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Collier, JC, Zhang GJ.  2009.  Aerosol direct forcing of the summer Indian monsoon as simulated by the NCAR CAM3. Climate Dynamics. 32:313-332.   10.1007/s00382-008-0464-9   AbstractWebsite

In this study, the effects of aerosols on the simulation of the Indian monsoon by the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model CAM3 are measured and investigated. Monthly mean 3D mass concentrations of soil dust, black and organic carbons, sulfate, and sea salt, as output from the GOCART model, are interpolated to mid-month values and to the horizontal and vertical grids of CAM3. With these mid-month aerosol concentrations, CAM3 is run for a period of approximately 16 months, allowing for one complete episode of the Indian monsoon. Responses to the aerosols are measured by comparing the mean of an ensemble of aerosol-induced monsoon simulations to the mean of an ensemble of CAM3 simulations in which aerosols are omitted, following the method of Lau et al. (2006) in their experiment with the NASA finite volume general circulation model. Additionally, an ensemble of simulations of CAM3 using climatological mid-month aerosol concentrations from the MATCH model is composed for comparison. Results of this experiment indicate that the inclusion of aerosols results in drops in surface temperature and increases in precipitation over central India during the pre-monsoon months of March, April, and May. The presence of aerosols induces tropospheric shortwave heating over central India, which destabilizes the atmosphere for enhanced convection and precipitation. Reduced shortwave heating and enhanced evaporation at the surface during April and May results in reduced terrestrial emission to cool the lower troposphere, relative to simulations with no aerosols. This effect weakens the near-surface cyclonic circulation and, consequently, has a negative feedback on precipitation during the active monsoon months of June and July.

Liu, YC, Fan JW, Xu KM, Zhang GJ.  2018.  Analysis of cloud-resolving model simulations for scale dependence of convective momentum transport. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 75:2445-2472.   10.1175/jas-d-18-0019.1   AbstractWebsite

We use 3D cloud-resolving model (CRM) simulations of two mesoscale convective systems at midlatitudes and a simple statistical ensemble method to diagnose the scale dependency of convective momentum transport (CMT) and CMT-related properties and evaluate a parameterization scheme for the convection-induced pressure gradient (CIPG) developed by Gregory et al. Gregory et al. relate CIPG to a constant coefficient multiplied by mass flux and vertical mean wind shear. CRM results show that mass fluxes and CMT exhibit strong scale dependency in temporal evolution and vertical structure. The upgradient-downgradient CMT characteristics for updrafts are generally similar between small and large grid spacings, which is consistent with previous understanding, but they can be different for downdrafts across wide-ranging grid spacings. For the small to medium grid spacings (4-64 km), Gregory et al. reproduce some aspects of CIPG scale dependency except for underestimating the variations of CIPG as grid spacing decreases. However, for large grid spacings (128-512 km), Gregory et al. might even less adequately parameterize CIPG because it omits the contribution from either the nonlinear-shear or the buoyancy forcings. Further diagnosis of CRM results suggests that inclusion of nonlinear-shear forcing in Gregory et al. is needed for the large grid spacings. For the small to median grid spacings, a modified Gregory et al. with the three-updraft approach help better capture the variations of CIPG as grid spacing decreases compared to the single updraft approach. Further, the optimal coefficients used in Gregory et al. seem insensitive to grid spacings, but they might be different for updrafts and downdrafts, for different MCS types, and for zonal and meridional components.

Kim, D, Sperber K, Stern W, Waliser D, Kang IS, Maloney E, Wang W, Weickmann K, Benedict J, Khairoutdinov M, Lee MI, Neale R, Suarez M, Thayer-Calder K, Zhang G.  2009.  Application of MJO Simulation Diagnostics to Climate Models. Journal of Climate. 22:6413-6436.   10.1175/2009jcli3063.1   AbstractWebsite

The ability of eight climate models to simulate the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) is examined using diagnostics developed by the U. S. Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) MJO Working Group. Although the MJO signal has been extracted throughout the annual cycle, this study focuses on the boreal winter (November-April) behavior. Initially, maps of the mean state and variance and equatorial space-time spectra of 850-hPa zonal wind and precipitation are compared with observations. Models best represent the intraseasonal space-time spectral peak in the zonal wind compared to that of precipitation. Using the phase-space representation of the multivariate principal components (PCs), the life cycle properties of the simulated MJOs are extracted, including the ability to represent how the MJO evolves from a given subphase and the associated decay time scales. On average, the MJO decay (e-folding) time scale for all models is shorter (similar to 20-29 days) than observations (similar to 31 days). All models are able to produce a leading pair of multivariate principal components that represents eastward propagation of intraseasonal wind and precipitation anomalies, although the fraction of the variance is smaller than observed for all models. In some cases, the dominant time scale of these PCs is outside of the 30-80-day band. Several key variables associated with the model's MJO are investigated, including the surface latent heat flux, boundary layer (925 hPa) moisture convergence, and the vertical structure of moisture. Low-level moisture convergence ahead (east) of convection is associated with eastward propagation in most of the models. A few models are also able to simulate the gradual moistening of the lower troposphere that precedes observed MJO convection, as well as the observed geographical difference in the vertical structure of moisture associated with the MJO. The dependence of rainfall on lower tropospheric relative humidity and the fraction of rainfall that is stratiform are also discussed, including implications these diagnostics have for MJO simulation. Based on having the most realistic intraseasonal multivariate empirical orthogonal functions, principal component power spectra, equatorial eastward propagating outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), latent heat flux, low-level moisture convergence signals, and vertical structure of moisture over the Eastern Hemisphere, the superparameterized Community Atmosphere Model (SPCAM) and the ECHAM4/Ocean Isopycnal Model (OPYC) show the best skill at representing the MJO.

