Does the ECMWF IFS convection parameterization with stochastic physics correctly reproduce relationships between convection and the large-scale state?

Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences American Meteorological Society 72 (2015) 236-242

PAG Watson, HM Christensen, TN Palmer

Important questions concerning parameterization of tropical convection are how should subgrid-scale variability be represented and which large-scale variables should be used in the parameterizations? Here the statistics of observational data in Darwin, Australia, are compared with those of short-term forecasts of convection made by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecast System. The forecasts use multiplicative-noise stochastic physics (MNSP) that has led to many improvements in weather forecast skill. However, doubts have recently been raised about whether MNSP is consistent with observations of tropical convection. It is shown that the model can reproduce the variability of convection intensity for a given large-scale state, both with and without MNSP. Therefore MNSP is not inconsistent with observations, and much of the modeled variability arises from nonlinearity of the deterministic part of the convection scheme. It is also shown that the model can reproduce the lack of correlation between convection intensity and large-scale CAPE and an entraining CAPE, even though the convection parameterization assumes that deep convection is more intense when the vertical temperature profile is more unstable, with entrainment taken into account. Relationships between convection and large-scale convective inhibition and vertical velocity are also correctly captured.

Interaction of gravity waves with the QBO: A satellite perspective


M Ern, F Ploeger, P Preusse, JC Gille, LJ Gray, S Kalisch, MG Mlynczak, RJM III, M Riese

The stratospheric wintertime response to applied extratropical torques and its relationship with the annular mode

Climate Dynamics Springer Verlag (2014)

PAG Watson, LJ Gray

The response of the wintertime Northern Hemisphere (NH) stratosphere to applied extratropical zonally symmetric zonal torques, simulated by a primitive equation model of the middle atmosphere, is presented. This is relevant to understanding the effect of gravity wave drag (GWD) in models and the influence of natural forcings such as the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), El Ninõ-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), solar cycle and volcanic eruptions on the polar vortex. There is a strong feedback due to planetary waves, which approximately cancels the direct effect of the torque on the zonal acceleration in the steady state and leads to an EP flux convergence response above the torque’s location. The residual circulation response is very different to that predicted assuming wave feedbacks are negligible. The results are consistent with the predictions of ray theory, with applied westerly torques increasing the meridional potential vorticity gradient, thus encouraging greater upward planetary wave propagation into the stratosphere. The steady state circulation response to torques applied at high latitudes closely resembles the Northern annular mode (NAM) in perpetual January simulations. This behaviour is analogous to that shown by the Lorenz system and tropospheric models. Imposed westerly high-latitude torques lead counter-intuitively to an easterly zonal mean zonal wind (Formula presented.) response at high latitudes, due to the wave feedbacks. However, in simulations with a seasonal cycle, the feedbacks are qualitatively similar but weaker, and the long-term response is less NAM-like and no longer easterly at high latitudes. This is consistent with ray theory and differences in climatological (Formula presented.) between the two types of simulations. The response to a tropospheric wave forcing perturbation is also NAM-like. These results suggest that dynamical feedbacks tend to make the long-term NH extratropical stratospheric response to arbitrary external forcings NAM-like, but only if the feedbacks are sufficiently strong. This may explain why the observed polar vortex responses to natural forcings such as the QBO and ENSO are NAM-like. The results imply that wave feedbacks must be understood and accurately modelled in order to understand and predict the influence of GWD and other external forcings on the polar vortex, and that biases in a model’s climatology will cause biases in these feedbacks.

Observation of muon intensity variations by season with the MINOS near detector

PHYSICAL REVIEW D 90 (2014) ARTN 012010

P Adamson, I Anghel, A Aurisano, G Barr, M Bishai, A Blake, GJ Bock, D Bogert, SV Cao, CM Castromonte, S Childress, JAB Coelho, L Corwin, D Cronin-Hennessy, JK de Jong, AV Devan, NE Devenish, MV Diwan, CO Escobar, JJ Evans, E Falk, GJ Feldman, TH Fields, MV Frohne, HR Gallagher, RA Gomes, MC Goodman, P Gouffon, N Graf, R Gran, K Grzelak, A Habig, SR Hahn, J Hartnell, R Hatcher, A Holin, J Huang, J Hylen, GM Irwin, Z Isvan, C James, D Jensen, T Kafka, SMS Kasahara, G Koizumi, M Kordosky, A Kreymer, K Lang, J Ling, PJ Litchfield, P Lucas, WA Mann, ML Marshak, M Mathis, N Mayer, C McGivern, MM Medeiros, R Mehdiyev, JR Meier, MD Messier, WH Miller, SR Mishra, SM Sher, CD Moore, L Mualem, J Musser, D Naples, JK Nelson, HB Newman, RJ Nichol, JA Nowak, J O'Connor, M Orchanian, S Osprey, RB Pahlka, J Paley, RB Patterson, G Pawloski, A Perch, S Phan-Budd, RK Plunkett, N Poonthottathil, X Qiu, A Radovic, B Rebel, C Rosenfeld, HA Rubin, MC Sanchez, J Schneps, A Schreckenberger, P Schreiner, R Sharma, A Sousa, N Tagg, RL Talaga, J Thomas, MA Thomson, X Tian, A Timmons, SC Tognini, R Toner, D Torretta, J Urheim, P Vahle, B Viren, A Weber, RC Webb, C White, L Whitehead, LH Whitehead, SG Wojcicki, R Zwaska, MINOS Collaboration

