Kwon Young-Oh

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  • Preprint
    Stochastically-driven multidecadal variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in CCSM3
    ( 2011-02-02) Kwon, Young-Oh ; Frankignoul, Claude
    The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in the last 250 years of the 700-yearlong present-day control integration of the Community Climate System Model version 3 with T85 atmospheric resolution exhibits a red noise-like irregular multi-decadal variability with a persistence longer than 10 years, which markedly contrasts with the preceding ~300 years of very regular and stronger AMOC variability with ~20 year periodicity. The red noise-like multidecadal AMOC variability is primarily forced by the surface fluxes associated with stochastic changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that intensify and shift northward the deep convection in the Labrador Sea. However, the persistence of the AMOC and the associated oceanic anomalies that are directly forced by the NAO forcing does not exceed about 5 years. The additional persistence originates from anomalous horizontal advection and vertical mixing, which generate density anomalies on the continental shelf along the eastern boundary of the subpolar gyre. These anomalies are subsequently advected by the mean boundary current into the northern part of the Labrador Sea convection region, reinforcing the density changes directly forced by the NAO. As no evidence was found of a clear two-way coupling with the atmosphere, the multi-decadal AMOC variability in the last 250 years of the integration is an ocean-only response to stochastic NAO forcing with a delayed positive feedback caused by the changes in the horizontal ocean circulation.
  • Article
    Influence of the Kuroshio interannual variability on the summertime precipitation over the East China Sea and adjacent area
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-04-01) Gan, Bolan ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Joyce, Terrence M. ; Chen, Ke ; Wu, Lixin
    Much attention has been paid to the climatic impacts of changes in the Kuroshio Extension, instead of the Kuroshio in the East China Sea (ECS). This study, however, reveals the prominent influences of the lateral shift of the Kuroshio at interannual time scale in late spring [April–June (AMJ)] on the sea surface temperature (SST) and precipitation in summer around the ECS, based on high-resolution satellite observations and ERA-Interim. A persistent offshore displacement of the Kuroshio during AMJ can result in cold SST anomalies in the northern ECS and the Japan/East Sea until late summer, which correspondingly causes anomalous cooling of the lower troposphere. Consequently, the anomalous cold SST in the northern ECS acts as a key driver to robustly enhance the precipitation from the Yangtze River delta to Kyushu in early summer (May–August) and over the central ECS in late summer (July–September). In view of the moisture budget analysis, two different physical processes modulated by the lateral shift of the Kuroshio are identified to account for the distinct responses of precipitation in early and late summer, respectively. First, the anomalous cold SST in the northern ECS induced by the Kuroshio offshore shift is likely conducive to the earlier arrival of the mei-yu–baiu front at 30°–32°N and its subsequent slower northward movement, which may prolong the local rainy season, leading to the increased rain belt in early summer. Second, the persistent cold SST anomalies in late summer strengthen the near-surface baroclinicity and the associated strong atmospheric fronts embedded in the extratropical cyclones over the central ECS, which in turn enhances the local rainfall.
  • Preprint
    Coupled atmosphere–mixed layer ocean response to ocean heat flux convergence along the Kuroshio Current Extension
    ( 2010-01-28) Kwon, Young-Oh ; Deser, Clara ; Cassou, Christophe
    The winter response of the coupled atmosphere-ocean mixed layer system to anomalous geostrophic ocean heat flux convergence in the Kuroshio Extension is investigated by means of experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to an entraining ocean mixed layer model in the extra-tropics. The direct response consists of positive SST anomalies along the Kuroshio Extension and a baroclinic (low-level trough and upper-level ridge) circulation anomaly over the North Pacific. The low-level component of this atmospheric circulation response is weaker in the case without coupling to an extratropical ocean mixed layer, especially in late winter. The inclusion of an interactive mixed layer in the tropics modifies the direct coupled atmospheric response due to a northward displacement of the Pacific Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone which drives an equivalent barotropic anomalous ridge over the North Pacific. Although the tropically-driven component of the North Pacific atmospheric circulation response is comparable to the direct response in terms of sea level pressure amplitude, it is less important in terms of wind stress curl amplitude due to the mitigating effect of the relatively broad spatial scale of the tropically-forced atmospheric teleconnection.
