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Allison, I, Bindoff NL, Bindschadler RA, Cox PM, de Noblet N, England MH, Francis JE, Gruber N, Haywood AM, Karoly DJ, Kaser G, Quéré LC, Lenton TM, Mann ME, McNeil BI, Pitman AJ, Rahmstorf S, Rignot E, Schellnhuber HJ, Schneider SH, Sherwood SC, Somerville RCJ, Steffen K, Steig EJ, Visbeck M, Weaver. AJ.  2011.  The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the world on the latest climate science. :xiv,98p.., Burlington, MA: Elsevier Abstract
Allison, I, Bindoff NL, Bindschadler RA, Cox PM, de Noblet N, England MH, Francis JE, Gruber N, Haywood AM, Karoly DJ, Kaser G, Quéré LC, Lenton TM, Mann ME, McNeil BI, Pitman AJ, Rahmstorf S, Rignot E, Schellnhuber HJ, Schneider SH, Sherwood SC, Somerville RCJ, K.Steffen, Steig EJ, Visbeck M, Weaver AJ.  2009.  The Copenhagen Diagnosis, 2009: Updating the world on the Latest Climate Science. :60. Abstract
Baker, WE, Kung EC, Somerville RCJ.  1978.  An Energetics Analysis of Forecast Experiments with NCAR General Circulation Model. Monthly Weather Review. 106:311-323.   10.1175/1520-0493(1978)106<0311:aeaofe>;2   AbstractWebsite

The energetics in numerical weather forecast experiments with the NCAR general circulation model have been analyzed. The 6-layer, 5-degree, second-generation global model was used to make two 10-day forecasts with the same initial conditions. The two experiments differed primarily in the methods of convective parameterization.Hemispheric integrals of the model energies and energy transformations are presented in the context of their approach to a quasi-equilibrium climatology. Spectral and spatial analyses of the eddy energies and transformations provide further insight into the model response to the initial conditions. After the initial adjustment, the eddy kinetic energy appears to lag the conversion from eddy available potential energy to eddy kinetic energy by at least 48 h in the long waves (wavenumbers 1–4) and by approximately 24 h in the baroclinic waves (wavenumbers 5–7), whereas little or no time lag is apparent in the short waves (wavenumbers 8–12).The sensitivity of the forecast energetics to two different convective parameterizations is also examined. There is little appreciable difference between the two experiments in the eddy kinetic energy integrals during the first 36 h of the forecast, but temporal patterns of the eddy transformations are distinctly different after 12 h.

Baker, WE, Kung EC, Somerville RCJ.  1977.  Energetics Diagnosis of the NCAR General Circulation Model. Monthly Weather Review. 105:1384-1401.   10.1175/1520-0493(1977)105<1384:edotng>;2   AbstractWebsite

A comprehensive energetics analysis has been performed on the NCAR general circulation model. The analysis involves January and July simulation experiments with the 6-layer, 5-degree, second-generation model with two different convective schemes. Spectral analysis of the energy transformations in the wave-number domain was performed separately on a global and hemispheric basis as well as for the tropics and mid-latitudes. Latitudinal distributions of energy variables were also examined.A qualitative agreement with observational estimates is generally recognized in the transformations of eddy energies. Quantitatively, however, the eddy energies, conversions and energy transfer between wavenumbers are weaker than observational estimates. It is noteworthy that substantial differences exist in the energetics of the two versions of the model with different convective schemes.

Barnett, TP, Somerville RCJ.  1983.  Advances in Short-Term Climate Prediction. Reviews of Geophysics. 21:1096-1102.   10.1029/RG021i005p01096   AbstractWebsite

Dynamical and several empirical and statistical approaches to short term climate prediction are surveyed. General circulation models have displayed considerable potential for this application. Physical/synoptic and purely statistical methods have been intensively developed and tested in recent years. Important problems have been recognized in areas such as predictability, forecast verification and evaluation, and combining complementary approaches to prediction.