Skillful Seasonal Prediction of the Southern Annular Mode and Antarctic Ozone

JOURNAL OF CLIMATE 27 (2014) 7462-7474

WJM Seviour, SC Hardiman, LJ Gray, N Butchart, C MacLachlan, AA Scaife

Mechanisms for the Holton-Tan relationship and its decadal variation


H Lu, TJ Bracegirdle, T Phillips, A Bushell, L Gray

Observation of muon intensity variations by season with the MINOS far detector

Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology 81 (2010)

P Adamson, C Andreopoulos, KE Arms, R Armstrong, DJ Auty, DS Ayres, C Backhouse, J Barnett, G Barr, WL Barrett, BR Becker, M Bishai, A Blake, B Bock, GJ Bock, DJ Boehnlein, D Bogert, C Bower, S Cavanaugh, JD Chapman, D Cherdack, S Childress, BC Choudhary, JH Cobb, SJ Coleman, D Cronin-Hennessy, AJ Culling, IZ Danko, JK De Jong, NE Devenish, MV Diwan, M Dorman, CO Escobar, JJ Evans, E Falk, GJ Feldman, TH Fields, MV Frohne, HR Gallagher, A Godley, MC Goodman, P Gouffon, R Gran, EW Grashorn, K Grzelak, A Habig, D Harris, PG Harris, J Hartnell, R Hatcher, K Heller, A Himmel, A Holin, J Hylen, GM Irwin, Z Isvan, DE Jaffe, C James, D Jensen, T Kafka, SMS Kasahara, G Koizumi, S Kopp, M Kordosky, K Korman, DJ Koskinen, Z Krahn, A Kreymer, K Lang, J Ling, PJ Litchfield, L Loiacono, P Lucas, J Ma, WA Mann, ML Marshak, JS Marshall, N Mayer, AM McGowan, R Mehdiyev, JR Meier, MD Messier, CJ Metelko, DG Michael, WH Miller, SR Mishra, J Mitchell, CD Moore, J Morfín, L Mualem, S Mufson, J Musser, D Naples, JK Nelson, HB Newman, RJ Nichol, TC Nicholls, JP Ochoa-Ricoux, WP Oliver, T Osiecki, R Ospanov, S Osprey, J Paley, RB Patterson, T Patzak, G Pawloski, GF Pearce, EA Peterson, R Pittam, RK Plunkett, A Rahaman, RA Rameika, TM Raufer, B Rebel, J Reichenbacher, PA Rodrigues, C Rosenfeld, HA Rubin, VA Ryabov, MC Sanchez, N Saoulidou, J Schneps, P Schreiner, P Shanahan, W Smart, C Smith, A Sousa, B Speakman, P Stamoulis, M Strait, N Tagg, RL Talaga, J Thomas, MA Thomson, JL Thron, G Tinti, R Toner, VA Tsarev, G Tzanakos, J Urheim, P Vahle, B Viren, M Watabe, A Weber, RC Webb, N West, C White, L Whitehead, SG Wojcicki, DM Wright, T Yang, M Zois, K Zhang, R Zwaska

The temperature of the upper atmosphere affects the height of primary cosmic ray interactions and the production of high-energy cosmic ray muons which can be detected deep underground. The MINOS far detector at Soudan, MN, has collected over 67×106 cosmic ray induced muons. The underground muon rate measured over a period of five years exhibits a 4% peak-to-peak seasonal variation which is highly correlated with the temperature in the upper atmosphere. The coefficient, αT, relating changes in the muon rate to changes in atmospheric temperature was found to be αT=0.873±0. 009(stat)±0.010(syst). Pions and kaons in the primary hadronic interactions of cosmic rays in the atmosphere contribute differently to αT due to the different masses and lifetimes. This allows the measured value of αT to be interpreted as a measurement of the K/π ratio for Ep 7TeV of 0.12-0.05+0.07, consistent with the expectation from collider experiments. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

How Does the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation Affect the Stratospheric Polar Vortex?


