In recent years, the Arctic has become a subject of special interest due to the drastic effect of climate change over the region. Despite that there are several mechanisms that influence the Arctic region; some recent studies have suggested significant influences of moisture transport over the observed loss of sea ice. Moisture transport can affect the region in different ways: direct precipitation over the region, radiative effect from the cloud cover and through the release of latent heat. Atmospheric rivers (ARs) represent one of the main events involved in moisture transport from the tropics to the mid-latitudes and despite having been shown especially relevant on the northward advection, their effect over the Arctic has not been deeply investigated. The aim of this work was to establish the groundwork for future studies about the effect of ARs linked to moisture transport over the Arctic region. For this purpose, an automated algorithm was used to identify regions of maximum AR occurrence over the Arctic. This was done by analysing the number of AR detections every month over a band of 10° of latitude centred on 60° N. The Lagrangian model FLEXPART was used to find the areas where the ARs take their moisture to the Arctic. Using this model, the anomalous moisture contribution to these baroclinic structures was analysed taking into account only the dates of AR occurrence. From the results, it appears that the main moisture sources for AR events extend over the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans; moreover, the local input of moisture over the region of maximum AR occurrence seems to be especially relevant. In general terms, moisture comes from major evaporative areas over the western part of the oceanic regions in the band between 30° and 40° N for most months in the year, showing a continental origin in the summer months. This behaviour agrees with the climatological moisture transport into the Arctic determined in previous studies. However, in special association with AR events, an intensification of local moisture uptake is observed over the area of maximum AR activity and nearby. The study of the origin of this moisture and associated anomalies for Arctic ARs is an important step in the analysis of the effect of these structures on the Arctic environment.
The Role of Moisture Sources and Climatic Teleconnections in Northeastern and South-Central Iran’s Hydro-ClimatologyPublished: 31 October 2018 by MDPI in Water
Iran faces climate disparities due to extreme topographic anomalies, the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf water bodies, influences from diverse air masses and moisture sources, and its considerable area. FLEXPART model has been utilized to determine the main marine and continental moisture sources for south-central (Shiraz box) and northeastern (Mashhad box) parts of Iran. The marine moisture sources directly influenced extreme drought and wet conditions in Shiraz and Mashhad boxes during the wet period, while no correlation was observed during the dry period. In addition to local components, extreme drought and wet conditions have also been influenced by the climatic teleconnections. Extreme drought conditions mainly occurred during the La Niña phase, while wet conditions mainly occurred during the El Niño phase. Scrutinizing the effect of marine moisture sources on the hydrology of water resources demonstrated that the moisture contribution from the Arabian Sea directly influenced the discharges of Chenar-rahdar (in the Shiraz box) and Kardeh (in the Mashhad box) rivers during the wet period. However, the Red Sea inversely correlated with the discharges of both rivers during the dry period. Hydrogeologists, hydrologists, and meteorologists can utilize the outputs of this survey to develop climatology and hydrology models in the future.
Low-Level Jets (LLJs) can be defined as filamentous wind corridors of anomalously high wind speed values located within the first km of the troposphere. These structures, together with atmospheric rivers (ARs), are the major meteorological systems in the meridional transport of moisture on a global scale. In this work, we focus on the Great Plains low-level jet, which plays an important role in the moisture transport balance over the central United States. The Gulf of Mexico is the main moisture source for the GPLLJ, which has been identified as a key factor for rainfall modulation over the eastern and central US. The relationship between moisture transport from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Plains and precipitation is well documented in previous studies. Nevertheless, a large uncertainty still remains in the quantification of the moisture amount actually carried by the GPLLJ. The main goal of this work is to address this question. For this purpose, a relatively new tool, the regional atmospheric Weather Research and Forecasting Model with 3D water vapour tracers (WRF-TT, Insua-Costa and Miguez-Macho, 2018) is used together with the Lagrangian model FLEXPART to estimate the load of precipitable water advected within the GPLLJ. From a climatology of jet intensity over a 37-year period (Rife et al., 2010), which follows a Gaussian distribution, we select for study 5 cases representing the mean, and one and two standard deviations above and below it. Results show that the jet is responsible for roughly 70%&ndash;80% of the moisture transport occurring in the southern Great Plains when a jet event occurs. Furthermore, moisture transport by the GPLLJ extends to the northeast US, accounting for 50% of the total in areas near the Great Lakes. Vertical distributions show the maximum of moisture advected by the GPLLJ at surface levels and maximum values of moisture flux about 500 m above, in coincidence with the wind speed profile.
Radiosonde measurements from the 1930s to present give unique information on the distribution and variability of water vapor in the troposphere. The sounding data compiled in the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) Version 2 (released by the NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information) are examined here until the end of 2016, aiming to describe the completeness of humidity observations from radiosondes in different times and locations. The IGRA stations reporting radiosonde data in at least 5% of the annual soundings for at least one year are evaluated according to specified completeness parameters for every year in their period of record. The selection of source data essentially removes pilot-balloon sites, retaining a set of 1723 stations (designated IGRA-RS), including 1300 WMO upper-air stations, of which 178 belong to the current GUAN network. Completeness of humidity observations (either relative humidity or dewpoint-depression) for a radiosonde station and a full year is defined by: the number of humidity soundings; the fraction of days having humidity data; the mean vertical resolution of humidity data; the mean atmospheric pressure and altitude at the highest measuring level; and the maximum number of consecutive days without humidity data. The completeness of the observations qualified for calculating precipitable water vapor &ndash; i.e., having adequate vertical sampling between the surface and 500hPa &ndash; is particularly studied. Individual soundings are described by the (vertically averaged) vertical resolution and the pressure level and altitude of the top of humidity measurements. For illustration, the study presents a global picture of the completeness of radiosonde humidity observations over the years, including their latitudinal coverage. This overview shows that the number of radiosonde stations having a long enough record length for studies on the climatic variability and trends of humidity-related quantities depends critically on the temporal continuity, regularity and vertical sampling of the humidity time-series. It is hoped that the derived metadata will help climate and environmental scientists to find the most appropriate radiosonde data for humidity studies by selecting upper-air stations, observing years or individual soundings according to various completeness criteria &ndash; even if differences in instrumentation and observing practices require extra attention. A dataset is presented for that purpose, consisting of two main sub-sets: 1) humidity metadata for each of the IGRA-RS stations and year within the period of record (yearly metadata); and 2) humidity metadata for individual observations from the same stations (ascent metadata). These are complemented by 3) a list of the stations represented in the dataset, along with the observing periods for humidity and the corresponding counts of observations. The dataset is to be updated on a two-year basis, starting in 2019, and is...
