Karnauskas Kristopher B.

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Kristopher B.

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  • Article
    The equatorial current system west of the Galapagos Islands during the 2014-16 El Niño as observed by underwater gliders
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-12-21) Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Todd, Robert E.
    The strong El Niño of 2014–16 was observed west of the Galápagos Islands through sustained deployment of underwater gliders. Three years of observations began in October 2013 and ended in October 2016, with observations at longitudes 93° and 95°W between latitudes 2°N and 2°S. In total, there were over 3000 glider-days of data, covering over 50 000 km with over 12 000 profiles. Coverage was superior closer to the Galápagos on 93°W, where gliders were equipped with sensors to measure velocity as well as temperature, salinity, and pressure. The repeated glider transects are analyzed to produce highly resolved mean sections and maps of observed variables as functions of time, latitude, and depth. The mean sections reveal the structure of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC), the South Equatorial Current, and the equatorial front. The mean fields are used to calculate potential vorticity Q and Richardson number Ri. Gradients in the mean are strong enough to make the sign of Q opposite to that of planetary vorticity and to have Ri near unity, suggestive of mixing. Temporal variability is dominated by the 2014–16 El Niño, with the arrival of depressed isopycnals documented in 2014 and 2015. Increases in eastward velocity advect anomalously salty water and are uncorrelated with warm temperatures and deep isopycnals. Thus, vertical advection is important to changes in heat, and horizontal advection is relevant to changes in salt. Implications of this work include possibilities for future research, model assessment and improvement, and sustained observations across the equatorial Pacific.
  • Article
    Can we distinguish canonical El Niño from Modoki?
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-10-09) Karnauskas, Kristopher B.
    Following the recent discovery of the “Modoki” El Niño, a proliferation of studies and debates has ensued concerning whether Modoki is dynamically distinct from “Canonical” El Niño, how Modoki impacts and teleconnections differ, and whether Modoki events have been increasing in frequency or amplitude. Three decades of reliable, high temporal-resolution observations of coupled ocean-atmosphere variability in the equatorial Pacific reveal a rich diversity of El Niños. Although central and eastern Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies appear mechanistically separable in terms of local and remote forcing, their frequent overlap precludes robust classifications. All observed El Niños appear to be a mixture of locally (central Pacific) and remotely forced (eastern Pacific) SST anomalies. Submonthly resolution appears essential for this insight and for the proper dynamical diagnosis of El Niño evolution; thus, the use of long-term monthly reconstructions for classification and trend analysis is strongly cautioned against.
  • Article
    Comment on “Equatorial Pacific coral geochemical records show recent weakening of the Walker circulation” by J. Carilli et al.
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-05-18) Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Cohen, Anne L. ; Drenkard, Elizabeth J.
    This article is a comment on Carilli et al. [2014] doi:10.1002/2014PA002683
  • Article
    North Atlantic salinity as a predictor of Sahel rainfall
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science., 2016-05-06) Li, Laifang ; Schmitt, Raymond W. ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B.
    Water evaporating from the ocean sustains precipitation on land. This ocean-to-land moisture transport leaves an imprint on sea surface salinity (SSS). Thus, the question arises of whether variations in SSS can provide insight into terrestrial precipitation. This study provides evidence that springtime SSS in the subtropical North Atlantic ocean can be used as a predictor of terrestrial precipitation during the subsequent summer monsoon in Africa. Specifically, increased springtime SSS in the central to eastern subtropical North Atlantic tends to be followed by above-normal monsoon-season precipitation in the African Sahel. In the spring, high SSS is associated with enhanced moisture flux divergence from the subtropical oceans, which converges over the African Sahel and helps to elevate local soil moisture content. From spring to the summer monsoon season, the initial water cycling signal is preserved, amplified, and manifested in excessive precipitation. According to our analysis of currently available soil moisture data sets, this 3-month delay is attributable to a positive coupling between soil moisture, moisture flux convergence, and precipitation in the Sahel. Because of the physical connection between salinity, ocean-to-land moisture transport, and local soil moisture feedback, seasonal forecasts of Sahel precipitation can be improved by incorporating SSS into prediction models. Thus, expanded monitoring of ocean salinity should contribute to more skillful predictions of precipitation in vulnerable subtropical regions, such as the Sahel.