Berque, J, Lubin D, Somerville RCJ.  2011.  Transect method for Antarctic cloud property retrieval using AVHRR data. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 32:2887-2903.   10.1080/01431161003745624   AbstractWebsite

For studies of Antarctic climate change, the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) offers a time series spanning more than two decades, with numerous overpasses per day from converging polar orbits, and with radiometrically calibrated thermal infrared channels. However, over the Antarctic Plateau, standard multispectral application of AVHRR data for cloud optical property retrieval with individual pixels is problematic due to poor scene contrasts and measurement uncertainties. We present a method that takes advantage of rapid changes in radiances at well-defined cloud boundaries. We examine a transect of AVHRR-measured radiances in the three thermal infrared channels across a boundary between cloudy and cloud-free parts of the image. Using scatter diagrams, made from the data along this transect, of the brightness temperature differences between channels 3 and 4, and channels 4 and 5, it is possible to fit families of radiative transfer solutions to the data to estimate cloud effective temperature, thermodynamic phase, and effective particle radius. The major approximation with this method is that along such a transect, cloud water path has considerable spatial variability, while effective radius, phase, and cloud temperature have much less variability. To illustrate this method, two AVHRR images centred about the South Pole are analysed. The two images are chosen based on their differing contrasts in brightness temperature between clear and cloud-filled pixels, to demonstrate that our method can work with varying cloud top heights. In one image the data are consistent with radiative transfer simulations using ice cloud. In the other, the data are inconsistent with ice cloud and are well simulated with supercooled liquid water cloud at 241.5 K. This method therefore has potential for climatological investigation of the radiatively important phase transition in the extremely cold and pristine Antarctic environment.

Berque, J, Lubin D, Somerville RCJ.  2004.  Infrared radiative properties of the Antarctic plateau from AVHRR data. Part I: Effect of the snow surface. Journal of Applied Meteorology. 43:350-362.   10.1175/1520-0450(2004)043<0350:irpota>;2   AbstractWebsite

The effective scene temperature, or "brightness temperature," measured in channel 3 (3.5-3.9 m m) of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is shown to be sensitive, in principle, to the effective particle size of snow grains on the Antarctic plateau, over the range of snow grain sizes reported in field studies. In conjunction with a discrete ordinate method radiative transfer model that couples the polar atmosphere with a scattering and absorbing snowpack, the thermal infrared channels of the AVHRR instrument can, therefore, be used to estimate effective grain size at the snow surface over Antarctica. This is subject to uncertainties related to the modeled top-of-atmosphere bidirectional reflectance distribution function resulting from the possible presence of sastrugi and to lack of complete knowledge of snow crystal shapes and habits as they influence the scattering phase function. However, when applied to NOAA-11 and NOAA-12 AVHRR data from 1992, the snow grain effective radii of order 50 mum are retrieved, consistent with field observations, with no apparent discontinuity between two spacecraft having different viewing geometries. Retrieved snow grain effective radii are 10-20-mum larger when the snow grains are modeled as hexagonal solid columns rather than as spheres with a Henyey-Greenstein phase function. Despite the above-mentioned uncertainties, the retrievals are consistent enough that one should be able to monitor climatically significant changes in surface snow grain size due to major precipitation events. It is also shown that a realistic representation of the surface snow grain size is critical when retrieving the optical depth and effective particle radius of clouds for the optically thin clouds most frequently encountered over the Antarctic plateau.

Bowman, TE, Maibach E, Mann ME, Somerville RCJ, Seltser BJ, Fischhoff B, Gardiner SM, Gould RJ, Leiserowitz A, Yohe G.  2010.  Time to Take Action on Climate Communication. Science. 330:1044-1044.   10.1126/science.330.6007.1044   AbstractWebsite
Bowman, TE, Maibach E, Mann ME, Moser SC, Somerville RCJ.  2009.  Creating a Common Climate Language. Science. 324:36-37.   10.1126/science.324.5923.36b   AbstractWebsite
Byrne, RN, Somerville RCK, Subasilar B.  1996.  Broken-cloud enhancement of solar radiation absorption. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 53:878-886.   10.1175/1520-0469(1996)053<0878:bceosr>;2   AbstractWebsite

Observations cited by Ramanathan et al. and Cess et al. indicate systematic errors in the solar radiation parameterizations of the current atmospheric general circulation models. Cloudy scenes have an observational excess (or calculational deficit) of atmospheric absorption. Pilewskie and Valero have also reported anomalously large absorption. A simple model is presented here to show how fields of broken clouds cause average photon pathlengths to be greater than those predicted by homogeneous radiative transfer calculations of cloud-atmosphere ensemble with similar albedos, especially under and within the cloud layer. This one-sided bias is a contribution to the anomalous absorption. The model is illustrated quantitatively with a numerical stochastic radiative transfer calculation. More than one-half the anomaly is explained for the parameters used in the numerical example.