  • Article
    Impact of multidecadal variability in Atlantic SST on winter atmospheric blocking
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-12-31) Kwon, Young-Oh ; Seo, Hyodae ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Joyce, Terrence M.
    Recent studies have suggested that coherent multidecadal variability exists between North Atlantic atmospheric blocking frequency and the Atlantic multidecadal variability (AMV). However, the role of AMV in modulating blocking variability on multidecadal times scales is not fully understood. This study examines this issue primarily using the NOAA Twentieth Century Reanalysis for 1901–2010. The second mode of the empirical orthogonal function for winter (December–March) atmospheric blocking variability in the North Atlantic exhibits oppositely signed anomalies of blocking frequency over Greenland and the Azores. Furthermore, its principal component time series shows a dominant multidecadal variability lagging AMV by several years. Composite analyses show that this lag is due to the slow evolution of the AMV sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, which is likely driven by the ocean circulation. Following the warm phase of AMV, the warm SST anomalies emerge in the western subpolar gyre over 3–7 years. The ocean–atmosphere interaction over these 3–7-yr periods is characterized by the damping of the warm SST anomalies by the surface heat flux anomalies, which in turn reduce the overall meridional gradient of the air temperature and thus weaken the meridional transient eddy heat flux in the lower troposphere. The anomalous transient eddy forcing then shifts the eddy-driven jet equatorward, resulting in enhanced Rossby wave breaking and blocking on the northern flank of the jet over Greenland. The opposite is true with the AMV cold phases but with much shorter lags, as the evolution of SST anomalies differs in the warm and cold phases.
  • Article
    Influence of the meridional shifts of the Kuroshio and the Oyashio Extensions on the atmospheric circulation
    (American Meteorological Society, 2011-02-01) Frankignoul, Claude ; Sennechael, Nathalie ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Alexander, Michael A.
    The meridional shifts of the Oyashio Extension (OE) and of the Kuroshio Extension (KE), as derived from high-resolution monthly sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in 1982–2008 and historical temperature profiles in 1979–2007, respectively, are shown based on lagged regression analysis to significantly influence the large-scale atmospheric circulation. The signals are independent from the ENSO teleconnections, which were removed by seasonally varying, asymmetric regression onto the first three principal components of the tropical Pacific SST anomalies. The response to the meridional shifts of the OE front is equivalent barotropic and broadly resembles the North Pacific Oscillation/western Pacific pattern in a positive phase for a northward frontal displacement. The response may reach 35 m at 250 hPa for a typical OE shift, a strong sensitivity since the associated SST anomaly is 0.5 K. However, the amplitude, but not the pattern or statistical significance, strongly depends on the lag and an assumed 2-month atmospheric response time. The response is stronger during fall and winter and when the front is displaced southward. The response to the northward KE shifts primarily consists of a high centered in the northwestern North Pacific and hemispheric teleconnections. The response is also equivalent barotropic, except near Kamchatka, where it tilts slightly westward with height. The typical amplitude is half as large as that associated with OE shifts.
  • Article
    Influences of Pacific climate variability on decadal subsurface ocean heat content variations in the Indian Ocean
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-04-30) Jin, Xiaolin ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Seo, Hyodae ; Schwarzkopf, Franziska U. ; Biastoch, Arne ; Böning, Claus W. ; Wright, Jonathon S.