Yun, YX, Fan JW, Xiao H, Zhang GJ, Ghan SJ, Xu KM, Ma PL, Gustafson WI.  2017.  Assessing the resolution adaptability of the Zhang-McFarlane cumulus parameterization with spatial and temporal averaging. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. 9:2753-2770.   10.1002/2017ms001035   AbstractWebsite

With increasing computational capabilities, cumulus parameterizations that are adaptable to the smaller grid spacing and temporal interval for high-resolution climate model simulations are needed. In this study, we propose a method to improve the resolution adaptability of the Zhang-McFarlane (ZM) scheme, by implementing spatial and temporal averaging to the CAPE tendency. This method allows for a more consistent application of the quasi-equilibrium (QE) hypothesis at high spatial and temporal resolutions. The resolution adaptability of the original ZM scheme, the scheme with spatial averaging, and the scheme with spatiotemporal averaging at 4-32 km grid spacings are assessed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model by comparing to cloud resolving model (CRM) simulation results coarse-grained to these same grid spacings. We show the original ZM scheme has poor resolution adaptability, with spatiotemporally averaged subgrid convective transport and convective precipitation increasing significantly as the resolution increases. The spatial averaging method improves the resolution adaptability of the ZM scheme and better conserves total transport and total precipitation. Temporal averaging further improves the resolution adaptability of the scheme. With better constrained (although smoothed) convective transport and precipitation, both the spatial distribution and time series of total precipitation at 4 and 8 km grid spacings are improved with the averaging methods. The results could help develop resolution adaptability for other cumulus parameterizations that are based on the QE assumption.

Song, XL, Zhang GJ, Cai M.  2014.  Characterizing the Climate Feedback Pattern in the NCAR CCSM3-SOM Using Hourly Data. Journal of Climate. 27:2912-2930.   10.1175/jcli-d-13-00567.1   AbstractWebsite

The climate feedback-response analysis method (CFRAM) was applied to 10-yr hourly output of the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3, using the slab ocean model (CCSM3-SOM), to analyze the strength and spatial distribution of climate feedbacks and to characterize their contributions to the global and regional surface temperature T-s changes in response to a doubling of CO2. The global mean bias in the sum of partial T-s changes associated with the CO2 forcing, and each feedback derived with the CFRAM analysis is about 2% of T-s change obtained directly from the CCSM3-SOM simulations. The pattern correlation between the two is 0.94, indicating that the CFRAM analysis using hourly model output is accurate and thus is appropriate for quantifying the contributions of climate feedback to the formation of global and regional warming patterns. For global mean T-s, the largest contributor to the warming is water vapor feedback, followed by the direct CO2 forcing and albedo feedback. The albedo feedback exhibits the largest spatial variation, followed by shortwave cloud feedback. In terms of pattern correlation and RMS difference with the modeled global surface warming, longwave cloud feedback contributes the most. On zonal average, albedo feedback is the largest contributor to the stronger warming in high latitudes than in the tropics. The longwave cloud feedback further amplifies the latitudinal warming contrast. Both the land-ocean warming difference and contributions of climate feedbacks to it vary with latitude. Equatorward of 50 degrees, shortwave cloud feedback and dynamical advection are the two largest contributors. The land-ocean warming difference on the hemispheric scale is mainly attributable to longwave cloud feedback and convection.