Chertock, B, Frouin R, Somerville RCJ.  1991.  Global Monitoring of Net Solar Irradiance at the Ocean Surface - Climatological Variability and the 1982-1983 Elnino. Journal of Climate. 4:639-650.   10.1175/1520-0442(1991)004<0639:gmonsi>;2   AbstractWebsite

A new method has been used to generate the first satellite-based long-term climatology of surface solar irradiance over the world oceans. These monthly mean data cover the period November 1978 through October 1985 on a global, 9-degrees latitude-longitude spatial grid. The large-scale variability of surface solar irradiance is assessed over the world oceans for the entire (84-month) record. The results demonstrate the ability of the method to reveal large-scale seasonal and interannual phenomena. The reduction in surface solar irradiance due to clouds is evaluated globally both on monthly and long-term climatological scales. Monthly cloud forcing anomalies are found to display eastward propagation over the course of the 1982-1983 El Nino event. The mean January climatology is found to be consistent with the climatology obtained from a general circulation model run in perpetual January mode. This study marks the first large-scale observation-based examination of cloud solar forcing at the ocean surface. In addition, empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis is employed to investigate modes of seasonal and nonseasonal variability. Nonseasonal EOF modes of surface solar irradiance are related to nonseasonal EOF modes of outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). The dominant modes during the 1982-1983 El Nino are associated with eastward propagation in both the shortwave and longwave fields. These dominant nonseasonal EOF modes of surface solar irradiance are found to display features and amplitude variations that are identical to those of the corresponding nonseasonal EOF modes of OLR. The association of these modes with EL Nino is quantified using the correlation of the mode amplitudes with the Southern Oscillation index (SOI). In each case modes 1 and 2 are positively correlated with the SOI, and mode 1 has a strong correlation of 0.75 for the shortwave and 0.76 for the longwave field. Finally, a study of the regionally averaged behavior of surface solar irradiance and sea surface temperature (SST) in a section of the tropical Pacific (9-degrees-N-9-degrees-S, 117-degrees-144-degrees-W) during this same period indicates that fluctuations of surface solar irradiance in the tropical Pacific are sometimes a regional response to underlying changes in SST (and associated changes in cloudiness), rather than a driving mechanism responsible for variations in SST.

Chertock, B, Iacobellis S, Somerville C.  1987.  Remote sensing studies of oceanic cloud-radiation feedbacks. Atmospheric radiation progress and prospects (Proceedings of the Beijing International Radiation Symposium, August 26-30, 1986). ( Liou K, Chou H, Eds.).:508-514., Beijing, China: Science Press and American Meteorological Society Abstract
DeFlorio, MJ, Ghan SJ, Singh B, Miller AJ, Cayan DR, Russell LM, Somerville RCJ.  2014.  Semidirect dynamical and radiative effect of North African dust transport on lower tropospheric clouds over the subtropical North Atlantic in CESM 1.0. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 119:2013JD020997.   10.1002/2013JD020997   AbstractWebsite

This study uses a century length preindustrial climate simulation by the Community Earth System Model (CESM 1.0) to explore statistical relationships between dust, clouds, and atmospheric circulation and to suggest a semidirect dynamical mechanism linking subtropical North Atlantic lower tropospheric cloud cover with North African dust transport. The length of the run allows us to account for interannual variability of North African dust emissions and transport in the model. CESM's monthly climatology of both aerosol optical depth and surface dust concentration at Cape Verde and Barbados, respectively, agree well with available observations, as does the aerosol size distribution at Cape Verde. In addition, CESM shows strong seasonal cycles of dust burden and lower tropospheric cloud fraction, with maximum values occurring during boreal summer, when a strong correlation between these two variables exists over the subtropical North Atlantic. Calculations of Estimated Inversion Strength (EIS) and composites of EIS on high and low downstream North African dust months during boreal summer reveal that dust is likely increasing inversion strength over this region due to both solar absorption and reflection. We find no evidence for a microphysical link between dust and lower tropospheric clouds in this region. These results yield new insight over an extensive period of time into the complex relationship between North African dust and North Atlantic lower tropospheric clouds, which has previously been hindered by spatiotemporal constraints of observations. Our findings lay a framework for future analyses using different climate models and submonthly data over regions with different underlying dynamics.