    Decadal variabilities in Indian Ocean subsurface ocean heat content (OHC; 50–300 m) since the 1950s are examined using ocean reanalyses. This study elaborates on how Pacific variability modulates the Indian Ocean on decadal time scales through both oceanic and atmospheric pathways. High correlations between OHC and thermocline depth variations across the entire Indian Ocean Basin suggest that OHC variability is primarily driven by thermocline fluctuations. The spatial pattern of the leading mode of decadal Indian Ocean OHC variability closely matches the regression pattern of OHC on the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), emphasizing the role of the Pacific Ocean in determining Indian Ocean OHC decadal variability. Further analyses identify different mechanisms by which the Pacific influences the eastern and western Indian Ocean. IPO-related anomalies from the Pacific propagate mainly through oceanic pathways in the Maritime Continent to impact the eastern Indian Ocean. By contrast, in the western Indian Ocean, the IPO induces wind-driven Ekman pumping in the central Indian Ocean via the atmospheric bridge, which in turn modifies conditions in the southwestern Indian Ocean via westward-propagating Rossby waves. To confirm this, a linear Rossby wave model is forced with wind stresses and eastern boundary conditions based on reanalyses. This linear model skillfully reproduces observed sea surface height anomalies and highlights both the oceanic connection in the eastern Indian Ocean and the role of wind-driven Ekman pumping in the west. These findings are also reproduced by OGCM hindcast experiments forced by interannual atmospheric boundary conditions applied only over the Pacific and Indian Oceans, respectively.
  • Article
    Variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in CCSM4
    (American Meteorological Society, 2012-08-01) Danabasoglu, Gokhan ; Yeager, Stephen G. ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Tribbia, Joseph J. ; Phillips, Adam S. ; Hurrell, James W.
    Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) variability is documented in the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) preindustrial control simulation that uses nominal 1° horizontal resolution in all its components. AMOC shows a broad spectrum of low-frequency variability covering the 50–200-yr range, contrasting sharply with the multidecadal variability seen in the T85 × 1 resolution CCSM3 present-day control simulation. Furthermore, the amplitude of variability is much reduced in CCSM4 compared to that of CCSM3. Similarities as well as differences in AMOC variability mechanisms between CCSM3 and CCSM4 are discussed. As in CCSM3, the CCSM4 AMOC variability is primarily driven by the positive density anomalies at the Labrador Sea (LS) deep-water formation site, peaking 2 yr prior to an AMOC maximum. All processes, including parameterized mesoscale and submesoscale eddies, play a role in the creation of salinity anomalies that dominate these density anomalies. High Nordic Sea densities do not necessarily lead to increased overflow transports because the overflow physics is governed by source and interior region density differences. Increased overflow transports do not lead to a higher AMOC either but instead appear to be a precursor to lower AMOC transports through enhanced stratification in LS. This has important implications for decadal prediction studies. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is significantly correlated with the positive boundary layer depth and density anomalies prior to an AMOC maximum. This suggests a role for NAO through setting the surface flux anomalies in LS and affecting the subpolar gyre circulation strength.
  • Article
    The fate of North Atlantic Subtropical Mode Water in the FLAME model
    (American Meteorological Society, 2014-05) Gary, Stefan F. ; Lozier, M. Susan ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Park, Jong Jin
    North Atlantic Subtropical Mode Water, also known as Eighteen Degree Water (EDW), has the potential to store heat anomalies through its seasonal cycle: the water mass is in contact with the atmosphere in winter, isolated from the surface for the rest of the year, and reexposed the following winter. Though there has been recent progress in understanding EDW formation processes, an understanding of the fate of EDW following formation remains nascent. Here, particles are launched within the EDW of an eddy-resolving model, and their fate is tracked as they move away from the formation region. Particles in EDW have an average residence time of ~10 months, they follow the large-scale circulation around the subtropical gyre, and stratification is the dominant criteria governing the exit of particles from EDW. After sinking into the layers beneath EDW, particles are eventually exported to the subpolar gyre. The spreading of particles is consistent with the large-scale potential vorticity field, and there are signs of a possible eddy-driven mean flow in the southern portion of the EDW domain. The authors also show that property anomalies along particle trajectories have an average integral time scale of ~3 months for particles that are in EDW and ~2 months for particles out of EDW. Finally, it is shown that the EDW turnover time for the model in an Eulerian frame (~3 yr) is consistent with the turnover time computed from the Lagrangian particles provided that the effects of exchange between EDW and the surrounding waters are included.