Boyle, J, Klein S, Zhang G, Xie S, Wei X.  2008.  Climate model forecast experiments for TOGA COARE. Monthly Weather Review. 136:808-832.   10.1175/2007mwr2145.1   AbstractWebsite

Short-term (1-10 day) forecasts are made with climate models to assess the parameterizations of the physical processes. The time period for the integrations is that of the intensive observing period (IOP) of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). The models used are the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model, version 3.1 (CAM3.1); CAM3.1 with a modified deep convection parameterization; and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Atmospheric Model, version 2 (AM2). The models were initialized using the state variables from the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40). The CAM deep convective parameterization fails to demonstrate the sensitivity to the imposed forcing to simulate precipitation patterns associated with the Madden-Julian oscillations (MJOs) present during the period. AM2 and modified CAM3.1 exhibit greater correspondence to the observations at the TOGA COARE site, suggesting that convective parameterizations that have some type of limiter (as do AM2 and the modified CAM3.1) simulate the MJO rainfall with more fidelity than those without. None of the models are able to fully capture the correct phasing of westerly wind bursts with respect to precipitation in the eastward-moving MJO disturbance. Better representation of the diabatic heating and effective static stability profiles is associated with a better MJO simulation. Because the models' errors in the forecast mode bear a resemblance to the errors in the climate mode in simulating the MJO, the forecasts may allow for a better way to dissect the reasons for model error.

Kao, A, Jiang X, Li LM, Trammell JH, Zhang GJ, Su H, Jiang JH, Yung YL.  2018.  A Comparative Study of Atmospheric Moisture Recycling Rate between Observations and Models. Journal of Climate. 31:2389-2398.   10.1175/jcli-d-17-0421.1   AbstractWebsite

Precipitation and column water vapor data from 13 CMIP5 models and observational datasets are used to analyze atmospheric moisture recycling rate from 1988 to 2008. The comparisons between observations and model simulations suggest that most CMIP5 models capture two main characteristics of the recycling rate: 1) long-term decreasing trend of the global-average maritime recycling rate (atmospheric recycling rate over ocean within 608S-608N) and 2) dominant spatial patterns of the temporal variations of the recycling rate (i.e., increasing in the intertropical convergence zone and decreasing in subtropical regions). All models, except one, successfully simulate not only the long-term trend but also the interannual variability of column water vapor. The simulations of precipitation are relatively poor, especially over the relatively short time scales, which lead to the discrepancy of the recycling rate between observations and the CMIP5 models. Comparisons of spatial patterns also suggest that the CMIP5 models simulate column water vapor better than precipitation. The comparative studies indicate the scope of improvement in the simulations of precipitation, especially for the relatively short-time-scale variations, to better simulate the recycling rate of atmospheric moisture, an important indicator of climate change.

Collins, WD, Wang JY, Kiehl JT, Zhang GJ, Cooper DI, Eichinger WE.  1997.  Comparison of tropical ocean-atmosphere fluxes with the NCAR community climate model CCM3. Journal of Climate. 10:3047-3058.   10.1175/1520-0442(1997)010<3047:cotoaf>;2   AbstractWebsite

The properties of the marine boundary layer produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3) are compared with observations from two experiments in the central and western equatorial Pacific. The main objective of the comparison is determining the accuracy of the ocean-atmosphere fluxes calculated by the model. The vertical thermodynamic structure and the surface fluxes calculated by the CCM3 have been validated against data from the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX) and the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere-Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TOGA-TAO) buoy array. The mean latent heat flux for the TOGA-TAO array is 92 W m(-2), and the model estimate of latent flux is 109 W m(-2). The bias of 17 W m(-2) is considerably smaller than the overestimation of the Bur by the previous version of the CCM. The improvement in the latent heat flux is due to a reduction in the surface winds caused by nonlocal effects of a new convective parameterization. The agreement between the mean sensible heat flux for the TOGA-TAO array and the model estimate has also been improved in the new version of the model. The current version of the CCM overestimates the sensible heat flux by 3.4 W m(-2). The atmospheric temperature and water vapor mixing ratio from the lowest model layer are within 0.3 K and 0.4 g kg(-1) of measurements obtained from radiosondes. The mean model value of the boundary layer height is within 13 m of the average height derived from a Raman lidar on board a ship in the CEPEX domain. There is some evidence that the biases in the model can be reduced further by modifying the bulk formulation of the surface fluxes.

Song, XL, Zhang GJ.  2009.  Convection parameterization, tropical Pacific double ITCZ, and upper-ocean biases in the NCAR CCSM3. Part I: Climatology and atmospheric feedback. Journal of Climate. 22:4299-4315.   10.1175/2009jcli2642.1   AbstractWebsite

The role of convection parameterization in the formation of double ITCZ and associated upper-ocean biases in the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3) is investigated by comparing the simulations using the original and revised Zhang-McFarlane (ZM) convection schemes. Ten-year model climatologies show that the simulation with the original ZM scheme produces a typical double ITCZ bias, whereas all biases related to the spurious double ITCZ and overly strong cold tongue in precipitation, sea surface temperature (SST), wind stress, ocean thermocline, upper-ocean currents, temperature, and salinity are dramatically reduced when the revised ZM scheme is used. These results demonstrate that convection parameterization plays a critical role in the formation of double ITCZ bias in the CCSM3. To understand the physical mechanisms through which the modifications of the convection scheme in the atmospheric model alleviate the double ITCZ bias in the CCSM3, the authors investigate the impacts of convection schemes on the atmospheric forcing and feedback in the uncoupled Community Atmospheric Model, version 3 (CAM3). It is shown that the CAM3 simulation with the original ZM scheme also produces a signature of double ITCZ bias in precipitation, whereas the simulation with the revised ZM scheme does not. Diagnostic analyses have identified three factors on the atmospheric side (i.e., the sensitivity of convection to SST, the convection-shortwave flux-SST feedback, and the convection-wind-evaporation-SST feedback) that may contribute to the differences in the coupled simulations.