Dobosy, RJ, Somerville RCJ.  1979.  Test of Simple Momentum Boundary-Layer Parameterizations in a Numerical Weather Prediction Model. Contributions to Atmospheric Physics [Beitraege zur Physik der Atmosphaere.], Wiesbaden, Germany. 52:190-203. Abstract
Donner, LJ, Schubert WH, Somerville R.  2011.  The development of atmospheric general circulation models : complexity, synthesis, and computation. , Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press Abstract

"Presenting a comprehensive discussion of general circulation models of the atmosphere, this book covers their historical and contemporary development, their societal context, and current efforts to integrate these models into wider earth-system models. Leading researchers provide unique perspectives on the scientific breakthroughs, overarching themes, critical applications, and future prospects for atmospheric general circulation models. Key interdisciplinary links to other subject areas such as chemistry, oceanography and ecology are also highlighted. This book is a core reference for academic researchers and professionals involved in atmospheric physics, meteorology and climate science, and can be used as a resource for graduate-level courses in climate modeling and numerical weather prediction. Given the critical role that atmospheric general circulation models are playing in the intense public discourse on climate change, it is also a valuable resource for policy makers and all those concerned with the scientific basis for the ongoing public-policy debate"--"The aim of this volume is to describe the development of atmospheric general circulation models. We are motivated to do so by the central and essential role of these models in understanding, simulating, and predicting the atmosphere on a wide range of time scales. While atmospheric general circulation models are an important basis for many societal decisions, from responses to changing weather to deliberations on responding to anthropogenic climate change, the scientific basis for these models, and how they have come about and continue to develop, are not widely known. Our objective in editing this volume is to provide a perspective on these matters"--

Druyan, LM, Somerville RCJ, Quirk WJ.  1975.  Extended-Range Forecasts with GISS Model of Global Atmosphere. Monthly Weather Review. 103:779-795.   10.1175/1520-0493(1975)103<0779:erfwtg>;2   AbstractWebsite
Engquist, BE, Osher S, Somerville RCJ.  1985.  Large-Scale Computations in Fluid Mechanics. Lectures in Applied Mathematics. :779.: American Mathematical Society AbstractWebsite
Galchen, T, Somerville RCJ.  1975.  Numerical-Solution of Navier-Stokes Equations with Topography. Journal of Computational Physics. 17:276-310.   10.1016/0021-9991(75)90054-6   AbstractWebsite

A finite difference scheme for solving the equations of fluid motion in a generalized coordinate system has been constructed. The scheme conserves mass and all the first integral moments of the motion. The scheme also advectively “almost conserves” second moments, in that the magnitude of implicit numerical smoothing is typically about an order smaller than explicit viscosity and diffusion. Calculations with the model support the theoretical conjecture that the difference scheme is stable whenever the analogous Cartesian scheme is stable. The scheme has been used to calculate dry atmospheric convection due to differential heating between top and bottom of mountainous terrain. The general small-scale characteristics of mountain up-slope winds have been simulated. In addition, the results have demonstrated the crucial role played by the eddy diffusivities and the environmental stability, in determining both the quantitative and the qualitative features of the circulation.

Galchen, T, Somerville RCJ.  1975.  On the Use of a Coordinate Transformation for Solution of Navier-Stokes Equations. Journal of Computational Physics. 17:209-228.   10.1016/0021-9991(75)90037-6   AbstractWebsite

The equations of fluid motion have been formulated in a generalized noncartesian, non-orthogonal coordinate system. A particular coordinate transformation, which transforms a domain with an irregular lower boundary into a cube, has been constructed. The transformed system, unlike the original one, has flat boundaries and homogeneous boundary conditions. Where the topography is flat, the original and transformed systems are identical, and extra terms do not appear. A finite difference scheme for solving the transformed equations has been constructed and will be described in a subsequent issue of this journal.