  • Article
    Long-term SST variability on the Northwest Atlantic continental shelf and slope
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-01-06) Chen, Zhuomin ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Chen, Ke ; Fratantoni, Paula S. ; Gawarkiewicz, Glen G. ; Joyce, Terrence M.
    The meridional coherence, connectivity, and regional inhomogeneity in long‐term sea surface temperature (SST) variability over the Northwest Atlantic continental shelf and slope from 1982–2018 are investigated using observational data sets. A meridionally concurrent large SST warming trend is identified as the dominant signal over the length of the continental shelf and slope between Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and Cape Chidley, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The linear trends are 0.37 ± 0.06 and 0.39 ± 0.06 °C/decade for the shelf and slope regions, respectively. These meridionally averaged SST time series over the shelf and slope are consistent with each other and across multiple longer observational data sets with records dating back to 1900. The coherence between the long‐term meridionally averaged time series over the shelf and slope and basin‐wide averaged SST in the North Atlantic implies approximately two thirds of the warming trend during 1982–2018 may be attributed to natural climate variability and the rest to externally forced change including anthropogenic warming.
  • Article
    Wintertime atmospheric response to North Atlantic Ocean circulation variability in a climate model
    (American Meteorological Society, 2015-10-01) Frankignoul, Claude ; Gastineau, Guillaume ; Kwon, Young-Oh
    Maximum covariance analysis of a preindustrial control simulation of the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4), shows that a barotropic signal in winter broadly resembling a negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) follows an intensification of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) by about 7 yr. The delay is due to the cyclonic propagation along the North Atlantic Current (NAC) and the subpolar gyre of a SST warming linked to a northward shift and intensification of the NAC, together with an increasing SST cooling linked to increasing southward advection of subpolar water along the western boundary and a southward shift of the Gulf Stream (GS). These changes result in a meridional SST dipole, which follows the AMOC intensification after 6 or 7 yr. The SST changes were initiated by the strengthening of the western subpolar gyre and by bottom torque at the crossover of the deep branches of the AMOC with the NAC on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the GS near the Tail of the Grand Banks, respectively. The heat flux damping of the SST dipole shifts the region of maximum atmospheric transient eddy growth southward, leading to a negative NAO-like response. No significant atmospheric response is found to the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO), which is broadly realistic but shifted south and associated with a much weaker meridional SST gradient than the AMOC fingerprint. Nonetheless, the wintertime atmospheric response to the AMOC shows some similarity with the observed response to the AMO, suggesting that the ocean–atmosphere interactions are broadly realistic in CCSM4.
  • Article
    On the relationship between synoptic wintertime atmospheric variability and path shifts in the Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio Extension
    (American Meteorological Society, 2009-06-15) Joyce, Terrence M. ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Yu, Lisan
    Coherent, large-scale shifts in the paths of the Gulf Stream (GS) and the Kuroshio Extension (KE) occur on interannual to decadal time scales. Attention has usually been drawn to causes for these shifts in the overlying atmosphere, with some built-in delay of up to a few years resulting from propagation of wind-forced variability within the ocean. However, these shifts in the latitudes of separated western boundary currents can cause substantial changes in SST, which may influence the synoptic atmospheric variability with little or no time delay. Various measures of wintertime atmospheric variability in the synoptic band (2–8 days) are examined using a relatively new dataset for air–sea exchange [Objectively Analyzed Air–Sea Fluxes (OAFlux)] and subsurface temperature indices of the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio path that are insulated from direct air–sea exchange, and therefore are preferable to SST. Significant changes are found in the atmospheric variability following changes in the paths of these currents, sometimes in a local fashion such as meridional shifts in measures of local storm tracks, and sometimes in nonlocal, broad regions coincident with and downstream of the oceanic forcing. Differences between the North Pacific (KE) and North Atlantic (GS) may be partly related to the more zonal orientation of the KE and the stronger SST signals of the GS, but could also be due to differences in mean storm-track characteristics over the North Pacific and North Atlantic.