Zhang, GJ, Song XL.  2010.  Convection parameterization, tropical Pacific double ITCZ, and upper-ocean biases in the NCAR CCSM3. Part II: Coupled feedback and the role of ocean heat transport. Journal of Climate. 23:800-812.   10.1175/2009jcli3109.1   AbstractWebsite

This study investigates the coupled atmosphere-ocean feedback and the role of ocean dynamic heat transport in the formation of double ITCZ over the tropical Pacific in the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3) and its alleviation when a revised Zhang-McFarlane (ZM) convection scheme is used. A hierarchy of coupling strategy is employed for this purpose. A slab ocean model is coupled with the atmospheric component of the Community Atmosphere Model, version 3 (CAM3) to investigate the local feedback between the atmosphere and the ocean. It is shown that the net surface energy flux differences in the southern ITCZ region between the revised and original ZM scheme seen in the stand-alone CAM3 simulations can cool the SST by up to 1.5 degrees C. However, the simulated SST distribution is very sensitive to the prescribed ocean heat transport required in the slab ocean model. To understand the role of ocean heat transport, the fully coupled CCSM3 model is used. The analysis of CCSM3 simulations shows that the altered ocean dynamic heat transport when the revised ZM scheme is used is largely responsible for the reduction of SST bias in the southern ITCZ region, although surface energy flux also helps to cool the SST in the first few months of the year in seasonal variation. The results, together with those from Part I, suggest that the unrealistic simulation of convection over the southern ITCZ region in the standard CCSM3 leads to the double-ITCZ bias through complex coupled interactions between atmospheric convection, surface winds, latent heat flux, cloud radiative forcing, SST, and upper-ocean circulations. The mitigation of the double-ITCZ bias using the revised ZM scheme is achieved by altering this chain of interactions.

Zhang, GJ, Ramanathan V, McPhaden MJ.  1995.  Convection-evaporation feedback in the equatorial Pacific. Journal of Climate. 8:3040-3051.   10.1175/1520-0442(1995)008<3040:cefite>;2   AbstractWebsite

The coupling between convection and surface evaporation is investigated to assess the importance of evaporative cooling in regulating the tropical sea surface temperature. It is found that such a coupling is scale dependent. On timescales of several days, convective activity enhances surface evaporation, which together with the decrease of surface solar radiation, acts to cool the sea surface, However, on scales of climatic interest, convection acts to reduce surface evaporation. High sea surface temperature gives rise to more convective activity, which through interaction with the large-scale circulation, increases the low-level large-scale convergence and decreases the surface wind, leading to low evaporation in spite of the increased surface-air humidity difference. Therefore, although individual convective events can significantly enhance surface evaporation on short timescales, the long-term average effect of convection is to suppress surface evaporation at high SST due to its interaction with the large-scale circulation. One potential implication of this result is that evaporative cooling on climate timescales may not provide a negative feedback on the sea surface temperature of warm oceans with convectively disturbed tropospheres.

Zhang, GJ, Wu XQ.  2003.  Convective momentum transport and perturbation pressure field from a cloud-resolving model simulation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 60:1120-1139.   10.1175/1520-0469(2003)060<1120:cmtapp>;2   AbstractWebsite

This study uses a 2D cloud-resolving model to investigate the vertical transport of horizontal momentum and to understand the role of a convection-generated perturbation pressure field in the momentum transport by convective systems during part of the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) Intensive Observation Period. It shows that convective updrafts transport a significant amount of momentum vertically. This transport is downgradient in the easterly wind regime, but upgradient during a westerly wind burst. The differences in convective momentum transport between easterly and westerly wind regimes are examined. The perturbation pressure gradient accounts for an important part of the apparent momentum source. In general it is opposite in sign to the product of cloud mass flux and the vertical wind shear, with smaller magnitude. Examination of the dynamic forcing to the pressure field demonstrates that the linear forcing representing the interaction between the convective updrafts and the large-scale wind shear is the dominant term, while the nonlinear forcing is of secondary importance. Thus, parameterization schemes taking into account the linear interaction between the convective updrafts and the large-scale wind shear can capture the essential features of the perturbation pressure field. The parameterization scheme for momentum transport by Zhang and Cho is evaluated using the model simulation data. The parameterized pressure gradient force using the scheme is in excellent agreement with the simulated one. The parameterized apparent momentum source is also in good agreement with the model simulation. Other parameterization methods for the pressure gradient are also discussed.