  • Article
    Biophysical responses near equatorial islands in the Western Pacific Ocean during El Niño/La Niña transitions
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-10-29) Gierach, Michelle M. ; Messie, Monique ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Radenac, Marie-Helene
    The biological response in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean during El Niño/La Niña transitions and the underlying physical mechanisms were investigated. A chlorophyll a bloom was observed near the Gilbert Islands during the 2010 El Niño/La Niña transition, whereas no bloom was observed during the 2007 El Niño/La Niña transition. Compared to the previously observed bloom during the 1998 El Niño/La Niña transition, the 2010 bloom was weaker, lagged by 1–2 months, and was displaced eastward by ~200 km. Analysis suggested that the occurrence, magnitude, timing, and spatial pattern of the blooms were controlled by two factors: easterly winds in the western equatorial Pacific during the transition to La Niña and the associated island mass effect that enhanced vertical processes (upwelling and vertical mixing), and the preconditioning of the thermocline depth and barrier layer thickness by the preceding El Niño that regulated the efficiency of the vertical processes. Despite the similar strength of easterly winds in the western equatorial Pacific during the 1998 and 2010 transitions to La Niña, the 2009–2010 El Niño prompted a deeper thermocline and thicker barrier layer than the 1997–1998 El Niño that hampered the efficiency of the vertical processes in supplying nutrients from the thermocline to the euphotic zone, resulting in a weaker bloom.
  • Article
    Implications of North Atlantic sea surface salinity for summer precipitation over the U.S. Midwest : mechanisms and predictive value
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-04-19) Li, Laifang ; Schmitt, Raymond W. ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B.
    Moisture originating from the subtropical North Atlantic feeds precipitation throughout the Western Hemisphere. This ocean-to-land moisture transport leaves its imprint on sea surface salinity (SSS), enabling SSS over the subtropical oceans to be used as an indicator of terrestrial precipitation. This study demonstrates that springtime SSS over the northwestern portion of the subtropical North Atlantic significantly correlates with summertime precipitation over the U.S. Midwest. The linkage between springtime SSS and the Midwest summer precipitation is established through ocean-to-land moisture transport followed by a soil moisture feedback over the southern United States. In the spring, high SSS over the northwestern subtropical Atlantic coincides with a local increase in moisture flux divergence. The moisture flux is then directed toward and converges over the southern United States, which experiences increased precipitation and soil moisture. The increased soil moisture influences the regional water cycle both thermodynamically and dynamically, leading to excessive summer precipitation in the Midwest. Thermodynamically, the increased soil moisture tends to moisten the lower troposphere and enhances the meridional humidity gradient north of 36°N. Thus, more moisture will be transported and converged into the Midwest by the climatological low-level wind. Dynamically, the increases in soil moisture over the southern United States enhance the west–east soil moisture gradient eastward of the Rocky Mountains, which can help to intensify the Great Plains low-level jet in the summer, converging more moisture into the Midwest. Owing to these robust physical linkages, the springtime SSS outweighs the leading SST modes in predicting the Midwest summer precipitation and significantly improves rainfall prediction in this region.
  • Article
    Coupled model biases breed spurious low‐frequency variability in the tropical Pacific Ocean
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-10-07) Samanta, Dhrubajyoti ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Goodkin, Nathalie F. ; Coats, Sloan ; Smerdon, Jason E. ; Zhang, Lei
    Coupled general circulation model (GCM) biases in the tropical Pacific are substantial, including a westward extended cold sea surface temperature (SST) bias linked to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Investigation of internal climate variability at centennial timescales using multicentury control integrations of 27 GCMs suggests that a Pacific Centennial Oscillation emerges in GCMs with too strong ENSO variability in the equatorial Pacific, including westward extended SST variability. Using a stochastic model of climate variability (Hasselmann type), we diagnose such centennial SST variance in the western equatorial Pacific. The consistency of a simple stochastic model with complex GCMs suggests that a previously defined Pacific Centennial Oscillation may be driven by biases in high‐frequency ENSO forcing in the western equatorial Pacific. A cautious evaluation of long‐term trends in the tropical Pacific from GCMs is necessary because significant trends in historical and future simulations are possible consequences of biases in simulated internal variability alone.