  • Preprint
    Silver hake tracks changes in Northwest Atlantic circulation
    ( 2011-07) Nye, Janet A. ; Joyce, Terrence M. ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Link, Jason S.
    Recent studies documenting shifts in spatial distribution of many organisms in response to a warming climate highlight the need to understand the mechanisms underlying species distribution at large spatial scales. Here we present one noteworthy example of remote oceanographic processes governing the spatial distribution of adult silver hake, Merluccius bilinearis, a commercially important fish in the Northeast US shelf region. Changes in spatial distribution of silver hake over the last 40 years are highly correlated with the position of the Gulf Stream (GS). These changes in distribution are in direct response to local changes in bottom temperature on the continental shelf that are responding to the same large scale circulation change affecting the GS path, namely changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). If AMOC weakens as is suggested by global climate models, silver hake distribution will remain in a poleward position, the extent to which could be forecast at both decadal and multidecadal scales.
  • Article
    Influence of the decadal variability of the Kuroshio Extension on the atmospheric circulation in the cold season
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-03-23) Revelard, Adèle ; Frankignoul, Claude ; Sennechael, Nathalie ; Kwon, Young-Oh
    The atmospheric response to the Kuroshio Extension (KE) variability during 1979–2012 is investigated using a KE index derived from sea surface height measurements and an eddy-resolving ocean general circulation model hindcast. When the index is positive, the KE is in the stable state, strengthened and shifted northward, with lower eddy kinetic energy, and the Kuroshio–Oyashio Extension (KOE) region is anomalously warm. The reverse holds when the index is negative. Regression analysis shows that there is a coherent atmospheric response to the decadal KE fluctuations between October and January. The KOE warming generates an upward surface heat flux that leads to local ascending motions and a northeastward shift of the zones of maximum baroclinicity, eddy heat and moisture fluxes, and the storm track. The atmospheric response consists of an equivalent barotropic large-scale signal, with a downstream high and a low over the Arctic. The heating and transient eddy anomalies excite stationary Rossby waves that propagate the signal poleward and eastward. There is a warming typically exceeding 0.6 K at 900 hPa over eastern Asia and western United States, which reduces the snow cover by 4%–6%. One month later, in November–February, a high appears over northwestern Europe, and the hemispheric teleconnection bears some similarity with the Arctic Oscillation. Composite analysis shows that the atmospheric response primarily occurs during the stable state of the KE, while no evidence of a significant large-scale atmospheric response is found in the unstable state. Arguments are given to explain this strong asymmetry.
  • Article
    Investigating the local atmospheric response to a realistic shift in the Oyashio Sea surface Temperature Front
    (American Meteorological Society, 2015-02-01) Smirnov, Dimitry ; Newman, Matthew ; Alexander, Michael A. ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Frankignoul, Claude
    The local atmospheric response to a realistic shift of the Oyashio Extension SST front in the western North Pacific is analyzed using a high-resolution (HR; 0.25°) version of the global Community Atmosphere Model, version 5 (CAM5). A northward shift in the SST front causes an atmospheric response consisting of a weak surface wind anomaly but a strong vertical circulation extending throughout the troposphere. In the lower troposphere, most of the SST anomaly–induced diabatic heating is balanced by poleward transient eddy heat and moisture fluxes. Collectively, this response differs from the circulation suggested by linear dynamics, where extratropical SST forcing produces shallow anomalous heating balanced by strong equatorward cold air advection driven by an anomalous, stationary surface low to the east. This latter response, however, is obtained by repeating the same experiment except using a relatively low-resolution (LR; 1°) version of CAM5. Comparison to observations suggests that the HR response is closer to nature than the LR response. Strikingly, HR and LR experiments have almost identical vertical profiles of . However, diagnosis of the diabatic quasigeostrophic vertical pressure velocity (ω) budget reveals that HR has a substantially stronger response, which together with upper-level mean differential thermal advection balances stronger vertical motion. The results herein suggest that changes in transient eddy heat and moisture fluxes are critical to the overall local atmospheric response to Oyashio Front anomalies, which may consequently yield a stronger downstream response. These changes may require the high resolution to be fully reproduced, warranting further experiments of this type with other high-resolution atmosphere-only and fully coupled GCMs.