Gall, R, Blakeslee R, Somerville RCJ.  1979.  Baroclinic Instability and the Selection of the Zonal Scale of the Transient Eddies of Middle Latitudes. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 36:767-784.   10.1175/1520-0469(1979)036<0767:biatso>;2   AbstractWebsite

Because the linear growth rates of baroclinic waves on realistic zonal flows are largest at relatively high zonal wavenumbers (e.g., 15), the observed peaks in the transient kinetic energy spectrum cannot be explained simply by peaks in the linear growth-rate spectrum. When the growth-rate spectrum is fairly flat, as suggested by recent studies, then as the waves evolve, the decrease of the instability of the zonal flow and the increase of dissipation in the developing waves become important in determining which wavelength will dominate after the waves are fully developed. In particular, the stabilization of the zonal flow because of northward and upward eddy transport (which is primarily confined to the lower troposphere in all baroclinic waves) causes the instability of the short baroclinic waves (wavenumber > 10) to decrease more rapidly than that of the intermediate-scale waves (wavenumber <10). In addition, as it is usually modeled, dissipation increases with time more rapidly in the short waves. Therefore, the growth of the short waves is terminated by these two processes before the growth of the intermediate-scale waves, which can thus achieve greater equilibrium amplitudes.We have obtained these results in a numerical experiment with a simplified general circulation model, in which waves of all wavelengths are allowed to develop simultaneously from small random perturbations on a flow that is initially zonally symmetric. The kinetic energy spectrum in this experiment does not display a −3 power law in the wavenumber band 10–20, even after the spectrum in this spectral region has been equilibrated for a simulated week or more. This result apparently supports the recent hypothesis of Andrews and Hoskins that atmospheric fronts rather than quasi-geostrophic turbulence are responsible for the observed −3 spectrum at wavenumbers > 10.

Gall, R, Blakeslee R, Somerville RCJ.  1979.  Cyclone-Scale Forcing of Ultralong Waves. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 36:1692-1698.   10.1175/1520-0469(1979)036<1692:csfouw>;2   AbstractWebsite

A numerical experiment is carried out with a simplified general circulation model. In this experiment, instabilities of all wavelengths are allowed to develop simultaneously from small perturbations on a zonally symmetric flow. The initial development of the ultralong waves in this experiment is apparently forced by the interaction between the cyclone-scale waves and the basic flow in which they are embedded. Because the spectrum of the developing baroclinic waves is not monochromatic, the interaction between the cyclones and the basic flow varies with longitude, and waves longer than the cyclone scale are forced. The structure of the ultralong waves in the numerical experiment is consistent with this forcing mechanism. One implication for numerical weather prediction is that errors in forecasts of ultralong waves may be due in part to errors in the cyclone scale.

Ghan, S, Randall D, Xu KM, Cederwall R, Cripe D, Hack J, Iacobellis S, Klein S, Krueger S, Lohmann U, Pedretti J, Robock A, Rotstayn L, Somerville R, Stenchikov G, Sud Y, Walker G, Xie SC, Yio J, Zhang MH.  2000.  A comparison of single column model simulations of summertime midlatitude continental convection. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 105:2091-2124.   Doi 10.1029/1999jd900971   AbstractWebsite

Eleven different single-column models (SCMs) and one cloud ensemble model (CEM) are driven by boundary conditions observed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program southern Great Plains site for a 17 day period during the summer of 1995. Comparison of the model simulations reveals common signatures identifiable as products of errors in the boundary conditions. Intermodel differences in the simulated temperature, humidity, cloud, precipitation, and radiative fluxes reflect differences in model resolution or physical parameterizations, although sensitive dependence on initial conditions can also contribute to intermodel differences. All models perform well at times but poorly at others. Although none of the SCM simulations stands out as superior to the others, the simulation by the CEM is in several respects in better agreement with the observations than the simulations by the SCMs. Nudging of the simulated temperature and humidity toward observations generally improves the simulated cloud and radiation fields as well as the simulated temperature and humidity but degrades the precipitation simulation for models with large temperature and humidity biases without nudging. Although some of the intermodel differences have not been explained, others have been identified as model problems that can be or have been corrected as a result of the comparison.