  • Article
    An equatorial ocean bottleneck in global climate models
    (American Meteorological Society, 2012-01-01) Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Johnson, Gregory C. ; Murtugudde, Raghu
    The Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) is a major component of the tropical Pacific Ocean circulation. EUC velocity in most global climate models is sluggish relative to observations. Insufficient ocean resolution slows the EUC in the eastern Pacific where nonlinear terms should dominate the zonal momentum balance. A slow EUC in the east creates a bottleneck for the EUC to the west. However, this bottleneck does not impair other major components of the tropical circulation, including upwelling and poleward transport. In most models, upwelling velocity and poleward transport divergence fall within directly estimated uncertainties. Both of these transports play a critical role in a theory for how the tropical Pacific may change under increased radiative forcing, that is, the ocean dynamical thermostat mechanism. These findings suggest that, in the mean, global climate models may not underrepresent the role of equatorial ocean circulation, nor perhaps bias the balance between competing mechanisms for how the tropical Pacific might change in the future. Implications for model improvement under higher resolution are also discussed.
  • Article
    East Asian Monsoon variability since the sixteenth century
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-04-16) Goodkin, Nathalie F. ; Bolton, Annette ; Hughen, Konrad A. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Griffin, Sheila ; Phan, Kim Hoang ; Vo, Si Tuan ; Ong, Maria Rosabelle ; Druffel, Ellen R. M.
    The East Asian Monsoon (EAM) impacts storms, freshwater availability, wind energy production, coal consumption, and subsequent air quality for billions of people across Asia. Despite its importance, the EAM's long‐term behavior is poorly understood. Here we present an annually resolved record of EAM variance from 1584 to 1950 based on radiocarbon content in a coral from the coast of Vietnam. The coral record reveals previously undocumented centennial scale changes in EAM variance during both the summer and winter seasons, with an overall decline from 1600 to the present. Such long‐term variations in monsoon variance appear to reflect independent seasonal mechanisms that are a combination of changes in continental temperature, the strength of the Siberian High, and El Niño–Southern Oscillation behavior. We conclude that the EAM is an important conduit for propagating climate signals from the tropics to higher latitudes.
  • Article
    Observing the Galápagos–EUC interaction : insights and challenges
    (American Meteorological Society, 2010-12) Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Murtugudde, Raghu ; Busalacchi, Antonio J.
    Although sustained observations yield a description of the mean equatorial current system from the western Pacific to the eastern terminus of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array, a comprehensive observational dataset suitable for describing the structure and pathways of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) east of 95°W does not exist and therefore climate models are unconstrained in a region that plays a critical role in ocean–atmosphere coupling. Furthermore, ocean models suggest that the interaction between the EUC and the Galápagos Islands (92°W) has a striking effect on the basic state and coupled variability of the tropical Pacific. To this end, the authors interpret historical measurements beginning with those made in conjunction with the discovery of the Pacific EUC in the 1950s, analyze velocity measurements from an equatorial TAO mooring at 85°W, and analyze a new dataset from archived shipboard ADCP measurements. Together, the observations yield a possible composite description of the EUC structure and pathways in the eastern equatorial Pacific that may be useful for model validation and guiding future observation.