Zhang, GJ.  2002.  Convective quasi-equilibrium in midlatitude continental environment and its effect on convective parameterization. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 107   10.1029/2001jd001005   AbstractWebsite

[1] The quasi-equilibrium assumption proposed by Arakawa and Schubert assumes that convection is controlled by the large-scale forcing in a statistical sense, in such a way that the stabilization of the atmosphere by convection is in quasi-equilibrium with the destabilization by the large-scale forcing. The assumption was developed largely based on observations in the tropical maritime environment and has not been evaluated in midlatitudes. This study examines the quasi-equilibrium assumption in midlatitude continental convection environment using summertime observations from the Southern Great Plains of the United States. Two complementary approaches are taken for this purpose. The first one compares the net time rate of change of convective available potential energy to that due to the large-scale forcing. The second one examines the contributions to the net change of CAPE from the boundary layer air and the free tropospheric air above. Results from both the approaches indicate that the quasi-equilibrium assumption is not well suited for midlatitude continental convection. It is shown that the net change of CAPE is comparable to and largely comes from that due to thermodynamic changes of the boundary layer air, while the contribution from the free troposphere above the boundary layer is negligible. The analysis also shows that the role of convective inhibition to suppress convection is the most pronounced when the large-scale forcing in the free troposphere is weak. On the basis of these and other observations, a modification to the quasi-equilibrium assumption is proposed. It assumes that convective and large-scale processes in the free troposphere above the boundary layer are in balance, so that contribution from the free troposphere to changes in CAPE is negligible. This assumption is then tested using the single column model of the NCAR CCM3 by modifying the closure in the CCM3 convection scheme. Such a modification significantly improves the single column model simulation. The applicability of this new quasi-equilibrium assumption to tropical convection environment is also discussed.

Zhang, GJ.  2003.  Convective quasi-equilibrium in the tropical western Pacific: Comparison with midlatitude continental environment. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 108   10.1029/2003jd003520   AbstractWebsite

[1] This study examines the nature of convective quasi-equilibrium in the tropical western Pacific using the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere/Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) sounding data. Results are compared with those in midlatitudes using data from the southern Great Plains in the United States. It is shown that precipitation is highly correlated to the free tropospheric large-scale forcing in both the tropics and midlatitudes. In the tropics, but not in the midlatitudes, precipitation is also highly correlated to the total large-scale forcing that includes surface fluxes. This is because the surface sensible and latent heat fluxes are small over the tropical ocean; thus their contribution to the total large-scale forcing is relatively small compared to the free tropospheric forcing. The opposite is true for midlatitude continental convection. It is also shown that the free tropospheric quasi-equilibrium between convection and large-scale forcing recently proposed by the author for midlatitude continental convection is equally accurate for tropical oceanic convection. The quasi-equilibrium proposed by Arakawa and Schubert is less accurate in depicting convective stabilization for data averaged from 3 to 24 hours. On timescales longer than 24 hours the two are comparable. Comparisons are made with other studies that use the Arakawa-Schubert quasi-equilibrium concept, and seemingly contradictory results are reconciled.

Mitovski, T, Cole JNS, McFarlane NA, Von Salzen K, Zhang GJ.  2019.  Convective response to large-scale forcing in the tropical western Pacific simulated by spCAM5 and CanAM4.3. Geoscientific Model Development. 12:2107-2117.   10.5194/gmd-12-2107-2019   AbstractWebsite

Changes in the large-scale environment during convective precipitation events in the tropical western Pacific simulated by version 4.3 of the Canadian Atmospheric Model (CanAM4.3) are compared against those simulated by version 5.0 of the super-parameterized Community Atmosphere Model (spCAM5). This is done by compositing sub-hourly output of convective rainfall, convective available potential energy (CAPE), CAPE generation due to large-scale forcing in the free troposphere (dCAPELSFT) and near-surface vertical velocity (omega) over the time period May-July 1997. Compared to spCAM5, CanAM4.3 tends to produce more frequent light convective precipitation (< 0.2 mm h(-1)) and underestimates the frequency of extreme convective precipitation (> 2 mm h(-1)). In spCAM5, 5% of convective precipitation events lasted less than 1.5 h and 75% lasted between 1.5 and 3.0 h, while in CanAM4.3 80% of the events lasted less than 1.5 h. Convective precipitation in spCAM5 is found to be a function of dCAPE(LSFT) and the large-scale near-surface omega with variations in omega slightly leading variations in convective precipitation. Convective precipitation in CanAM4.3 does not have the same dependency and instead is found to be a function of CAPE.