From Amazonia to southern Africa: atmospheric moisture transport through low-level jets and atmospheric riversPublished: 18 September 2018 by Wiley in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
A Lagrangian analysis is applied to identify the main moisture source areas associated with atmospheric rivers (ARs) making landfall along the west coast of South Africa during the extended austral winter months from 1980 to 2014. The results show that areas that provide the anomalous uptake of moisture can be categorized into four regions: (1) the South Atlantic Ocean between 10°S and 30°S, (2) a clear local maximum in the eastern South Atlantic, (3) a continental source of anomalous uptake to the north of the Western Cape, and (4) over South America at a distance of more than 7000 km from the target region. It emerges that the South American moisture source can be linked to a particular phase of the South American low‐level jet, known as a no Chaco jet event (NCJE), which transports moisture to the western and central South Atlantic basin. Concisely, we provide strong evidence that the two margins of the South Atlantic Ocean appear connected by two meteorological structures, with the NCJE playing a key role of transporting moisture from South America to the western and central South Atlantic basin, feeding the AR that transports some of the moisture to the west coast of South Africa.
The role of moisture transport for precipitation on the interannual and inter-daily fluctuations of the arctic sea ice e...Published: 11 September 2018 by Copernicus GmbH in Earth System Dynamics Discussions
By considering the moisture transport for precipitation (MTP) for a target region to be the moisture that arrives in this region from its major moisture sources and which then results in precipitation in that region, we explore i) whether the MTP from the main moisture sources for the Arctic region is linked with interannual fluctuations in the extent of Arctic Sea ice superimposed on its decline and ii) the role of extreme MTP events in the inter-daily change of the Arctic Sea Ice Extent (SIE) when extreme MTP simultaneously arrives from the four main moisture regions that supply it. The results suggest 1) that ice-melting at the scale of interannual fluctuations against the trend is favoured by an increase in moisture transport in summer, autumn, and winter, and a decrease in spring and, 2) on a daily basis, extreme humidity transport increases the formation of ice in winter and decreases it in spring, summer and autumn; in these 3 seasons it therefore contributes to Arctic Sea Ice Melting. These patterns differ sharply from that linked to the decline, especially in summer when the opposite trend applies.
Contribution of Moisture from Mediterranean Sea to Extreme Precipitation Events over Danube River BasinPublished: 04 September 2018 by MDPI in Water
In the most recent decades, central Europe and the Danube River Basin area have been affected by an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme daily rainfall, which has resulted in the more frequent occurrence of significant flood events. This study characterised the link between moisture from the Mediterranean Sea and extreme precipitation events, with varying lengths that were recorded over the Danube River basin between 1981 and 2015, and ranked the events with respect to the different time scales. The contribution of the Mediterranean Sea to the detected extreme precipitation events was then estimated using the Lagrangian FLEXPART dispersion model. Experiments were modelled in its forward mode, and particles leaving the Mediterranean Sea were tracked for a period of time determined with respect to the length of the extreme event. The top 100 extreme events in the ranking with durations of 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days were analysed, and it was revealed that most of these events occurred in the winter. For extreme precipitation, positive anomalies of moisture support from the Mediterranean were found to be in the order of 80% or more, but this support reached 100% in summer and spring. The results show that extreme precipitation events with longer durations are more influenced by the extreme Mediterranean anomalous moisture supply than those with shorter lengths. However, it is during shorter events when the Mediterranean Sea contributes higher amounts of moisture compared with its climatological mean values; for longer events, this contribution decreases progressively (but still doubles the climatological moisture contribution from the Mediterranean Sea). Finally, this analysis provides evidence that the optimum time period for accumulated moisture to be modelled by the Lagrangian model is that for which the extreme event is estimated. In future studies, this fine characterisation could assist in modelling moisture contributions from sources in relation to individual extreme events.
Seasonal and annual extreme precipitation over the Peruvian Andes have been mapped for the first time. Maps were developed using the most complete, quality‐controlled and homogenous daily precipitation records in Peru from 1973 to 2016. For each observed rain gauge series, we defined parameters as the de‐clustered daily intensity, total precipitation duration, total magnitude and dry‐spell length. Then, we fitted the seasonal and annual series of these variables to a Generalized‐Pareto distribution using a peak‐over‐threshold approach. We estimated the distribution parameters and validated the performance of different thresholds to obtain the best estimation of precipitation probability. We also mapped the distribution parameters obtained for the different meteorological stations using the universal kriging algorithm, accounting for elevation and the distance to the Pacific Ocean as co‐variables. The accuracy of the extreme precipitation maps for a period of 25 and 50 years were validated using a jack‐knife approach. Some of the maps show strong uncertainty given the random spatial distribution of the variables as a consequence of the complex topography and climate of the region. Nevertheless, the maps show a useful general assessment of the spatial distribution of the precipitation hazard probability over the region, providing a good agreement with the estimations obtained in the meteorological stations for some variables and time periods analysed. Extreme precipitation maps over this high‐complex terrain of Peru are of key importance for flood risk assessment, water resources management, crop yield, soil conservation and human settlements.
Variations in Moisture Supply from the Mediterranean Sea during Meteorological Drought Episodes over Central EuropePublished: 19 July 2018 by MDPI in Atmosphere
The climate in Central Europe (CEU) during the 20th century is characterized by an overall temperature increase. Severe and prolonged drought events began occurring towards the end and these have continued into the 21st century. This study aims to analyze variations in the moisture supply from the Mediterranean Sea (MDS) during meteorological drought episodes occurring over the CEU region over the last three decades. A total of 51 meteorological drought episodes (22 with summer onsets, and 29 with winter) are identified over the CEU during the period 1980–2015 through the one-month Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI-1), and their respective indicators, including duration, severity, intensity, and peak values, are then computed. Lagrangian forward-in-time analysis reveals that negative anomalies of moisture coming from the MDS prevail in all episodes except seven. Linear regression analysis between variations in the MDS anomalies and indicators of the drought episodes shows a significant linear relationship between severity, duration, peak values (winter), and MDS anomalies, which implies that drought episodes last longer and are more severe with an increase in the negative anomaly of moisture supply from the MDS. Nevertheless, no linear relationship is found between the intensity and peak values (annual, summer) of drought episodes and anomalies in the moisture contribution from the MDS.