  • Preprint
    Increased typhoon activity in the Pacific deep tropics driven by Little Ice Age circulation changes
    (Nature Research, 2020-11-16) Bramante, James F. ; Ford, Murray R. ; Kench, Paul S. ; Ashton, Andrew D. ; Toomey, Michael R. ; Sullivan, Richard M. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
    The instrumental record reveals that tropical cyclone activity is sensitive to oceanic and atmospheric variability on inter-annual and decadal scales. However, our understanding of the influence of climate on tropical cyclone behaviour is restricted by the short historical record and the sparseness of prehistorical reconstructions, particularly in the western North Pacific, where coastal communities suffer loss of life and livelihood from typhoons annually. Here, to explore past regional typhoon dynamics, we reconstruct three millennia of deep tropical North Pacific cyclogenesis. Combined with existing records, our reconstruction demonstrates that low-baseline typhoon activity prior to 1350 ce was followed by an interval of frequent storms during the Little Ice Age. This pattern, concurrent with hydroclimate proxy variability, suggests a centennial-scale link between Pacific hydroclimate and tropical cyclone climatology. An ensemble of global climate models demonstrates a migration of the Pacific Walker circulation and variability in two Pacific climate modes during the Little Ice Age, which probably contributed to enhanced tropical cyclone activity in the tropical western North Pacific. In the next century, projected changes to the Pacific Walker circulation and expansion of the tropics will invert these Little Ice Age hydroclimate trends, potentially reducing typhoon activity in the deep tropical Pacific.
  • Article
    Recent tropical expansion: natural variability or forced response?
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-02-06) Grise, Kevin M. ; Davis, Sean M. ; Simpson, Isla R. ; Waugh, Darryn W. ; Fu, Qiang ; Allen, Robert J. ; Rosenlof, Karen H. ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Maycock, Amanda C. ; Quan, Xiao-Wei ; Birner, Thomas ; Staten, Paul W.
    Previous studies have documented a poleward shift in the subsiding branches of Earth’s Hadley circulation since 1979 but have disagreed on the causes of these observed changes and the ability of global climate models to capture them. This synthesis paper reexamines a number of contradictory claims in the past literature and finds that the tropical expansion indicated by modern reanalyses is within the bounds of models’ historical simulations for the period 1979–2005. Earlier conclusions that models were underestimating the observed trends relied on defining the Hadley circulation using the mass streamfunction from older reanalyses. The recent observed tropical expansion has similar magnitudes in the annual mean in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Southern Hemisphere (SH), but models suggest that the factors driving the expansion differ between the hemispheres. In the SH, increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and stratospheric ozone depletion contributed to tropical expansion over the late twentieth century, and if GHGs continue increasing, the SH tropical edge is projected to shift further poleward over the twenty-first century, even as stratospheric ozone concentrations recover. In the NH, the contribution of GHGs to tropical expansion is much smaller and will remain difficult to detect in a background of large natural variability, even by the end of the twenty-first century. To explain similar recent tropical expansion rates in the two hemispheres, natural variability must be taken into account. Recent coupled atmosphere–ocean variability, including the Pacific decadal oscillation, has contributed to tropical expansion. However, in models forced with observed sea surface temperatures, tropical expansion rates still vary widely because of internal atmospheric variability.
  • Article
    Two hundred fifty years of reconstructed South Asian summer monsoon intensity and decadal-scale variability
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-03-29) Bryan, Sean P. ; Hughen, Konrad A. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Farrar, J. Thomas
    Climate model simulations of the summer South Asian monsoon predict increased rainfall in response to anthropogenic warming. However, instrumental data show a decline in Indian rainfall in recent decades, underscoring the critical need for additional, independent records of past monsoon variability. Here, we present new reconstructions of annual summer South Asian Monsoon circulation over the past 250 years, based on the geochemical barium‐calcium signature of dust present in Red Sea corals. These records reveal how monsoon circulation has evolved with warming climate and indicate a significant multi‐century long monsoon intensification, with decreased multidecadal variance. Stronger monsoon circulation would have increased the moisture transport from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal over the Indian subcontinent. If these trends continue, the monsoon circulation and associated moisture transport and precipitation will remain strong and stable for several decades.