Zhang, GJ, McFarlane NA.  1991.  Convective stabilizations in midlatitudes. Monthly Weather Review. 119:1915-1928.   10.1175/1520-0493(1991)119<1915:CSIM>2.0.CO;2   AbstractWebsite

The upper-air sounding data from PRE-STORM are used to investigate the convective stabilization effect on the large-scale atmosphere. To facilitate comparison between different stages of cumulus convection, the data are divided into four categories: environment, presystem, insystem, and postsystem. It is found that the convective available potential energy of the atmosphere is reduced substantially after cumulus convection, most of which is consumed during the transition from presystem to insystem. Examination of the temperature and moisture changes during cumulus convection suggests that cooling and drying in the subcloud layer are the most important factors in stabilizing the atmosphere. In general, virtual potential temperature profiles in all categories are close to reversible moist adiabats below the 600-mb level and nearly parallel to moist pseudoadiabats above it. The effect of entrainment on parcel buoyancy is also studied. It is found that a small amount of entrainment of ambient air can lead to a pronounced decrease of parcel buoyancy. Furthermore, for diluted parcel ascent, the convective available potential energy is greater for the insystem category than for the postsystem one, whereas the opposite is true for undiluted parcel ascent.

Wu, XQ, Deng LP, Song XL, Zhang GJ.  2007.  Coupling of convective momentum transport with convective heating in global climate simulations. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 64:1334-1349.   10.1175/jas3894.1   AbstractWebsite

The effects of convective momentum transport (CMT) on global climate simulations are examined in this study. Comparison between two sets of 20-yr (1979-98) integration using the NCAR Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3) illustrates that the inclusion of CMT in the convection scheme systematically modifies the climate mean state over the equatorial region. The convective momentum tendencies slow down the equatorward flow at higher latitudes near the surface and weaken the equatorial convergence and convection. This reduces the convective heating and drying around the equator and produces an improved meridional distribution within the upward branch of the Hadley circulation. The major heating peak during the boreal winter is moved to south of the equator at about 10 degrees S, which is closer to the heat budget residuals of the ECMWF reanalysis data. The responses of meridional wind to the reduced heating result in the secondary meridional circulation within the intertropical convergence zone.

Song, XL, Zhang GJ.  2019.  Culprit of the Eastern Pacific Double-ITCZ Bias in the NCAR CESM1.2. Journal of Climate. 32:6349-6364.   10.1175/jcli-d-18-0580.1   AbstractWebsite

The eastern Pacific double-ITCZ bias has long been attributed to the warm bias of SST in the southeastern Pacific and associated local air-sea interaction. In this study, we conducted two simulations using the NCAR CESM1.2.1 to demonstrate that significant double-ITCZ bias can still form in the eastern Pacific through air-sea coupled feedback even when there is cold SST bias in the southeastern Pacific, indicating that other nonlocal culprits and mechanisms should be responsible for the double-ITCZ bias in the eastern Pacific. Further analyses show that the oversimulated convection in the northern ITCZ region and Central America in boreal winter may result in biases in the surface wind fields in the tropical northeastern Pacific in the atmospheric model, which favor the cooling of the ocean mixed layer through enhancement of latent heat flux and Ekman upwelling. These biases are passed into the ocean model in coupled simulations and result in a severe cold bias of SST in the northern ITCZ region. The overly cold SST bias persists in the subsequent spring, leading to the suppression of convection in the northern ITCZ region. The enhanced low-level cross-equatorial northerly wind strengthens the wind convergence south of the equator and transports abundant water vapor to the convergence zone, strengthening the southern ITCZ convection. All these processes lead to the disappearance of the northern ITCZ and the enhancement of the southern ITCZ in boreal spring, forming a seasonally alternating double-ITCZ bias. This study suggests that convection biases in the northern ITCZ region and Central America in boreal winter may be a culprit for the double-ITCZ bias in the eastern Pacific.

Taylor, PC, Cai M, Hu AX, Meehl J, Washington W, Zhang GJ.  2013.  A Decomposition of Feedback Contributions to Polar Warming Amplification. Journal of Climate. 26:7023-7043.   10.1175/jcli-d-12-00696.1   AbstractWebsite

Polar surface temperatures are expected to warm 2-3 times faster than the global-mean surface temperature: a phenomenon referred to as polar warming amplification. Therefore, understanding the individual process contributions to the polar warming is critical to understanding global climate sensitivity. The Coupled Feedback Response Analysis Method (CFRAM) is applied to decompose the annual- and zonal-mean vertical temperature response within a transient 1% yr(-1) CO2 increase simulation of the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4), into individual radiative and nonradiative climate feedback process contributions. The total transient annual-mean polar warming amplification (amplification factor) at the time of CO2 doubling is +2.12 (2.3) and +0.94 K (1.6) in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, respectively. Surface albedo feedback is the largest contributor to the annual-mean polar warming amplification accounting for +1.82 and +1.04 K in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, respectively. Net cloud feedback is found to be the second largest contributor to polar warming amplification (about +0.38 K in both hemispheres) and is driven by the enhanced downward longwave radiation to the surface resulting from increases in low polar water cloud. The external forcing and atmospheric dynamic transport also contribute positively to polar warming amplification: +0.29 and +0.32 K, respectively. Water vapor feedback contributes negatively to polar warming amplification because its induced surface warming is stronger in low latitudes. Ocean heat transport storage and surface turbulent flux feedbacks also contribute negatively to polar warming amplification. Ocean heat transport and storage terms play an important role in reducing the warming over the Southern Ocean and Northern Atlantic Ocean.