PAG Watson, LJ Gray

Northern winter climate change: Assessment of uncertainty in CMIP5 projections related to stratosphere-troposphere coupling


E Manzini, AY Karpechko, J Anstey, MP Baldwin, RX Black, C Cagnazzo, N Calvo, A Charlton-Perez, B Christiansen, P Davini, E Gerber, M Giorgetta, L Gray, SC Hardiman, Y-Y Lee, DR Marsh, BA McDaniel, A Purich, AA Scaife, D Shindell, S-W Son, S Watanabe, G Zappa

Recent variability of the solar spectral irradiance and its impact on climate modelling


I Ermolli, K Matthes, TD de Wit, NA Krivova, K Tourpali, M Weber, YC Unruh, L Gray, U Langematz, P Pilewskie, E Rozanov, W Schmutz, A Shapiro, SK Solanki, TN Woods

A mechanism for lagged North Atlantic climate response to solar variability

Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013) 434-439

AA Scaife, S Ineson, JR Knight, L Gray, K Kodera, DM Smith

Variability in solar irradiance has been connected to changes in surface climate in the North Atlantic through both observational and climate modelling studies which suggest a response in the atmospheric circulation that resembles the North Atlantic Oscillation or its hemispheric equivalent the Arctic Oscillation. It has also been noted that this response appears to follow the changes in solar irradiance by a few years, depending on the exact indicator of solar variability. Here we propose and test a mechanism for this lag based on the known impact of atmospheric circulation on the Atlantic Ocean, the extended memory of ocean heat content anomalies, and their subsequent feedback onto the atmosphere. We use results from climate model experiments to develop a simple model for the relationship between solar variability and North Atlantic climate. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Multi-model analysis of Northern Hemisphere winter blocking: Model biases and the role of resolution

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Blackwell Publishing Ltd 118 (2013) 3956-3971

JA Anstey, P Davini, LJ Gray, TJ Woollings, N Butchart, C Cagnazzo, B Christiansen, SC Hardiman, SM Osprey, S Yang

Blocking of the tropospheric jet stream during Northern Hemisphere winter (December-January-February) is examined in a multi-model ensemble of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (GCMs) obtained from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). The CMIP5 models exhibit large biases in blocking frequency and related biases in tropospheric jet latitude, similar to earlier generations of GCMs. Underestimated blocking at high latitudes, especially over Europe, is common. In general, model biases decrease as model resolution increases. Increased blocking frequency at high latitudes in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins, as well as more realistic variability of Atlantic jet latitude, are associated with increased vertical resolution in the mid-troposphere to lowermost stratosphere. Finer horizontal resolution is associated with higher blocking frequency at all latitudes in the Atlantic basin but appears to have no systematic impact on blocking near Greenland or in the Pacific basin. Results from the CMIP5 analysis are corroborated by additional controlled experiments using selected GCMs. Key PointsCMIP5 models have large blocking biases and associated jet biasesIncreased spatial resolution is associated with reduced blocking and jet biasesVertical and horizontal resolution give blocking changes in different regions ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

A practical method to identify displaced and split stratospheric polar vortex events

Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013) 5268-5273

WJM Seviour, DM Mitchell, LJ Gray

Extreme variability of the stratospheric polar vortex during winter can manifest as a displaced vortex event or a split vortex event. The influence of this vortex disruption can extend downwards and affect surface weather patterns. In particular, vortex splitting events have been associated with a negative Arctic Oscillation pattern. An assessment of the impacts of climate change on the polar vortex is therefore important, and more climate models now include a wella-resolved stratosphere. To aid this analysis, we introduce a practical thresholda-based method to distinguish between displaced and split vortex events. It requires only geopotential height at 10 hPa to measure the geometry of the vortex using twoa-dimensional moment diagnostics. It captures extremes of vortex variability at least, as well as previous methods when applied to reanalysis data, and has the advantage of being easily employed to analyze climate model simulations. Key Points It is important to distinguish split and displaced vortex events Current methods to do so are not easily-applicable to climate models A new method is easily-applicable and can accurately identify these events ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

The impact of stratospheric resolution on the detectability of climate change signals in the free atmosphere


DM Mitchell, PA Stott, LJ Gray, MR Allen, FC Lott, N Butchart, SC Hardiman, SM Osprey

Multi-model analysis of Northern Hemisphere winter blocking: Model biases and the role of resolution


