokes theory, 2) are similar to extrapolation methods in narrowband waves, and 3) greatly improve estimates of surface kinematics in random seas. © 2017 American Meteorological Society.

Bouruet-Aubertot P.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Van Haren H.,Netherlands Institute for Sea Research | Lelong M.P.,North West Research Associates
Journal of Physical Oceanography | Year: 2010

Deep-ocean high-resolution moored temperature data are analyzed with a focus on superbuoyant frequencies. Alocal Taylor hypothesis based on the horizontal velocity averaged over 2 h is used to infer horizontal wavenumber spectra of temperature variance. The inertial subrange extends over fairly low horizontal wavenumbers, typically within 2 × 10-3 and 2 × 10-1 cycles per minute (cpm). It is therefore interpreted as a stratified inertial subrange for most of this wavenumber interval, whereas in some cases the convective inertial subrange is resolved as well. Kinetic energy dissipation rate ∈ is inferred using theoretical expressions for the stratified inertial subrange.Awide range of values within 10-9 and 4×10-7 m2 s-3 is obtained for time periods either dominated by semidiurnal tides or by significant subinertial variability.Ascaling for ∈ that depends on the potential energy within the inertio-gravity waves (IGW) frequency band PEIGW and the buoyancy frequency N is proposed for these two cases.When semidiurnal tides dominate, ∈~'(PEIGWN)3/2, whereas ∈~ 'PEIGWNin the presence of significant subinertial variability. This result is obtained for energy levels ranging from1 to 30 times theGarrett-Munk energy level and is in contrastwith classical finescale parameterization inwhich ∈~;(PEIGW)2 that applies far from energy sources. The specificities of the stratified bottom boundary layer, namely a weak stratification, may account for this difference. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

Lussier L.L.,Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey | Lussier L.L.,U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research | Rutherford B.,Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey | Montgomery M.T.,Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey | And 2 more authors.
Monthly Weather Review | Year: 2015

The tropical cyclogenesis sequence of Hurricane Sandy is examined. It is shown that genesis occurs within a recirculating Kelvin cat's-eye flow of a westward-propagating tropical wave. The cat's-eye flow is able to provide a protective environment for the mesoscale vortex to grow and is characterized by gradual column moistening and increased areal coverage of deep cumulus convection. These findings are generally consistent with a recently proposed tropical cyclogenesis sequence referred to as the "marsupial paradigm." Sandy's cyclogenesis provides a useful illustration of the marsupial paradigm within a partially open recirculating region, with the opening located south of the pouch center. It is suggested that the opening acts to enhance the genesis process because it is adjacent to an environment characterized by warm, moist air, conditions favorable for tropical cyclogenesis. From a dynamical perspective, accretion of low-level cyclonic vorticity filaments into the developing vortex from several sources (the South American convergence zone, an easterly wave located west of the pre-Sandy wave, and cyclonic vorticity generated along Hispaniola) is documented. Organization and growth of the nascent storm is enhanced by this accretion of cyclonic vorticity. A Lagrangian trajectory analysis is used to assess potential contributions to Sandy's spinup from a Caribbean gyre and the easterly wave that formed Hurricane Tony. This analysis indicates that these features are outside of the Lagrangian flow boundaries that define the pre-Sandy wave and do not directly contribute to spinup of the vortex. Finally, the effectiveness of forecasts from the U.S. and European operational numerical weather prediction models is discussed for this case. © 2015 American Meteorological Society.

Lilly J.M.,North West Research Associates | Scott R.K.,University of St. Andrews | Olhede S.C.,University College London
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2011

A method for extracting time-varying oscillatory motions from time series records is applied to Lagrangian trajectories from a numerical model of eddies generated by an unstable equivalent barotropic jet on a beta plane. An oscillation in a Lagrangian trajectory is represented mathematically as the signal traced out as a particle orbits a time-varying ellipse, a model which captures wavelike motions as well as the displacement signal of a particle trapped in an evolving vortex. Such oscillatory features can be separated from the turbulent background flow through an analysis founded upon a complex-valued wavelet transform of the trajectory. Application of the method to a set of one hundred modeled trajectories shows that the oscillatory motions of Lagrangian particles orbiting vortex cores appear to be extracted very well by the method, which depends upon only a handful of free parameters and which requires no operator intervention. Furthermore, vortex motions are clearly distinguished from wavelike meandering of the jet-the former are high frequency, nearly circular signals, while the latter are linear in polarization and at much lower frequencies. This suggests that the proposed method can be useful for identifying and studying vortex and wave properties in large Lagrangian datasets. In particular, the eccentricity of the oscillatory displacement signals, a quantity which is not normally considered in Lagrangian studies, emerges as an informative diagnostic for characterizing qualitatively different types of motion. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Kuo S.,New York University | Snyder A.,North West Research Associates | Kossey P.,Air Force Research Lab | Chang C.-L.,BAE Systems | Labenski J.,BAE Systems
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2011