  • Article
    North American climate in CMIP5 experiments. Part II: evaluation of historical simulations of intraseasonal to decadal variability
    (American Meteorological Society, 2013-12-01) Sheffield, Justin ; Camargo, Suzana J. ; Fu, Rong ; Hu, Qi ; Jiang, Xianan ; Johnson, Nathaniel ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Kim, Seon Tae ; Kinter, Jim ; Kumar, Sanjiv ; Langenbrunner, Baird ; Maloney, Eric ; Mariotti, Annarita ; Meyerson, Joyce E. ; Neelin, J. David ; Nigam, Sumant ; Pan, Zaitao ; Ruiz-Barradas, Alfredo ; Seager, Richard ; Serra, Yolande L. ; Sun, De-Zheng ; Wang, Chunzai ; Xie, Shang-Ping ; Yu, Jin-Yi ; Zhang, Tao ; Zhao, Ming
    This is the second part of a three-part paper on North American climate in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) that evaluates the twentieth-century simulations of intraseasonal to multidecadal variability and teleconnections with North American climate. Overall, the multimodel ensemble does reasonably well at reproducing observed variability in several aspects, but it does less well at capturing observed teleconnections, with implications for future projections examined in part three of this paper. In terms of intraseasonal variability, almost half of the models examined can reproduce observed variability in the eastern Pacific and most models capture the midsummer drought over Central America. The multimodel mean replicates the density of traveling tropical synoptic-scale disturbances but with large spread among the models. On the other hand, the coarse resolution of the models means that tropical cyclone frequencies are underpredicted in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific. The frequency and mean amplitude of ENSO are generally well reproduced, although teleconnections with North American climate are widely varying among models and only a few models can reproduce the east and central Pacific types of ENSO and connections with U.S. winter temperatures. The models capture the spatial pattern of Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) variability and its influence on continental temperature and West Coast precipitation but less well for the wintertime precipitation. The spatial representation of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) is reasonable, but the magnitude of SST anomalies and teleconnections are poorly reproduced. Multidecadal trends such as the warming hole over the central–southeastern United States and precipitation increases are not replicated by the models, suggesting that observed changes are linked to natural variability.
  • Dataset
    Coral and algae cover, coral richness, and coral diversity from coral reef sites sampled by small boats in the Palauan archipelago from 2011-2013
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact: bco-dmo-data@whoi.edu, 2019-12-30) Cohen, Anne L ; de Putron, Samantha J. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher ; McCorkle, Daniel C ; Tarrant, Ann M.
    Average coral and algae cover, coral richness, and coral diversity from 8 coral reef sites in Palau. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at: https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/520476
  • Dataset
    Seawater carbonate chemistry from 13 sites in Palau collected from small boats in the Palauan archipelago from 2011-2013
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact: bco-dmo-data@whoi.edu, 2019-11-14) Cohen, Anne L ; de Putron, Samantha J. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher ; McCorkle, Daniel C ; Tarrant, Ann M.
    Seawater carbonate chemistry from 13 sites in Palau collected from small boats in the Palauan archipelago from 2011-2013. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at: https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/489014
  • Article
    Bifurcation and upwelling of the equatorial undercurrent west of the Galapagos Archipelago
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-03-19) Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Todd, Robert E. ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Rudnick, Daniel L.
    The Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) encounters the Galápagos Archipelago on the equator as it flows eastward across the Pacific. The impact of the Galápagos Archipelago on the EUC in the eastern equatorial Pacific remains largely unknown. In this study, the path of the EUC as it reaches the Galápagos Archipelago is measured directly using high-resolution observations obtained by autonomous underwater gliders. Gliders were deployed along three lines that define a closed region with the Galápagos Archipelago as the eastern boundary and 93°W from 2°S to 2°N as the western boundary. Twelve transects were simultaneously occupied along the three lines during 52 days in April–May 2016. Analysis of individual glider transects and average sections along each line show that the EUC splits around the Galápagos Archipelago. Velocity normal to the transects is used to estimate net horizontal volume transport into the volume. Downward integration of the net horizontal transport profile provides an estimate of the time- and areal-averaged vertical velocity profile over the 52-day time period. Local maxima in vertical velocity occur at depths of 25 and 280 m with magnitudes of (1.7 ± 0.6) × 10−5 m s−1 and (8.0 ± 1.6) × 10−5 m s−1, respectively. Volume transport as a function of salinity indicates that water crossing 93°W south (north) of 0.4°S tends to flow around the south (north) side of the Galápagos Archipelago. Comparisons are made between previous observational and modeling studies with differences attributed to effects of the strong 2015/16 El Niño event, the annual cycle of local winds, and varying longitudes between studies of the equatorial Pacific.