JA Anstey, P Davini, LJ Gray, TJ Woollings, N Butchart, C Cagnazzo, B Christiansen, SC Hardiman, SM Osprey, S Yang

Global observations of gravity wave intermittency and its impact on the observed momentum flux morphology

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Blackwell Publishing Ltd 118 (2013) 10980-10993

CJ Wright, SM Osprey, JC Gille

Three years of gravity wave observations from the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder instrument on NASA's Aura satellite are examined. We produce estimates of the global distribution of gravity wave momentum flux as a function of individual observed wave packets. The observed distribution at the 25 km altitude level is dominated by the small proportion of wave packets with momentum fluxes greater than ∼0.5 mPa. Depending on latitude and season, these wave packets only comprise ∼7-25% of observations, but are shown to be almost entirely responsible for the morphology of the observed global momentum flux distribution. Large-amplitude wave packets are found to be more important over orographic regions than over flat ocean regions, and to be especially high in regions poleward of 40°S during austral winter. The momentum flux carried by the largest packets relative to the distribution mean is observed to decrease with height over orographic wave generation regions, but to increase with height at tropical latitudes; the mesospheric intermittency resulting is broadly equivalent in both cases. Consistent with previous studies, waves in the top 10% of the extratropical distribution are observed to carry momentum fluxes more than twice the mean and waves in the top 1% more than 10× the mean, and the Gini coefficient is found to characterize the observed distributions well. These results have significant implications for gravity wave modeling. Key Points Observed GW distribution dominated by wave packets with MF>0.5 mPa Intermittency higher over orography Gini coefficient confirmed as a good metric for wave intermittency ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Report on the 3rd SPARC DynVar Workshop on Modelling the Dynamics and Variability of the Stratosphere-Troposphere System

(2013) 41

E Manzini, A Charlton-Perez, E Gerber, T Birner, A Butler, S Hardiman, A Karpechko, F Lott, A Maycock, SM Osprey, O Tripathi, T Shaw, M Sigmond

A lagged response to the 11 year solar cycle in observed winter Atlantic/European weather patterns


LJ Gray, AA Scaife, DM Mitchell, S Osprey, S Ineson, S Hardiman, N Butchart, J Knight, R Sutton, K Kodera

A lagged response to the 11 year solar cycle in observed winter Atlantic/European weather patterns

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Blackwell Publishing Ltd 118 (2013) 13405-13420

LJ Gray, AA Scaife, DM Mitchell, S Osprey, S Ineson, S Hardiman, N Butchart, J Knight, R Sutton, K Kodera

The surface response to 11 year solar cycle variations is investigated by analyzing the long-term mean sea level pressure and sea surface temperature observations for the period 1870-2010. The analysis reveals a statistically significant 11 year solar signal over Europe, and the North Atlantic provided that the data are lagged by a few years. The delayed signal resembles the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) following a solar maximum. The corresponding sea surface temperature response is consistent with this. A similar analysis is performed on long-term climate simulations from a coupled ocean-atmosphere version of the Hadley Centre model that has an extended upper lid so that influences of solar variability via the stratosphere are well resolved. The model reproduces the positive NAO signal over the Atlantic/European sector, but the lag of the surface response is not well reproduced. Possible mechanisms for the lagged nature of the observed response are discussed. Key Points 11-year solar signal detected over N. Atlantic/Europe Signal is evident if data are lagged by ~3 years HadGEM climate model simulates signal but not the lag ©2013. The Authors.

Revisiting the controversial issue of tropical tropospheric temperature trends

Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013) 2801-2806

DM Mitchell, PW Thorne, PA Stott, LJ Gray

Controversy remains over a discrepancy between modeled and observed tropical upper tropospheric temperature trends. This discrepancy is reassessed using simulations from the Coupled Climate Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP 5) together with radiosonde and surface observations that provide multiple realizations of possible "observed" temperatures given various methods of homogenizing the data. Over the 1979-2008 period, tropical temperature trends are not consistent with observations throughout the depth of the troposphere, and this primarily stems from a poor simulation of the surface temperature trends. This discrepancy is substantially reduced when (1) atmosphere-only simulations are examined or (2) the trends are considered as an amplification of the surface temperature trend with height. Using these approaches, it is shown that within observational uncertainty, the 5-95 percentile range of temperature trends from both coupled-ocean and atmosphere-only models are consistent with the analyzed observations at all but the upper most tropospheric level (150 hPa), and models with ultra-high horizontal resolution (≤ 0.5° × 0.5°) perform particularly well. Other than model resolution, it is hypothesized that this remaining discrepancy could be due to a poor representation of stratospheric ozone or remaining observational uncertainty. © 2013 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.