Theory of a beat-wave mechanism for very low frequency (VLF) wave generation in the ionosphere is presented. The VLF current is produced by beating two high power HF waves of slightly different frequencies through the nonlinearity and inhomogeneity of the ionospheric plasma. Theory also shows that the density irregularities can enhance the beat-wave generation. An experiment was conducted by transmitting two high power HF waves of 3.2 MHz and 3.2 MHz + f, where f = 5, 8, 13, and 2.02 kHz, from the HAARP transmitter. In the experiment, the ionosphere was underdense to the O-mode heater, i.e., the heater frequency f0 > foF2, and overdense or slightly underdense to the X-mode heater, i.e., f0 < fxF2 or f0 > fxF2. The radiation intensity increased with the VLF wave frequency, was much stronger with the X-mode heaters, and was not sensitive to the electrojet. The strongest VLF radiation of 13 kHz was generated when the reflection layer of the X-mode heater was just slightly below the foF2 layer and the spread of the O-mode sounding echoes had the largest enhancement, suggesting an optimal setting for beat-wave generation of VLF waves by the HF heaters. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Vieytes M.C.,CONICET | Fontenla J.M.,North West Research Associates
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

Neutral nickel (Ni I) is abundant in the solar atmosphere and is one of the important elements that contribute to the emission and absorption of radiation in the spectral range between 1900 and 3900 Å. Previously, the Solar Radiation Physical Modeling (SRPM) models of the solar atmosphere only considered a few levels of this species. Here, we improve the Ni I atomic model by taking into account 61 levels and 490 spectral lines. We compute the populations of these levels in full NLTE using the SRPM code and compare the resulting emerging spectrum with observations. The present atomic model significantly improves the calculation of the solar spectral irradiance at near-UV wavelengths, which is important for Earth atmospheric studies, and particularly for ozone chemistry. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Wheatland M.S.,University of Sydney | Leka K.D.,North West Research Associates
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

A nonlinear force-free solution is constructed for the coronal magnetic field in NOAA solar active region (AR) 10953 based on a photospheric vector magnetogram derived from Hinode satellite observations on 2007 April 30, taking into account uncertainties in the boundary data and using improved methods for merging multiple-instrument data. The solution demonstrates the "self-consistency" procedure of Wheatland & Régnier, for the first time including uncertainties. The self-consistency procedure addresses the problem that photospheric vector magnetogram data are inconsistent with the force-free model, and in particular that the boundary conditions on vertical electric current density are overspecified and permit the construction of two different nonlinear force-free solutions. The procedure modifies the boundary conditions on current density during a sequence of cycles until the two nonlinear force-free solutions agree. It hence constructs an accurate single solution to the force-free model, with boundary values close, but not matched exactly, to the vector magnetogram data. The inclusion of uncertainties preserves the boundary conditions more closely at points with smaller uncertainties. The self-consistent solution obtained for AR 10953 is significantly non-potential, with magnetic energy E/E0 ≈ 1.08, where E0 is the energy of the reference potential (current-free) magnetic field. The self-consistent solution is shown to be robust against changes in the details of the construction of the two force-free models at each cycle. This suggests that reliable nonlinear force-free modeling of ARs is possible if uncertainties in vector magnetogram boundary data are included. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society.

Martinez Oliveros J.C.,University of California at Berkeley | Lindsey C.,North West Research Associates | Hudson H.S.,University of California at Berkeley | Hudson H.S.,University of Glasgow | Buitrago Casas J.C.,National University of Colombia
Solar Physics | Year: 2014

The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) provides a new tool for the systematic observation of white-light flares, including Doppler and magnetic information as well as continuum. In our initial analysis of the highly impulsive γ-ray flare SOL2010-06-12T00:57 (Martínez Oliveros et al., Solar Phys. 269, 269, 2011), we reported the signature of a strong blueshift in the two footpoint sources. Concerned that this might be an artifact due to aliasing peculiar to the HMI instrument, we undertook a comparative analysis of Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG++) observations of the same flare, using the PArametric Smearing Correction ALgorithm (PASCAL) algorithm to correct for artifacts caused by variations in atmospheric smearing. This analysis confirms the artifactual nature of the apparent blueshift in the HMI observations, finding weak redshifts at the footpoints instead. We describe the use of PASCAL with GONG++ observations as a complement to the SDO observations and discuss constraints imposed by the use of HMI far from its design conditions. With proper precautions, these data provide rich information on flares and transients. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Liepert B.G.,North West Research Associates
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change | Year: 2010

Since the beginning of the debate on global climate change, scientists, economists, and policymakers alike have been using 'climate forcing' as a convenient measure for evaluating climate change. Researchers who run complex computer models conceived the theoretical concept of climate forcing in the late 1960s (Charney Report, 1979). This overview describes the development and basics of the physical framework, as radiative energy imbalance in the atmosphere, inflicted by a perturbation in the climate system. Such disturbances and forced changes can alter processes in the climate system, which enhance or dampen the initial effects and thus introduce positive or negative feedback loops. With increased understanding of the nature of the climate system, this basic concept has become more complex and hencemore difficult to interpret. The identification of additional anthropogenic disturbances, the interdependence of individual forcings, and difficulties to account for spatial and temporal variabilities of disturbances are only few issues that complicate the overall picture.Although numerous scientific studies exist that evaluate climate forcings by allocating watts per square meter values to individual forcings (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, 2010), the actual number of publications that interpret the physical meaning of the climate-forcing concept remains surprisingly small. Here, this overview focuses on explaining to an interdisciplinary audience the physical interpretation of the concept, including its limitations. It also examines new developments, such as polluter-based emission scenarios, energy budget approaches, and climate impacts other than temperature change. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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