Park, HS, Chiang JCH, Lintner BR, Zhang GJ.  2010.  The delayed effect of major El Nino events on Indian monsoon rainfall. Journal of Climate. 23:932-946.   10.1175/2009jcli2916.1   AbstractWebsite

Previous studies have shown that boreal summer Indian monsoon rainfall is, on average, significantly above normal after major El Nino events. In this study, the underlying causes of this rainfall response are examined using both observational analysis and atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) simulations. Moist static energy budgets for two strong El Nino events (1982/83 and 1997/98), estimated from monthly 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Re-Analysis (ERA-40), suggest that stronger low-level moisture transport and reduced moist stability associated with a warmer north Indian Ocean (NIO) can increase monsoon rainfall, despite a weakened monsoon circulation. The trade-off between a dynamically weaker monsoon and moist processes favoring enhanced monsoonal rainfall is broken during the late monsoon season (August-September) as the warm NIO enhances surface latent heat flux and the monsoon circulation relaxes back to the climatological mean. The monsoon circulation strength and the moist processes work together in the late season, which explains the observed tendency for monsoonal rainfall increases during the late monsoon season after strong winter El Nino conditions. Idealized AGCM experiments with a fixed-depth ocean mixed layer demonstrate that the remnant but weaker-than-peak warm SSTs in the eastern equatorial Pacific during spring and the early summer following winter El Ninos substantially contribute to the NIO warming. The results suggest that local air-sea interactions in the tropical Indian Ocean after winter El Nino are strongly dependent on the details of El Nino's decaying trend.

Zurovac-Jevtic, D, Zhang GJ.  2003.  Development and test of a cirrus parameterization scheme using NCAR CCM3. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 60:1325-1344.   10.1175/1520-0469(2003)060<1325:datoac>;2   AbstractWebsite

Recent research has shown that depending on the cloud properties, cirrus clouds can either increase or decrease the overall heating of the earth-atmosphere system. Hence, the representation of cirrus clouds in GCMs is recognized as an important contemporary problem. In this study a new diagnostic cirrus parameterization scheme is developed with the intention of improving the simulation of cirrus macro- and microphysical properties in large-scale models. The scheme allows both large-scale motions and convective detrainment to be a source of moisture for cirrus. Water vapor depletion is calculated as diffusional growth of ice crystals with known size distributions, and the effective fallout from a model layer is estimated using mass-weighted fall velocities of the bulk precipitation. The scheme was implemented and tested with the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM3). The seasonal means of cirrus cloud cover and ice water contents over the warm pool region, as simulated with the new cirrus parameterization, appeared to be much more realistic than in the standard model version when compared to satellite and in situ data. In contrast to the high amount of optically thin cirrus at all cirrus levels simulated by the standard CCM3, cirrus formed with the new scheme are significantly thicker with a reduced amount in the lower part of the upper troposphere (approximately 10-14 km), whereas cirrus formed below the tropopause (approximately 14-17 km) stay thin but have higher cover. It has also been found that a more realistic precipitation treatment not only results in the formation of thicker anvil cirrus, but also increases the rain and evaporation rates in the middle troposphere. These results suggest that cirrus clouds can be an important potential water vapor source in the tropical troposphere.

Subramanian, AC, Zhang GJ.  2014.  Diagnosing MJO hindcast biases in NCAR CAM3 using nudging during the DYNAMO field campaign. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 119:7231-7253.   10.1002/2013jd021370   AbstractWebsite

This study evaluates the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) hindcast skill and investigates the hindcast biases in the dynamic and thermodynamic fields of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Atmosphere Model version 3. The analysis is based on the October 2011 MJO event observed during the Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation field campaign. The model captures the MJO initiation but, compared to the observations, the hindcast has a faster MJO phase speed, a dry relative humidity bias, a stronger zonal wind shear, and a weaker MJO peak amplitude. The MJO hindcast is then nudged toward the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast Reanalysis fields of temperature, specific humidity, horizontal winds, and surface pressure. The nudging tendencies highlight the model physics parameterization biases, such as not enough convective diabatic heating during the MJO initiation, not enough upper tropospheric stratiform condensation, and lower tropospheric reevaporation during the mature and decay phases and a strong zonal wind shear during the MJO evolution. To determine the role of temperature, specific humidity, and horizontal winds in the model physics parameterization errors, six additional nudging experiments are carried out, with either one or two of the fields allowed to evolve freely while the others are nudged. Results show that convection and precipitation increase when temperature or specific humidity are unconstrained and decrease when horizontal winds evolve freely or temperature alone is constrained to reanalysis. Budget analysis of moist static energy shows that the nudging tendency compensates for different process biases during different MJO phases. The diagnosis of such nudging tendencies provides a unique objective way to identify model physics biases, which usefully guides the model physics parameterization development.

