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Gesso S.D.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe Bilt Netherlands | Siebesma A.P.,Royal University
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2015

Twenty-five large-eddy simulations are performed to study how free tropospheric thermodynamic conditions control equilibrium state solutions of stratocumulus-topped marine boundary layers. In particular, we systematically vary the lower tropospheric stability (LTS) and a similar measure for the bulk humidity difference between the 700 hPa level and the surface, ΔQ. For all simulations, a completely overcast boundary layer is obtained in which the turbulence is mainly driven by cloud top radiative cooling. The steady state liquid water path (LWP) is rather insensitive to the LTS, but increases significantly and almost linearly with the free tropospheric humidity. In a second suite of runs, the response of the stratocumulus layer to an idealized global warming scenario is assessed by applying a uniform warming of 2 K to the initial temperature profile including the sea surface while the initial relative humidity profile is kept identical to the control case. The warming of the sea surface acts to increase the latent heat flux, which invigorates turbulence in the boundary layer. The steady state inversion height therefore increases, despite the competing effect of a more humid free troposphere that increases the downwelling radiative flux and hence tends to decrease the entrainment rate. The stratocumulus layer nevertheless thins for all free tropospheric conditions as cloud base rises more than cloud top. This implies a positive stratocumulus cloud-climate feedback for this scenario as thinner clouds reflect less shortwave radiation back to space. The cloud thinning response to the climate perturbation is found to be mostly controlled by the change of ΔQ. © 2015 The Authors.

King G.P.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | King G.P.,Nanjing University | Vogelzang J.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe Bilt Netherlands | Stoffelen A.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe Bilt Netherlands
Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans | Year: 2015

Kolmogorov second-order structure functions are used to quantify and compare the small-scale information contained in near-surface ocean wind products derived from measurements by ASCAT on MetOp-A and SeaWinds on QuikSCAT. Two ASCAT and three SeaWinds products are compared in nine regions (classified as rainy or dry) in the tropical Pacific between 10°S and 10°N and 140° and 260°E for the period November 2008 to October 2009. Monthly and regionally averaged longitudinal and transverse structure functions are calculated using along-track samples. To ease the analysis, the following quantities were estimated for the scale range 50 to 300 km and used to intercompare the wind products: (i) structure function slopes, (ii) turbulent kinetic energies ( TKE), and (iii) vorticity-to-divergence ratios. All wind products are in good qualitative agreement, but also have important differences. Structure function slopes and TKE differ per wind product, but also show a common variation over time and space. Independent of wind product, longitudinal slopes decrease when sea surface temperature exceeds the threshold for onset of deep convection (about 28°C). In rainy areas and in dry regions during rainy periods, ASCAT has larger divergent TKE than SeaWinds, while SeaWinds has larger vortical TKE than ASCAT. Differences between SeaWinds and ASCAT vortical TKE and vorticity-to-divergence ratios for the convectively active months of each region are large. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved..

Woolnough S.J.,University of ReadingReading | Cheng A.,NASA | Peyrille P.,Meteo - France | Ferry F.,Meteo - France | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2016

As part of an international intercomparison project, the weak temperature gradient (WTG) and damped gravity wave (DGW) methods are used to parameterize large-scale dynamics in a set of cloud-resolving models (CRMs) and single column models (SCMs). The WTG or DGW method is implemented using a configuration that couples a model to a reference state defined with profiles obtained from the same model in radiative-convective equilibrium. We investigated the sensitivity of each model to changes in SST, given a fixed reference state. We performed a systematic comparison of the WTG and DGW methods in different models, and a systematic comparison of the behavior of those models using the WTG method and the DGW method. The sensitivity to the SST depends on both the large-scale parameterization method and the choice of the cloud model. In general, SCMs display a wider range of behaviors than CRMs. All CRMs using either the WTG or DGW method show an increase of precipitation with SST, while SCMs show sensitivities which are not always monotonic. CRMs using either the WTG or DGW method show a similar relationship between mean precipitation rate and column-relative humidity, while SCMs exhibit a much wider range of behaviors. DGW simulations produce large-scale velocity profiles which are smoother and less top-heavy compared to those produced by the WTG simulations. These large-scale parameterization methods provide a useful tool to identify the impact of parameterization differences on model behavior in the presence of two-way feedback between convection and the large-scale circulation. © 2016. The Authors.

Hwang P.A.,Remote Sensing DivisionNaval Research LaboratoryWashington District of Columbia United States | Stoffelen A.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe Bilt Netherlands | van Zadelhoff G.-J.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe Bilt Netherlands | Perrie W.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans | Year: 2015

The wind speed sensitivity of cross-polarization (cross-pol) radar backscattering cross section (VH) from the ocean surface increases toward high winds. The signal saturation problem of VH, if it exists, occurs at a much higher wind speed compared to the copolarization (copol: VV or HH) sea returns. These properties make VH a better choice over VV or HH for monitoring severe weather. Combined with high spatial resolution of the synthetic aperture radar (SAR), the development of hurricane wind retrieval using VH is advancing rapidly. This paper describes a cross-pol C-band radar backscattering geophysical model function (GMF) with incidence angle dependence for the full wind speed range in the available data sets (up to 56 m/s). The GMF is derived from RADARSAT-2 (R2) dual-polarization (dual-pol) ScanSAR modes with 300 and 500 km swaths. The proposed GMF is compared to other published algorithms. The result shows that the simulated VH cross section and the retrieved wind speed with the proposed GMF is in better agreement with measurements. With careful treatment of noise, the VH-retrieved wind speeds may extend to mild or moderate conditions. The higher fraction of non-Bragg contribution in VH can be exploited for analysis of surface wave breaking. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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