  • Article
    On the predominant nonlinear response of the extratropical atmosphere to meridional shifts of the Gulf Stream
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-11-07) Seo, Hyodae ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Joyce, Terrence M. ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C.
    The North Atlantic atmospheric circulation response to the meridional shifts of the Gulf Stream (GS) path is examined using a large ensemble of high-resolution hemispheric-scale Weather Research and Forecasting Model simulations. The model is forced with a broad range of wintertime sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies derived from a lag regression on a GS index. The primary result of the model experiments, supported in part by an independent analysis of a reanalysis dataset, is that the large-scale quasi-steady North Atlantic circulation response is remarkably nonlinear about the sign and amplitude of the SST anomaly chosen over a wide range of GS shift scenarios. The nonlinear response prevails over the weak linear response and resembles the negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the leading intrinsic mode of variability in the model and the observations. Further analysis of the associated dynamics reveals that the nonlinear responses are accompanied by the shift of the North Atlantic eddy-driven jet, which is reinforced, with nearly equal importance, by the high-frequency transient eddy feedback and the low-frequency wave-breaking events. Additional sensitivity simulations confirm that the nonlinearity of the circulation response is a robust feature found over the broad parameter space encompassing not only the varied SST but also the absence/presence of tropical influence, the varying lateral boundary conditions, and the initialization scheme. The result highlights the fundamental importance of the intrinsically nonlinear transient eddy dynamics and the eddy–mean flow interactions in generating the nonlinear downstream response to the meridional shifts in the Gulf Stream.
  • Article
    Mixed layer depth climatology over the northeast US continental shelf (1993-2018)
    (Elsevier, 2021-11-17) Cai, Cassia ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Chen, Zhuomin ; Fratantoni, Paula S.
    The Northeast U.S. (NEUS) continental shelf has experienced rapid warming in recent decades. Over the NEUS continental shelf, the circulation and annual cycle of heating and cooling lead to local variability of water properties. The mixed layer depth (MLD) is a key factor that determines the amount of upper ocean warming. A detailed description of the MLD, particularly its seasonal cycle and spatial patterns, has not been developed for the NEUS continental shelf. We compute the MLD using an observational dataset from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center hydrographic monitoring program. The MLD exhibits clear seasonal cycles across five eco-regions on the NEUS continental shelf, with maxima in January–March and minima in July or August. The seasonal cycle is largest in the western Gulf of Maine (71.9 ± 24.4 m), and smallest in the southern Mid-Atlantic Bight (34.0 ± 7.3 m). Spatial variations are seasonally dependent, with greatest homogeneity in summer. Interannual variability dominates long-term linear trends in most regions and seasons. To evaluate the sensitivity of our results, we compare the MLDs calculated using a 0.03 kg/m3 density threshold with those using a 0.2 °C temperature threshold. Temperature-based MLDs are generally consistent with density-based MLDs, although a small number of temperature-based MLDs are biased deep compared to density-based MLDs particularly in spring and fall. Finally, we compare observational MLDs to the MLDs from a high-resolution ocean reanalysis GLORYS12V1. While the mean values of GLORYS12V1 MLDs compare well with the observed MLDs, their interannual variability are not highly correlated, particularly in summer. These results can be a starting point for future studies on the drivers of temporal and spatial MLD variability on the NEUS continental shelf.