We analyzed changes in surface relative humidity (RH) at the global scale from 1979 to 2014 using both observations and the ERA-Interim dataset. We compared the variability and trends in RH with those of land evapotranspiration and ocean evaporation in moisture source areas across a range of selected regions worldwide. The sources of moisture for each particular region were identified by integrating different observational data and model outputs into a Lagrangian approach. The aim was to account for the possible role of changes in air temperature over land, in comparison to sea surface temperature (SST), but also the role of land evapotranspiration and the ocean evaporation on RH variability. The results demonstrate that the patterns of the observed trends in RH at the global scale cannot be linked to a particular individual physical mechanism. Our results also stress that the different hypotheses that may explain the decrease in RH under a global warming scenario could act together to explain recent RH trends. Albeit with uncertainty in establishing a direct causality between RH trends and the different empirical moisture sources, we found that the observed decrease in RH in some regions can be linked to lower water supply from land evapotranspiration. In contrast, the empirical relationships also suggest that RH trends in other target regions are mainly explained by the dynamic and thermodynamic mechanisms related to the moisture supply from the oceanic source regions. Overall, while this work gives insights into the connections between RH trends and oceanic and continental processes at the global scale, further investigation is still desired to assess the contribution of both dynamic and thermodynamic factors to the evolution of RH over continental regions.
The Atmospheric Branch of the Hydrological Cycle over the Negro and Madeira River Basins in the Amazon RegionPublished: 05 June 2018 by MDPI in Water
The Amazon region, in South America, contains the largest rainforest and biodiversity in the world, and plays an important role in the regional and global hydrological cycle. In the present study, we identified the main sources of moisture of two subbasins of the Amazon River Basin, the Negro and Madeira River Basins respectively. The source-sink relationships of atmospheric moisture are investigated. The analysis is performed for the period from 1980–2016. The results confirm two main oceanic moisture sources for both basins, i.e., oceanic regions in the Tropical North and South Atlantic oceans. On the continents are, the Negro River Basin itself, and nearby regions to the northeast. For the Madeira River Basin, the most important continental sources are itself, and surrounding regions of the South American continent. Forward-trajectory analysis of air masses over the source regions is used to compute the moisture contribution to precipitation over basins. Oceanic (continental) sources play the most important role in the Negro River Basin (Madeira River Basin). The moisture contribution from the Tropical North Atlantic region modulates the onset and demise of the rainy season in the Negro River Basin; while the moisture contribution from the rest of the Amazon River Basin, the Madeira Basin itself, and Tropical South America leads to the onset of the rainy season in the Madeira River Basin. These regions also played the most important role in decreasing the moisture supply during most severe dry episodes in both basins. During ‘’El Niño’’, generally occurs a reduction (increase) of the moisture contribution to the Negro River Basin (Madeira River Basin; mainly from April to August) from almost all the sources, causing a decrease in the precipitation. Generally, the contrary occurs during ‘’La Niña’’.
On the origin of moisture related to synoptic-scale rainfall events for the North American Monsoon SystemPublished: 30 May 2018 by Copernicus GmbH in Earth System Dynamics Discussions
This work examines the origin of atmospheric water vapor arriving to the North American Monsoon (NAM) region over a 34-yr period (1981&ndash;2014) by using a Lagrangian diagnosis method. This methodology computes budgets of evaporation minus precipitation by calculating changes in the specific humidity of thousands of air particles advected into the study area by the observed winds. During the NAM wet season, on average the recycling process is the main water vapor source, followed by the supply of moisture from the Gulf of California. However, the water vapor transport that generates synoptic-scale rainfall comes primarily from the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and terrestrial eastern Mexico. An additional moisture source over the southwestern US is also identified in association with synoptic rainfall events over the NAM region. A high (low) moisture supply from the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico from 4 to 6 days before precipitation events is responsible for high (low) rainfall intensity on synoptic scales during the monsoon peak. Westward propagating mid to upper level inverted troughs (IVs) seem to favor these water vapor fluxes. A 200% increase in the moisture flux from the Caribbean Sea is related to the occurrence of heavy precipitation in the NAM area, accompanied by a decrease in water vapor advection from the Gulf of California.
A new pattern of the moisture transport for precipitation related to the drastic decline in Arctic sea ice extentPublished: 23 May 2018 by Copernicus GmbH in Earth System Dynamics
In this study we use the term moisture transport for precipitation for a target region as the moisture coming to this region from its major moisture sources resulting in precipitation over the target region (MTP). We have identified changes in the pattern of moisture transport for precipitation over the Arctic region, the Arctic Ocean, and its 13 main subdomains concurrent with the major sea ice decline that occurred in 2003. The pattern consists of a general decrease in moisture transport in summer and enhanced moisture transport in autumn and early winter, with different contributions depending on the moisture source and ocean subregion. The pattern is statistically significant and consistent with changes in the vertically integrated moisture fluxes and frequency of circulation types. The results of this paper also reveal that the assumed and partially documented enhanced poleward moisture transport from lower latitudes as a consequence of increased moisture from climate change seems to be less simple and constant than typically recognised in relation to enhanced Arctic precipitation throughout the year in the present climate.