  • Article
    The Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent in three generations of global climate models and glider observations
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-10-22) Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Jakoboski, Julie K. ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Owens, W. Brechner ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Todd, Robert E.
    The Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) is a vital component of the coupled ocean‐atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific. The details of its termination near the Galápagos Islands in the eastern Pacific have an outsized importance to regional circulation and ecosystems. Subject to diverse physical processes, the EUC is also a rigorous benchmark for global climate models (GCMs). Simulations of the EUC in three generations of GCMs are evaluated relative to recent underwater glider observations along 93°W. Simulations of the EUC have improved, but a slow bias of ~36% remains in the eastern Pacific, along with a dependence on resolution. Additionally, the westward surface current is too slow, and stratification is too strong (weak) by ~50% above (within) the EUC. These biases have implications for mixing in the equatorial cold tongue. Downstream lies the Galápagos, now resolved to varying degrees by GCMs. Properly representing the Galápagos is necessary to avoid new biases as the EUC improves.
  • Article
    The Equatorial Undercurrent and TAO sampling bias from a decade at SEA
    (American Meteorological Society, 2014-09) Leslie, William R. ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B.
    The NOAA Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) moored array has, for three decades, been a valuable resource for monitoring and forecasting El Niño–Southern Oscillation and understanding physical oceanographic as well as coupled processes in the tropical Pacific influencing global climate. Acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements by TAO moorings provide benchmarks for evaluating numerical simulations of subsurface circulation including the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC). Meanwhile, the Sea Education Association (SEA) has been collecting data during repeat cruises to the central equatorial Pacific Ocean (160°–126°W) throughout the past decade that provide useful cross validation and quantitative insight into the potential for stationary observing platforms such as TAO to incur sampling biases related to the strength of the EUC. This paper describes some essential sampling characteristics of the SEA dataset, compares SEA and TAO velocity measurements in the vicinity of the EUC, shares new insight into EUC characteristics and behavior only observable in repeat cross-equatorial sections, and estimates the sampling bias incurred by equatorial TAO moorings in their estimates of the velocity and transport of the EUC. The SEA high-resolution ADCP dataset compares well with concurrent TAO measurements (RMSE = 0.05 m s−1; R2 = 0.98), suggests that the EUC core meanders sinusoidally about the equator between ±0.4° latitude, and reveals a mean sampling bias of equatorial measurements (e.g., TAO) of the EUC’s zonal velocity of −0.14 ± 0.03 m s−1 as well as a ~10% underestimation of EUC volume transport. A bias-corrected monthly record and climatology of EUC strength at 140°W for 1990–2010 is presented.
  • Article
    Response of the North Pacific tropical cyclone climatology to global warming : application of dynamical downscaling to CMIP5 models
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-02-01) Zhang, Lei ; Karnauskas, Kristopher B. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Emanuel, Kerry A.
    A downscaling approach is applied to future projection simulations from four CMIP5 global climate models to investigate the response of the tropical cyclone (TC) climatology over the North Pacific basin to global warming. Under the influence of the anthropogenic rise in greenhouse gases, TC-track density, power dissipation, and TC genesis exhibit robust increasing trends over the North Pacific, especially over the central subtropical Pacific region. The increase in North Pacific TCs is primarily manifested as increases in the intense and relatively weak TCs. Examination of storm duration also reveals that TCs over the North Pacific have longer lifetimes under global warming. Through a genesis potential index, the mechanistic contributions of various physical climate factors to the simulated change in TC genesis are explored. More frequent TC genesis under global warming is mostly attributable to the smaller vertical wind shear and greater potential intensity (primarily due to higher sea surface temperature). In contrast, the effect of the saturation deficit of the free troposphere tends to suppress TC genesis, and the change in large-scale vorticity plays a negligible role.