  • Article
    Estimation of the SST response to anthropogenic and external forcing and its impact on the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and the Pacific decadal oscillation
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-11-16) Frankignoul, Claude ; Gastineau, Guillaume ; Kwon, Young-Oh
    Two large ensembles (LEs) of historical climate simulations are used to compare how various statistical methods estimate the sea surface temperature (SST) changes due to anthropogenic and other external forcing, and how their removal affects the internally generated Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO), Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), and the SST footprint of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Removing the forced SST signal by subtracting the global mean SST (GM) or a linear regression on it (REGR) leads to large errors in the Pacific. Multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition (MEEMD) and quadratic detrending only efficiently remove the forced SST signal in one LE, and cannot separate the short-term response to volcanic eruptions from natural SST variations. Removing a linear trend works poorly. Two methods based on linear inverse modeling (LIM), one where the leading LIM mode represents the forced signal and another using an optimal perturbation filter (LIMopt), perform consistently well. However, the first two LIM modes are sometimes needed to represent the forced signal, so the more robust LIMopt is recommended. In both LEs, the natural AMO variability seems largely driven by the AMOC in the subpolar North Atlantic, but not in the subtropics and tropics, and the scatter in the AMOC–AMO correlation is large between individual ensemble members. In three observational SST reconstructions for 1900–2015, linear and quadratic detrending, MEEMD, and GM yield somewhat different AMO behavior, and REGR yields smaller PDO amplitudes. Based on LIMopt, only about 30% of the AMO variability is internally generated, as opposed to more than 90% for the PDO. The natural SST variability contribution to global warming hiatus is discussed.
  • Article
    An enhancement of low-frequency variability in the Kuroshio–Oyashio Extension in CCSM3 owing to ocean model biases
    (American Meteorological Society, 2010-12-01) Thompson, LuAnne ; Kwon, Young-Oh
    Enhanced decadal variability in sea surface temperature (SST) centered on the Kuroshio Extension (KE) has been found in the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3) as well as in other coupled climate models. This decadal peak has higher energy than is found in nature, almost twice as large in some cases. While previous analyses have concentrated on the mechanisms for such decadal variability in coupled models, an analysis of the causes of excessive SST response to changes in wind stress has been missing. Here, a detailed comparison of the relationships between interannual changes in SST and sea surface height (SSH) as a proxy for geostrophic surface currents in the region in both CCSM3 and observations, and how these relationships depend on the mean ocean circulation, temperature, and salinity, is made. We use observationally based climatological temperature and salinity fields as well as satellite-based SSH and SST fields for comparison. The primary cause for the excessive SST variability is the coincidence of the mean KE with the region of largest SST gradients in the model. In observations, these two regions are separated by almost 500 km. In addition, the too shallow surface oceanic mixed layer in March north of the KE in the subarctic Pacific contributes to the biases. These biases are not unique to CCSM3 and suggest that mean biases in current, temperature, and salinity structures in separated western boundary current regions can exert a large influence on the size of modeled decadal SST variability.