Hathaway, DH, Somerville RCJ.  1987.  Thermal Convection in a Rotating Shear Flow. Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics. 38:43-&.   10.1080/03091928708210105   AbstractWebsite

A three-dimensional and time-dependent numerical model is used to simulate thermal convection imbedded in a shear flow in a rotating atmosphere. The fluid is confined to a plane parallel layer with periodic side boundaries, and the rotation vector is tilted from the vertical to represent a low-latitude region. An eastward mean flow is imposed which is constant with depth but has a jet-like profile in latitude. The convection is driven by a prescribed vertical temperature difference. Interactions between the shear flow and the convection extract energy from the mean flow and decrease the mean shear in the nonrotating case. In the presence of rotation, however, the convection can feed energy into the jet and enhance the mean shear. Mean meridional circulations are also produced by the effects of rotation. The Coriolis force on the vertical flows in these circulations contributes to the changes in the mean zonal wind. Three rotating cases are examined which show this behavior in varying degrees. A simple mechanism is described which explains how the convection can produce this countergradient flux of momentum in a rotating layer. Although the system studied is highly idealized, it exhibits momentum fluxes and wave-like patterns which, for certain parameter values, are similar to those observed on Jupiter.

Hathaway, DH, Somerville RCJ.  1985.  Numerical simulation in three space dimensions of time-dependent thermal convection in a rotating fluid. Lectures in Applied Mathematics. 22:309-319. Abstract

Three-dimensional time-dependent convection in a plane layer of fluid, uniformly heated from below and subject to vertical shear and to rotation about an axis tilted from the vertical, was simulated by the numerical solution of the Boussinesq equations, including all Coriolis terms. Rotation about a vertical axis produces smaller convection cells with diminished heat fluxes and considerable vorticity. When the rotation axis is tilted from the vertical to represent tropical latitudes, the convection cells become elongated in a N-S direction. Imposed flows with constant vertical shear produce convective rolls aligned with the mean flow. When the rotation vector is tilted from the vertical, the competing effects due to rotation and shear can stabilize the convective motions.

Hathaway, DH, Somerville RCJ.  1986.  Nonlinear Interactions between Convection, Rotation and Flows with Vertical Shear. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 164:91-&.   10.1017/s0022112086002483   AbstractWebsite

A three-dimensional and time-dependent numerical model is used to study the nonlinear interactions between thermal convective motions, rotation, and imposed flows with vertical shear. All cases have Rayleigh numbers of 104 and Prandtl numbers of 1.0. Rotating cases have Taylor numbers of 104.For the non-rotating cases, the effects of the shear on the convection produce longitudinal rolls aligned with the shear flow and a downgradient flux of momentum. The interaction between the convection and the shear flow decreases the shear in the interior of the fluid layer while adding kinetic energy to the convective motions. For unit Prandtl number the dimensionless flux of momentum is equal to the dimensionless flux of heat.For rotating cases with vertical rotation vectors, the shear flow favours rolls aligned with the shear and produces a downgradient flux of momentum. However, the Coriolis force turns the flow induced by the convection to produce a more complicated shear that changes direction with height. As in the non-rotating cases, the convective motions become more energetic by extracting energy from the mean flow. For Richardson numbers larger than about − 1.0, the dominant source of eddy kinetic energy is the shear flow rather than buoyancy.For rotating cases with tilted rotation vectors the results depend upon the direction of the shear. For weak shear, convective rolls aligned with the rotation vector are favoured. When the shear flow is directed to the east along the top, the rolls become broader and the convection weaker. For large shear in this direction, the convective motions are quenched by the competition between the shear flow and the tilted rotation vector. When the shear flow is directed to the west along the top, strong shear produces rolls aligned with the shear. The heat and momentum fluxes become large and can exceed those found in the absence of a tilted rotation vector. Countergradient fluxes of momentum can also be produced.