A Lagrangian analysis of the moisture budget over the Fertile Crescent during two intense drought episodesPublished: 01 May 2018 by Elsevier BV in Journal of Hydrology
The Fertile Crescent (FC) region comprises the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The FC suffered two severe drought episodes separated by a 7-year period, in 1998 – 2000 and 2007 – 2009, which are considered the most severe episodes to hit the region in the last 50 years. A Lagrangian model (FLEXPART) and ERA-Interim data (with a 1°x1° lat-long resolution) were used to identify for the first time the climatological sources of moisture for the FC and their characteristics. Variability and the source-receptor relationships, concerning their contribution to the precipitation, and the implications regarding the transport of moisture changes over the FC, during the wet season (October-May) from 1980 – 2014 were analysed. The main climatological moisture sources during this period were determined to be the FC itself, the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the central and western parts of the Mediterranean Sea. The analysis showed higher anomalous conditions in the moisture transport from some moisture sources during the two outstanding drought episodes. The key feature of the wet seasons during these episodes was a deficit in the moisture losses over the studied area related to the FC itself, the Red and Arabian Seas sources, followed and to a lesser extent by the eastern Mediterranean Sea over the northern part of the FC region. Nevertheless, the moisture supply deficit from the sources was much greater during the 2007 – 2009 drought event. The SPEI index at large scales (24 months) showed that the 2007 – 2009 episode was part of longer-term drought conditions that had been developing over the previous months, reinforcing the drought severity given recycling processes attributed to the FC. During the two extreme drought episodes, the mountainous terrain over the northern and eastern FC suffered the highest precipitation deficits, and these areas are, precisely, the most influenced by two of the major moisture sources, namely, the FC and eastern Mediterranean Sea. The decreased moisture contribution from these main sources led to more intense droughts over the region. As a result, both regions should be considered as hotspots to signal severe or extreme droughts in the region.
The Mediterranean Moisture Contribution to Climatological and Extreme Monthly Continental PrecipitationPublished: 21 April 2018 by MDPI in Water
Moisture transport from its sources to surrounding continents is one of the most relevant topics in hydrology, and its role in extreme events is crucial for understanding several processes such as intense precipitation and flooding. In this study, we considered the Mediterranean Sea as the main water source and estimated its contribution to the monthly climatological and extreme precipitation events over the surrounding continental areas. To assess the effect of the Mediterranean Sea on precipitation, we used the Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP) database to characterize precipitation. The Lagrangian dispersion model known as FLEXPART was used to estimate the moisture contribution of this source. This contribution was estimated by tracking particles that leave the Mediterranean basin monthly and then calculating water loss (E − P < 0) over the continental region, which was modelled by FLEXPART. The analysis was conducted using data from 1980 to 2015 with a spatial resolution of 0.25°. The results showed that, in general, the spatial pattern of the Mediterranean source’s contribution to precipitation, unlike climatology, is similar during extreme precipitation years in the regions under study. However, while the Mediterranean Sea is usually not an important source of climatological precipitation for some European regions, it is a significant source during extreme precipitation years.
In the last few decades, many studies have identified an increasing number of natural hazards associated with extreme precipitation and drought events in Europe. During the 20th century, the climate in Central Europe and the Mediterranean region was characterised by an overall temperature increase, and the beginning of the 21st century has been marked by severe and prolonged drought events. The aim of this study is to analyse variations in the moisture supply during the 2003 drought episode that affected large portions of Europe. In order to better characterise the evolution of the episodes across the continent, separate analyses were performed for two spatial domains: Central Europe and the Mediterranean region. These regions were defined according to the 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report. For both regions, this drought episode was most severe from 1980 to 2015, according to the one-month Standardised Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI-1) analysis, which was conducted using monthly precipitation and potential evapotranspiration data from the Climate Research Unit. Analyses of precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, pressure velocity at 500 hPa, and vertically integrated moisture flux were conducted to characterise the anomalous patterns over the regions during the event. A Lagrangian approach was then applied in order to investigate possible continental-scale changes in the moisture supply over the Central European and Mediterranean regions during 2003. This approach is based on the FLEXible PARTicle (FLEXPART) dispersion model, integrated with data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF): the ECMWF Re-Analysis ERA-Interim. The results indicate that anomalous subsidence, increased evapotranspiration, and reduced precipitation predominated over both regions during the episode. The most intense reduction in the moisture supply over Central Europe was registered for the Mediterranean Sea (MDS) and the Central European region, while for the Mediterranean region, most intense reduction in the moisture supply was observed in the MDS and—in minor-scale—Gibraltar regions.
The Nocturnal or Night Low-Level Jets (NLLJ) are those jets that have their maximum intensity at night and are formed by the decoupling of the PBL. The aim of this study is the detection of NLLJ using an objective methodology (Rife et al., 2010). To do it, an index based in the vertical structure of the wind’s temporal variation was used. Once identified, we investigated its structure, the vertical profile, and its temporal evolution.
We have identified the patterns of moisture transport for precipitation over the Arctic region, the Arctic Ocean, and its 13 main subdomains, which better fit with sea ice decline. For this purpose, we studied the different patterns of moisture transport for the case of high/low Arctic sea ice (ASI) extension linked to periods before/after the main change point (CP) in the extension of sea ice. The pattern consists of a general decrease in moisture transport in summer and enhanced moisture transport in autumn and early winter, with different contributions depending on the moisture source and ocean subregion. The pattern is not only statistically significant but also consistent with Eulerian fluxes diagnosis, changes in the frequency of circulation types, and known mechanisms of the effects of snowfall or rainfall on ice in the Arctic. The results of this paper also reveal that the assumed and partially documented enhanced poleward moisture transport from lower latitudes as a consequence of increased moisture from climate change seems to be less simple and constant than typically recognized in relation to enhanced Arctic precipitation throughout the year in the present climate.
The atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle over the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basinsPublished: 15 December 2017 by Copernicus GmbH in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
The atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle over the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins (IRB, GRB, and BRB respectively) in the South Asian region was investigated. The 3-dimensional model FLEXPART v9.0 was utilized. An important advantage of this model is that it permits the computation of the freshwater budget on air parcel trajectories both backward and forward in time from 0.1 to 1000hPa in the atmospheric vertical column. The analysis was conducted for the westerly precipitation regime (WPR) (November–April) and the monsoonal precipitation regime (MPR) (May–October) in the period from 1981 to 2015. The main terrestrial and oceanic climatological moisture sources for the IRB, GRB, and BRB and their contribution to precipitation over the basins were identified. For the three basins, the most important moisture sources for precipitation are (i) in the continental regions, the land masses to the west of the basins (in this case called western Asia), the Indian region (IR), and the basin itself, and (ii) from the ocean, the utmost sources being the Indian Ocean (IO) and the Bay of Bengal (BB), and it is remarkable that despite the amount of moisture reaching the Indus and Ganges basins from land sources, the moisture supply from the IO seems to be first associated with the rapid increase or decrease in precipitation over the sources in the MPR. The technique of the composites was used to analyse how the moisture uptake values spatially vary from the sources (the budget of evaporation minus precipitation (E − P) was computed in a backward experiment from the basins) but during the pre-onset and pre-demise dates of the monsoonal rainfall over each basin; this confirmed that over the last days of the monsoon at the basins, the moisture uptake areas decrease in the IO. The Indian region, the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, and the basins themselves are the main sources of moisture responsible for negative (positive) anomalies of moisture contribution to the basins during composites of driest (wettest) WPR and MPR.