  • Article
    Oceanic moisture sources contributing to wintertime Euro-Atlantic blocking
    (Copernicus Publications, 2021-08-31) Yamamoto, Ayako ; Nonaka, Masami ; Martineau, Patrick ; Yamazaki, Akira ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Nakamura, Hisashi ; Taguchi, Bunmei
    Although conventionally attributed to dry dynamics, increasing evidence points to a key role of moist dynamics in the formation and maintenance of blocking events. The source of moisture crucial for these processes, however, remains elusive. In this study, we identify the moisture sources responsible for latent heating associated with the wintertime Euro-Atlantic blocking events detected over 31 years (1979–2010). To this end, we track atmospheric particles backward in time from the blocking centres for a period of 10 d using an offline Lagrangian dispersion model applied to atmospheric reanalysis data. The analysis reveals that 28 %–55 % of particles gain heat and moisture from the ocean over the course of 10 d, with higher percentages for the lower altitudes from which particles are released. Via large-scale ascent, these moist particles transport low-potential-vorticity (PV) air of low-altitude, low-latitude origins into the upper troposphere, where the amplitude of blocking is the most prominent, in agreement with previous studies. The PV of these moist particles remains significantly lower compared to their dry counterparts throughout the course of 10 d, preferentially constituting blocking cores. Further analysis reveals that approximately two-thirds of the moist particles source their moisture locally from the Atlantic, while the remaining one-third of moist particles source it from the Pacific. There is also a small fraction of moist particles that take up moisture from both the Pacific and Atlantic basins, which undergo a large-scale uplift over the Atlantic using moisture picked up over both basins. The Gulf Stream and Kuroshio and their extensions as well as the eastern Pacific northeast of Hawaii not only provide heat and moisture to moist particles but also act as “springboards” for their large-scale, cross-isentropic ascent, where its extent strongly depends on the humidity content at the time of the ascent. While the particles of Atlantic origin swiftly ascend just before their arrival at blocking, those of Pacific origin begin their ascent a few days earlier, after which they carry low-PV air in the upper troposphere while undergoing radiative cooling just as dry particles. A previous study identified a blocking maintenance mechanism, whereby low-PV air is selectively absorbed into blocking systems to prolong blocking lifetime. As they used an isentropic trajectory analysis, this mechanism was regarded as a dry process. We found that these moist particles that are fuelled over the Pacific can also act to maintain blocks in the same manner, revealing that what appears to be a blocking maintenance mechanism governed by dry dynamics alone can, in fact, be of moist origin.
  • Article
    Impacts of Arctic sea ice on cold season atmospheric variability and trends estimated from observations and a multimodel large ensemble
    (American Meteorological Society, 2021-09-24) Liang, Yu-Chiao ; Frankignoul, Claude ; Kwon, Young-Oh ; Gastineau, Guillaume ; Manzini, Elisa ; Danabasoglu, Gokhan ; Suo, Lingling ; Yeager, Stephen G. ; Gao, Yongqi ; Attema, Jisk J. ; Cherchi, Annalisa ; Ghosh, Rohit ; Matei, Daniela ; Mecking, Jennifer V. ; Tian, Tian ; Zhang, Ying
    To examine the atmospheric responses to Arctic sea ice variability in the Northern Hemisphere cold season (from October to the following March), this study uses a coordinated set of large-ensemble experiments of nine atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) forced with observed daily varying sea ice, sea surface temperature, and radiative forcings prescribed during the 1979–2014 period, together with a parallel set of experiments where Arctic sea ice is substituted by its climatology. The simulations of the former set reproduce the near-surface temperature trends in reanalysis data, with similar amplitude, and their multimodel ensemble mean (MMEM) shows decreasing sea level pressure over much of the polar cap and Eurasia in boreal autumn. The MMEM difference between the two experiments allows isolating the effects of Arctic sea ice loss, which explain a large portion of the Arctic warming trends in the lower troposphere and drive a small but statistically significant weakening of the wintertime Arctic Oscillation. The observed interannual covariability between sea ice extent in the Barents–Kara Seas and lagged atmospheric circulation is distinguished from the effects of confounding factors based on multiple regression, and quantitatively compared to the covariability in MMEMs. The interannual sea ice decline followed by a negative North Atlantic Oscillation–like anomaly found in observations is also seen in the MMEM differences, with consistent spatial structure but much smaller amplitude. This result suggests that the sea ice impacts on trends and interannual atmospheric variability simulated by AGCMs could be underestimated, but caution is needed because internal atmospheric variability may have affected the observed relationship.