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Matthews, AJ, Baranowski DB, Heywood KJ, Flatau PJ, Schmidtko S.  2014.  The surface diurnal warm layer in the Indian Ocean during CINDY/DYNAMO. Journal of Climate. 27:9101-9122.   10.1175/jcli-d-14-00222.1   AbstractWebsite

A surface diurnal warm layer is diagnosed from Seaglider observations and develops on half of the days in the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability/Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (CINDY/DYNAMO) Indian Ocean experiment. The diurnal warm layer occurs on days of high solar radiation flux (>80 W m(-2)) and low wind speed (<6 ms(-1)) and preferentially in the inactive stage of the Madden-Julian oscillation. Its diurnal harmonic has an exponential vertical structure with a depth scale of 4-5m (dependent on chlorophyll concentration), consistent with forcing by absorption of solar radiation. The effective sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly due to the diurnal warm layer often reaches 0.8 degrees C in the afternoon, with a daily mean of 0.2 degrees C, rectifying the diurnal cycle onto longer time scales. This SST anomaly drives an anomalous flux of 4Wm(-2) that cools the ocean. Alternatively, in a climate model where this process is unresolved, this represents an erroneous flux that warms the ocean. A simple model predicts a diurnal warm layer to occur on 30%-50% of days across the tropical warm pool. On the remaining days, with low solar radiation and high wind speeds, a residual diurnal cycle is observed by the Seaglider, with a diurnal harmonic of temperature that decreases linearly with depth. As wind speed increases, this already weak temperature gradient decreases further, tending toward isothermal conditions.

Schmidt, JM, Flatau PJ, Harasti PR, Yates RD, Littleton R, Pritchard MS, Fischer JM, Fischer EJ, Kohri WJ, Vetter JR, Richman S, Baranowski DB, Anderson MJ, Fletcher E, Lando DW.  2012.  Radar observations of individual rain drops in the free atmosphere. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109:9293-9298.   10.1073/pnas.1117776109   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric remote sensing has played a pivotal role in the increasingly sophisticated representation of clouds in the numerical models used to assess global and regional climate change. This has been accomplished because the underlying bulk cloud properties can be derived from a statistical analysis of the returned microwave signals scattered by a diverse ensemble comprised of numerous cloud hydrometeors. A new Doppler radar, previously used to track small debris particles shed from the NASA space shuttle during launch, is shown to also have the capacity to detect individual cloud hydrometeors in the free atmosphere. Similar to the traces left behind on film by subatomic particles, larger cloud particles were observed to leave a well-defined radar signature (or streak), which could be analyzed to infer the underlying particle properties. We examine the unique radar and environmental conditions leading to the formation of the radar streaks and develop a theoretical framework which reveals the regulating role of the background radar reflectivity on their observed characteristics. This main expectation from theory is examined through an analysis of the drop properties inferred from radar and in situ aircraft measurements obtained in two contrasting regions of an observed multicellular storm system. The observations are placed in context of the parent storm circulation through the use of the radar's unique high-resolution waveforms, which allow the bulk and individual hydrometeor properties to be inferred at the same time.

Witek, ML, Teixeira J, Flatau PJ.  2008.  On stable and explicit numerical methods for the advection-diffusion equation. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation. 79:561-570.   10.1016/j.matcom.2008.03.001   AbstractWebsite

In this paper two stable and explicit numerical methods to integrate the one-dimensional (1D) advection-diffusion equation are presented. These schemes are stable by design and follow the main general concept behind the semi-Lagrangian method by constructing a virtual grid where the explicit method becomes stable. It is shown that the new schemes compare well with analytic solutions and are often more accurate than implicit schemes. In particular, the diffusion-only case is explored in some detail. The error produced by the stable and explicit method is a function of the ratio between the standard deviation an of the initial Gaussian state and the characteristic virtual grid distance AS. Larger values of this ratio lead to very accurate results when compared to implicit methods, while lower values lead to less accuracy. It is shown that the sigma(0)/Delta S ratio is also significant in the advection-diffusion problem: it determines the maximum error generated by new methods, obtained with a certain combination of the advection and diffusion values. In addition, the error becomes smaller when the problem becomes more advective or more diffusive. (C) 2008 IMACS. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.