<p>In the past, several works addressed the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on Mexican precipitation by using relative scarce observations of the National Weather Service of Mexico or reanalysis data. In this work, we reassessed the ENSO signal in Mexican rainfall by using four precipitation databases (CHIRPS, GPCC, GPCP and CMAP) over a 34-yr period (1981-2014) and three different ENSO indices. Results obtained with different datasets are consistent among them and with previous studies, showing strong positive precipitation anomalies along the winter over the northern Mexico for El Niño events. In contrast, during the summer, negative rainfall anomalies can be found over most of central and southern Mexico, being stronger in August. During La Niña years, the anomalies show approximately the opposite pattern to those observed during El Niño.</p> <p>A Lagrangian approach is used to track the evaporation minus precipitation (E-P) along trajectories followed by the atmospheric particles that will take precipitable water to the areas with a precipitation amount modulated by ENSO phases. Then, composites of the obtained (E-P) fields are examined for the strong phases of El Niño and La Niña. Finally, the synoptic conditions associated with ENSO-related anomalous atmospheric water vapor fluxes are studied for a better understanding of the origin of the ENSO impact on the Mexican precipitation.</p>
<strong>Patterns of atmospheric moisture transport linked to Southern Ocean Sea ice coverage changes</strong>Published: 10 November 2017 by MDPI AG in First International Electronic Conference on the Hydrological Cycle
<p>Moisture sources identification and Sea Ice Concentration (SIC) were calculated for the period 1980-2016 for the Southern Ocean Sea. Five sectors of the Southern Ocean Sea (King Hakon VII, East Antarctic, Ross/Amundsen, Amundsen and Bellingshausen, Weddell) were selected to calculate their moisture sources. The results show that the most important moisture sources (calculated as positive values of Evaporation minus Precipitation, E-P>0) for these five seas come from extratropical latitudes in the storm track trajectories. The main moisture sources and affected regional seas are: Southern Australia (SAUS) moisture source which affect mainly Ross/Amundsen and Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas; the Atlantic Ocean is the main source of moisture for Weddell and King Hakon VII; and the Pacific Ocean provides moisture to Ross/Amundsen, Weddell and Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas. For most of these seas it was identified positive trends of E-P>0 anomalies, while negative trends were identified only for the SAUS moisture source to Amundsen and Bellingshausen Sea. In terms of SIC, for the whole Antarctic the total anomalies are increasing, but no breaking points in this time serie were detected. Preliminary results also indicate some areas, which do not coincide exactly with the limit of the regional seas, where the increase of Sea Ice Extension (SIE) is statistically significant.</p>
<strong>Drought and </strong><strong>wet episodes in Amazonia: the role of atmospheric moisture transport</strong>Published: 06 November 2017 by MDPI AG in First International Electronic Conference on the Hydrological Cycle
<p>The Amazon River basin (ARB) in Sud-America contains the world largest rainforest and biodiversity and plays an important role in the regional and global hydrological cycle. It consist of several sub-basins as the Negro River basin (NRB) in the north and the Madeira River basin (MRB) to the south, both considered of utmost importance in the Amazonia for the Amazon River. The precipitation annual cycle in both basins experiences an opposite annual cycle and as a consequence their contributions to the Amazon River are lagged in time. Here we utilized the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPEI) to identify drought and wet conditions in the NRB and MRB along the period 1980-2016. This index has the advantages over other index because considers the effect of the Atmospheric Evaporation Demand (AED) on drought severity. Besides, the Lagrangian dispersion model FLEXPART v9.0 was used to track backward in time air masses residing over the basins and to calculate along the trajectories the budget of (<em>E-P</em>). This permitted to identify those regions from where air masses gain humidity (<em>E-P>0</em>) before arriving at the basins, what we consider as moisture sources. FLEXPART has been successfully utilized for the same goal in several studies. This allowed investigating the hydrological budget of <em>(E-P)</em> over the NRB and MRB as well as their role as sources of moisture for surrounded continental regions. This study examines the variability of moisture uptake by the basins from these sources during drought and wet episodes in the basins. We consider this a new approach to be a useful method for understanding the causes and variability of drought and wet events in other regions worldwide.</p>
<span>The Mediterranean moisture supply in the genesis of climatological and extreme monthly continental precipitation</...Published: 06 November 2017 by MDPI AG in First International Electronic Conference on the Hydrological Cycle
<p>The moisture transport from its sources to the continents is one of the most relevant topics in the hydrology, and its role in extremes events is crucial to understand several processes in the Earth, as intense precipitations and/or flooding. Using the global precipitation (P) dataset from the Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP) from 1980 to 2015 with a 3-hourly temporal and 0.25° spatial resolution, a monthly precipitation climatology were done over the area of the Mediterranean Sea, checking grid by grid which year exhibits the maximum precipitation. As is well known, the Mediterranean Basin is a clear source of moisture for the surrounding areas. To link this source of moisture with the precipitation, in this work we have made use of the Lagrangian dispersion model FLEXPART to track, in its forward mode, those particles that monthly leave the Mediterranean Basin and we have calculated the loss of moisture (E-P<0) modelled by FLEXPART (P-FLEX) over the continental region. The aim of this study is to calculate the monthly climatological percentage of the Mediterranean contribution grid by grid, and the changes of this contribution for extreme monthly precipitation checking the importance of this sea source of moisture during the maximum peak of precipitation.</p>
<p>The Arctic system is one of the most vulnerable region under climate change conditions and it has suffered important changes on last decades. Several recent studies have suggested the influence of moisture transport in the observed sea ice loss on this region. Changes in moisture transport could affect the arctic region by changing the cloud cover, by affecting river discharge or by direct effect of precipitation over the sea ice, for example. Atmospheric rives (ARs) represent one of the main mechanism of global moisture transport, being especially relevant on the connection between lower and higher latitudes. Despite this importance, the influence of ARs over the Arctic system has not been widely study.</p> <p>The objective of this is work is to establish a first step on the study of the influence of the occurrence of ARs over the polar region. For this purpose, the lagrangian model FLEXPART was used to analyze moisture sources for those regions of maximum occurrence of ARs for the period 1994-2014 in order to analyze the origin of moisture transported by these meteorological structures. The location of ARs affecting the Arctic was realized using an automated algorithm and the region of maximum occurrence was defined taking into account the number of ARs detected for August and September (when sea ice is minimum over the Arctic ocean) over a band of 10° of latitude centered on 60°N. For these regions and considering those days of ARs occurrence, the anomalous moisture sources was defined in relation with mean situation for the complete period.</p> <p>From the results, main moisture sources for ARs events extends over the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, moreover local input of moisture over the region of maximum ARs occurrence seems to be especially relevant. <span>It is interesting to highlight the moisture uptake from Eastern Asia for the month of August</span>. In general it could be conclude that, for ARs events the moisture uptake around and over the maximum occurrence area highly increase becoming relevant sources of moisture feeding up the event.</p> <p>The location of the origin of the moisture that feed up Arctic ARs is an important step forward on the study of the influence of these structures over the region. Further analysis regarding the contribution of moisture from ARs over the region should be realized in order to complete the relation ARs-sea ice; being this study suitable for a future work.</p>
