Interannual Variability in Reanalyses

Submitted by hpaek on Wed, 10/24/2012 - 18:18

Paek, H. and H.-P. Huang (2012), A comparison of the interannual variability in atmospheric angular momentum and length-of-day using multiple reanalysis data sets, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D20102, doi:10.1029/2012JD018105

This study performs an intercomparison of the interannual variability of atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) in eight reanalysis datasets for the post-1979 era.  The AAM data are further cross validated with the independent observation of length-of-day (LOD). The intercomparison reveals a close agreement among almost all reanalysis datasets, except that the AAM computed from the 20th Century Reanalysis (20CR) has a noticeably lower correlation with LOD and with the AAM from other datasets.  This reduced correlation is related to the absence of coherent low-frequency variability, notably the Quasi-biennial Oscillation, in the stratospheric zonal wind in 20CR.  If the upper-level zonal wind in 20CR is replaced by its counterpart from a different reanalysis dataset, a higher value of the correlation is restored.  The correlation between the AAM and the Nino3.4 index of tropical Pacific SST is also computed for the reanalysis datasets. In this case, a close agreement is found among all, including 20CR, datasets. This indicates that the upward influence of SST on the tropospheric circulation is well captured by the data assimilation system of 20CR, which only explicitly incorporated the surface observations.  This study demonstrates the overall close agreement in the interannual variability of AAM among the reanalysis datasets.  This finding also reinforces the view expressed in a recent work by the authors that the most significant discrepancies among the reanalysis datasets are in the long-term mean and long-term trend. Paek and Huang 2012

   The time series of ∆LOD (red curve, converted to an equivalent ∆AAM using Eq. (3)) and ∆AAM (blue curve) from different reanalysis datasets: (a) NCEP R-1, (b) NCEP R-2, (c) CFSR, (d) 20CR, (e) ERA-40, (f) ERA-Interim, (g) JRA-25, and (h) MERRA. The time series of ∆Nino3.4 from HadISST is imposed as the green curve in panel (h). The units for ∆AAM and ∆Nino3.4 are 1025 kg m2 s-1 and 1 °C, respectively. The time series for ∆AAM in panel (e) is slightly shorter due to the shorter record of the ERA-40 dataset.

   The time series of ∆MR,STRAT for four selected reanalysis datasets including 20CR. (b) The original (dark blue) and the modified ∆AAM (light blue) for 20CR. The modified ∆AAM is calculated by replacing the zonal wind in the stratosphere by that from NCEP R-1. See text for detail.  The time series of ∆LOD (converted to an equivalent ∆AAM) is also shown as the red curve. The unit for ∆AAM is 1025 kg m2 s-1.

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