Song, XL, Wu XQ, Zhang GJ, Arritt RW.  2008.  Dynamical effects of convective momentum transports on global climate simulations. Journal of Climate. 21:180-194.   10.1175/2007jcli1848.1   AbstractWebsite

Dynamical effects of convective momentum transports (CMT) on global climate simulations are investigated using the NCAR Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3). To isolate the dynamical effects of the CMT, an experimental setup is proposed in which all physical parameterizations except for the deep convection scheme are replaced with idealized forcing. The CMT scheme is incorporated into the convection scheme to calculate the CMT forcing, which is used to force the momentum equations, while convective temperature and moisture tendencies are not passed into the model calculations in order to remove the physical feedback between convective heating and wind fields. Excluding the response of complex physical processes, the model with the experimental setup contains a complete dynamical core and the CMT forcing. Comparison between two sets of 5-yr simulations using this idealized general circulation model (GCM) shows that the Hadley circulation is enhanced when the CMT forcing is included, in agreement with previous studies that used full GCMs. It suggests that dynamical processes make significant contributions to the total response of circulation to CMT forcing in the full GCMs. The momentum budget shows that the Coriolis force, boundary layer friction, and nonlinear interactions of velocity fields affect the responses of zonal wind field, and the adjustment of circulation follows an approximate geostrophic balance. The adjustment mechanism of meridional circulation in response to ageostrophic CMT forcing is examined. It is found that the strengthening of the Hadley circulation is an indirect response of the meridional wind to the zonal CMT forcing through the Coriolis effect, which is required for maintaining near-geostrophic balance.

Storer, RL, Zhang GJ, Song XL.  2015.  Effects of convective microphysics parameterization on large-scale cloud hydrological cycle and radiative budget in tropical and midlatitude convective regions. Journal of Climate. 28:9277-9297.   10.1175/jcli-d-15-0064.1   AbstractWebsite

A two-moment microphysics scheme for deep convection was previously implemented in the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) by Song et al. The new scheme improved hydrometeor profiles in deep convective clouds and increased deep convective detrainment, reducing the negative biases in low and midlevel cloud fraction and liquid water path compared to observations. Here, the authors examine in more detail the impacts of this improved microphysical representation on regional-scale water and radiation budgets. As a primary source of cloud water for stratiform clouds is detrainment from deep and shallow convection, the enhanced detrainment leads to larger stratiform cloud fractions, higher cloud water content, and more stratiform precipitation over the ocean, particularly in the subtropics where convective frequency is also increased. This leads to increased net cloud radiative forcing. Over land regions, cloud amounts are reduced as a result of lower relative humidity, leading to weaker cloud forcing and increased OLR. Comparing the water budgets to cloud-resolving model simulations shows improvement in the partitioning between convective and stratiform precipitation, though the deep convection is still too active in the GCM. The addition of convective microphysics leads to an overall improvement in the regional cloud water budgets.

Zhang, GJ.  1994.  Effects of cumulus convection on the simulated monsoon circulation in a general circulation model. Monthly Weather Review. 122:2022-2038.   10.1175/1520-0493(1994)122<2022:eoccot>;2   AbstractWebsite

The effect of cumulus convection on the Asian summer monsoon circulation is investigated, using a general circulation model. Two simulations for the summer months (June. July, and August) are performed, one para meterizing convection using a mass Bur scheme and the other without convective parameterization. The results show that convection has significant effects on the monsoon circulation and its associated precipitation. In the simulation with the mass flux convictive parameterization, precipitation in the western Pacific is decreased, together with a decrease in surface evaporation and wind speed. In the Indian monsoon region it is almost the opposite. Comparison with a simulation using moist convective adjustment to parameterize convection shows that the monsoon circulation and precipitation distribution in the no-convection simulation are very similar to those in the simulation with moist convective adjustment. The difference in the large-scale circulation with and without convective parameterization is interpreted in terms of convective stabilization of the atmosphere by convection, using dry and moist static energy budgets. It is shown that weakening of the low-level convergence in the western Pacific in the simulation with convection is closely associated with the stabilization of the atmosphere by convection, mostly through drying of the lower troposphere; changes in low-level convergence lead to changes in precipitation. The precipitation increase in the Indian monsoon region can be explained similarly.