<strong>A lagrangian analysis of the moisture transport during the 2003 drought episode over the Mediterranean region </...Published: 05 November 2017 by MDPI AG in First International Electronic Conference on the Hydrological Cycle
<p>In the last decades many studies have pointed out an increasing number of natural hazards associated with extremes in precipitation and drought conditions. Generally, dry and hot conditions across the Europe impact on the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean is located at the border between the tropical climate zone and the mid latitude climate belt. Due to its large extension and diverse topography, it shows large climatic differences that make its climate scientifically interesting. </p> <p>The aim of this study is to analyze the moisture transport during the 2003 drought episode observed over the surroundings of the Mediterranean. The region was defined according to the 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report. The episode was identified using Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), calculated using monthly CRU (TS3.24.01) precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (PET). One of the crucial advantages of the SPEI over the other widely used drought indexes is its multi-scalar characteristics, which enable identification of different drought types. Therefore, the monthly SPEI-1, SPEI-3, SPEI-6, SPEI-12 and SPEI-24 indexes were used to identify the episodes on different time scales. This episode was the most severe during the period 1980-2015 according to the SPEI-1 analysis. Analyses of precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, omega at 500hPa, and vertically integrated moisture flux have been conducted to characterize the anomalous patterns over the region during the event. A Lagrangian approach was then applied in order to investigate possible changes in the moisture transport from and toward the Mediterranean region during the episode. This approach is based on the FLEXPART model integrated with the ERA-Interim data set.</p>
<p>We develop for the first time maps of annual and seasonal extreme precipitation risk in the Andean region of Peru. For this purpose, we used the complete daily precipitation records existing in Peru and after a careful quality control and homogeneity checking we selected 178 stations distributed across the mountainous chain. In each meteorological station, we obtained series of events of de-clustered daily intensity, total precipitation duration, total magnitude and dry-spell length. Using a peak-over-threshold approach we fitted the annual and seasonal series of these variables to a Generalized-Pareto distribution, obtained the distribution parameters and validated the performance of different thresholds to obtain reliable estimations of the precipitation probability. We found that a 90<sup>th</sup> percentile is in general the most suitable to develop the estimations for the different variables. The parameters obtained in the different meteorological stations were mapped using a universal krigging approach using the elevation and the distance to the ocean as co-variables. Maps of parameters were validated using a jack-knife approach and maximum expected precipitation intensity, magnitude, duration and dry-spell length estimated for a period of 25 and 50 years. The reliability of the spatial methodology was validated comparing observed precipitation and estimated by the spatial modelling in the different stations.</p>
Moisture Transport Anomalies over the Danube River Basin during Two Drought Events: A Lagrangian AnalysisPublished: 03 October 2017 by MDPI in Atmosphere
In this paper, we provide a Lagrangian analysis of the anomalies in the moisture transport during two important drought events (1989/1990 and 2003) configured over the Danube River Basin (DRB) region. Firstly, we identified the drought episodes that occurred over the DRB in the period of 1980–2014 through the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). SPEI was calculated using monthly Climatic Research Unit (CRU) Time-Series (TS) Version 3.23 precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (PET) datasets with a spatial resolution of 0.5 degrees. The monthly SPEI-1 index was applied to identify the drought episodes and their respective indicators, including duration, severity, and intensity. Two significant drought events were selected: 1989/1990 (presenting dry conditions during October 1989–March 1990) and 2003 (presenting dry conditions during April 2003–September 2003). These events were associated with the two most severe SPEI-1 episodes identified over the DRB during 1980–2014. Then, an analysis of anomalies in the moisture transport was conducted in order to verify possible changes in the moisture supply from the climatological sources for the DRB during these episodes. The moisture transport analysis was performed through a Lagrangian approach, which uses the outputs of the FLEXiblePARTicle dispersion model FLEXPART integrated with one of the reanalysis produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF): the ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA)-Interim dataset. The DRB receives moisture from seven different moisture source regions: the North Atlantic Ocean (NATL), North Africa (NAF), the Mediterranean Sea (MED), the Black Sea (BS), the Caspian Sea (CS), the DRB, and Central and Eastern Europe (Rest of Land (RestL)). The analysis of drought events shows that the precipitation and moisture supply from the selected sources weakened mainly during both drought events. Anomalous subsidence and an increased PET also prevailed over the DRB during these SPEI-1 episodes. RestL and MED registered the most intensive reduction in the moisture supply over the DRB during both periods.
The Danube River Basin is the second longest catchment basin in Europe and exhibits intense climatological diversity. In recent decades, the frequency and intensity of daily precipitation extremes have suffered from an increment in many parts of the world, including Central and Eastern Europe. Wet spells are defined by the number of consecutive rainy days with different thresholds. The identification of wet spells and their trends in the rainfall time is very important for many sectors, such as agriculture, ecology, hydrology and water resources. Wet spells can lead to extreme events and cause floods and other disasters. In this study, we will attempt to characterise global precipitation in the context of wet spells and associated precipitation depth of wet spells in the Danube River Basin area using daily precipitation data, as well as analysing different approaches to identifying wet spells. The ten most intense wet spells were detected, and the most intense, which occurred on 23 September 1996, was studied in depth in terms of precipitation and associated anomalies, the synoptic situation and the anomalous transport of moisture using a Lagrangian approach. The existence of a marked west-east dipole in the field of sea level pressure between the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean leads to the anomalous moisture transport from the Northern Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, where a higher available amount of moisture existed, and subsequently penetrated within the low positioned over the Danube River Basin. In addition, an Atmospheric River was also responsible for the wet conditions in the Danube River Basin. The combination of all these factors was responsible for the extreme precipitation linked with the wet spell.
The Lagrangian model FLEXPART is used to identify the moisture sources of the Congo River basin (CRB) and investigate their role in the hydrological cycle. This model allows us to track atmospheric parcels while calculating changes in the specific humidity through the budget of evaporation minus precipitation. This method permits the annual-scale identification of five continental and four oceanic principal regions that provide moisture to the CRB from both hemispheres over the course of the year. The most important is the CRB, which provides more than 50% of the total atmospheric moisture contribution to precipitation over itself. Additionally, both the land that extends to the east of the CRB and the eastern equatorial South Atlantic Ocean are very important sources, while the Red Sea source is merely important in the (E − P) budget over the CRB despite its high evaporation rate. The moisture-sink patterns over the CRB in air masses that were tracked forward in time from all the sources follow the latitudinal rainfall migration and are mostly highly correlated with the pattern of the precipitation rate, ensuring a link between them. In wet (dry) years, the contribution of moisture to precipitation from the CRB over itself increases (decreases). Despite the enhanced evaporative conditions over the basin during dry years, the vertically integrated moisture flux (VIMF) divergence inhibits precipitation and suggests the transport of moisture from the CRB to remote regions.
The atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle over the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra River basinsPublished: 24 July 2017 by Copernicus GmbH in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
The atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle over the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins in the South Asian region was investigated. The 3-dimensional model FLEXPART v9.0 was utilized. An important advantage of this model is that it permits the computation of the freshwater budget on air parcels both backward and forward in time trajectories from 0.1 and 1000 hPa in the atmospheric vertical column. The analysis was conducted for the Westerly Precipitation Regime (WPR) (November–April) and the Monsoonal Precipitation Regime (MPR) (May–October) in the period from 1981–2015. The main terrestrial and oceanic climatological moisture sources for the IRB, GRB and BRB and their contribution to precipitation over the basins were identified. For the three basins, the most important moisture sources for precipitation are (i) on the continental regions, the land masses to the west of the basins (in this case called West Asia), the Indian region (IR) and the basin itself, and (ii) from the ocean, the utmost sources are the Indian Ocean (IO) and the Bay of Bengal (BB), and it is remarkable that despite the amount of moisture reaching the IRB and GRB from land sources, the moisture supply from the IO seems to be first associated with the rapid increase/decrease in precipitation over the sources in the MPR. The technique of the composites was used to analyse how the moisture uptake spatially vary from the sources (the budget of evaporation minus precipitation (E − P) was computed in a backward experiment from the basins) but during the preonset and predemise dates of the monsoonal rainfall over each basin; this confirmed that over the last days of the monsoon at the basins, the moisture uptake areas decrease in the IO. The Indian region, the Indian Ocean and the basins itself are the main sources of moisture responsible for negative (positive) anomalies of moisture contribution to the basins during composites of driest (wettest) WPR and MPR.
<p>In West Africa, is located the Niger River Basin (NRB). Dry and wet conditions were investigated in this basin during the rainy (May-October) and dry (November-April) seasons, from 1980 to 2014. To do this was, calculated the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) at the time scale of 6-months for the whole NRB. The Lagrangian model FLEXPART v9.0 has been used to compute over the main semi-annual climatological moisture sources of the NRB, the budget of evaporation minus precipitation <em>(E-P)</em> over 10-day backward trajectories from the NRB itself. Positive (negative) <em>(E-P)</em> values indicate moisture uptake (loss). This permit evaluating the role of continental and oceanic sources of moisture separately for composites of extremely and severely dry and wet conditions in the basin. The results show for the dry season the negative trend of the April-SPEI6 values and the <em>(E-P)>0</em> values obtained over the tropical east-north Atlantic Ocean (NAtl), the western Sahel and the Mediterranean region. Over these sources, the anomalies of <em>(E-P)</em> for driest and wettest composites indicate their direct response. On the contrary, for the rainy season, the October-SPEI6 values trend is positive, as well it occurs for the moisture uptake over the South Sahel (SSah) and the NRB itself. The anomalies of the <em>(E-P)</em> values for driest and wettest rainy seasons composites suggest a direct relationship with those obtained mainly over SSah, SAtl and the NRB itself.</p>
A comparison of temporal variability of observed and model-based pan evaporation over Uruguay (1973-2014)Published: 29 June 2017 by Wiley in International Journal of Climatology
This study analyses variability and trends of atmospheric evaporative demand (AED) across Uruguay in the past four decades. Changes were assessed using pan evaporation measurements from 10 meteorological stations and compared to PenPan model calculations, which is a physically based model that employs meteorological data as input. Results demonstrate a high agreement between the observed AED and those estimated from the PenPan model. Both observations and model estimations agree on a high interannual variability in AED, though being statistically insignificant (p > 0.05) at seasonal and annual scales. Given that AED shows high sensitivity to changes in relative humidity and sunshine duration, as a surrogate of solar radiation, the lack of significant trends in the AED observations and estimations over Uruguay can be linked to the insignificant trend found for these climate variables for the period from 1973 to 2014. This is the first study that reports Pan evaporation trends for this part of the world, helping to infill gaps for mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere areas, which are poorly represented in Pan evaporation trends.
This study assessed changes in the maximum and minimum surface air temperatures across Peru during the period 1964–2014. For this purpose, we employed the most complete records of air temperature series that were also subjected to a rigorous quality control and homogenization protocol. Based on the homogenized series, we created a monthly gridded data set of maximum and minimum air temperatures at a 5 × 5 km grid spacing. The results suggest a general warming trend in surface air temperature across Peru, albeit with clear spatial and seasonal variation. Our results also reveal some differences in the detectable trends between maximum and minimum air temperatures. Maximum air temperature trends mainly increased during the austral summer (DJF), but cold season minimum air temperature trends showed an opposite pattern, with the strongest warming being recorded in the austral winter (JJA). In addition, maximum air temperature trends exhibited a clear elevation-warming dependency, with the strongest warming recorded at highly elevated sites. On the contrary, this dependency is weakened for minimum air temperature trends, as lower magnitudes of change and even a cooling trend were observed at high elevations during most months of the year. For mean air temperature trends, there are no clear spatial and temporal seasonal differences across Peru.
We analyzed changes in surface relative humidity (RH) at the global scale from 1979 to 2014 using both observations and ERA-Interim dataset. We compared the variability and trends of RH with those of land evapotranspiration and ocean evaporation in moisture source areas across a range of selected regions worldwide. The sources of moisture for each particular region were identified by integrating different observational data and model outputs into a lagrangian approach. The aim was to account for the possible role of changes in air temperature over land, in comparison to sea surface temperature (SST), on RH variability. Results demonstrate a strong agreement between the interannual variability of RH and the interannual variability of precipitation and land evapotranspiration in regions with continentally-originated humidity. In contrast, albeit with the dominant positive trend of air temperature/SST ratio in the majority of the analyzed regions, the interannual variability of RH in the target regions did not show any significant correlation with this ratio over the source regions. Also, we did not find any significant association between the interannual variability of oceanic evaporation in the oceanic humidity source regions and RH in the target regions. Our findings stress the need for further investigation of the role of both dynamic and radiative factors in the evolution of RH over continental regions at different spatial scales.
Drought episodes in the climatological sinks of the Mediterranean moisture source: The role of moisture transportPublished: 01 April 2017 by Elsevier BV in Global and Planetary Change
The Lagrangian model FLEXPART was used to identify the moisture sources of the Congo River Basin (CRB) and investigate their role in the hydrological cycle. This model allows us to track atmospheric parcels while calculating changes in the specific humidity through the budget of evaporation-minus-precipitation. The method permitted the identification at an annual scale of five continental and four oceanic regions that provide moisture to the CRB from both hemispheres over the course of the year. The most important is the CRB itself, providing more than 50% of the total atmospheric moisture income to the basin. Apart from this, both the land extension to the east of the CRB together with the ocean located in the eastern equatorial South Atlantic Ocean are also very important sources, while the Red Sea source is merely important in the budget of (E − P) over the CRB, despite its high evaporation rate. The moisture sink patterns over the CRB in air masses tracked forwards from all the sources follow a latitudinal rainfall migration and are mostly highly correlated with the pattern of precipitation rate, ensuring a link between them. The analysis of the wet and dry periods in the CRB confirms the key role of the basin in modulating the fresh water balance within the basin itself.
The Niger River basin (NRB) is located in the important climatic region of the African Sahel. In this study we use the Lagrangian tridimensional model FLEXPART v9.0 to identify and characterise the moisture sources for the NRB. This method allows the integration of the budget of evaporation minus precipitation over 10-day backward trajectories, thereby identifying the origins of the air masses residing over the NRB. The analysis was performed for the 35-year period from 1980 to 2014, which allowed us to identify the main semi-annual climatological moisture sources of the NRB, for November–April (NDJFMA) (dry season) and May–October (MJJASO) (wet season), and to quantify the respective moisture uptakes. Throughout the year, the NRB main moisture sources are located on the tropical eastern North Atlantic Ocean near Africa, the tropical eastern South Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Guinea, in the regions surrounding the Sahel and in the Mediterranean Sea. The extents of these sources vary between dry and wet seasons. In NDJFMA two regions appear in the east of the basin, which then join up, forming a larger source to the northeast of the basin in MJJASO, when three other less important moisture sources can be seen in central-equatorial Africa, the tropical western Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. In NDJFMA the majority of the moisture uptake comes from the NRB itself but then, later in MJJASO, when the precipitation increases over the basin the greatest uptake of moisture occurs over the tropical eastern South Atlantic Ocean, northeast Africa and the NRB, which suggests that these are the effective sources of precipitation in the basin in overall terms. The seasonal moisture uptake quantification over the moisture sources of the NRB, reveals that largest fraction of moisture income to the basin from outside its boundaries. Despite providing moisture to the NRB the source located in the tropical eastern North Atlantic Ocean does not contribute that much to precipitation in the basin. A daily (ten-day) backward analysis shows the importance of the moisture uptake within the NRB and from near moisture sources during the first few (backward) days, while the Atlantic Ocean sources and the Mediterranean became more important during the last five (backward) days of the analysis.
The Arctic system has experienced in recent times an extreme reduction in the extent of its sea ice. The years 2007 and 2012 in particular showed maxima in the loss of sea ice. It has been suggested that such a rapid decrease has important implications for climate not only over the system itself but also globally. Understanding the causes of this sea ice loss is key to analysing how future changes related to climate change can affect the Arctic system. For this purpose, we applied the Lagrangian FLEXible PARTicle dispersion (FLEXPART) model to study the anomalous transport of moisture for 2006/2007 and 2011/2012 in order to assess the implications for the sea ice. We used the model results to analyse the variation in the sources of moisture for the system (backward analysis), as well as how the moisture supply from these sources differs (forward analysis) during these years. The results indicate an anomalous transport of moisture for both years. However, the pattern differs between events, and the anomalous moisture supply varies both in intensity and spatial distribution for all sources.
In this study, we investigate the sources of moisture (and moisture for precipitation) over the Danube River Basin (DRB) by means of a Lagrangian approach using the FLEXPART V9.0 particle dispersion model together with ERA-Interim reanalysis data to track changes in atmospheric moisture over 10-day trajectories. This approach computes the budget of evaporation-minus-precipitation by calculating changes in specific humidity along forward and backward trajectories. We considered a time period of 34 years, from 1980 to 2014, which allowed for the identification of climatological sources and moisture transport towards the basin. Results show that the DRB mainly receives moisture from seven different oceanic, maritime, and terrestrial moisture source regions: North Atlantic Ocean, North Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, the Danube River Basin, and Central and Eastern Europe. The contribution of these sources varies by season. During winter (October–March) the main moisture source for the DRB is the Mediterranean Sea, while during summer (April–September) the dominant source of moisture is the DRB itself. Moisture from each source has a different contribution to precipitation in the DRB. Among the sources studied, results show that the moisture from the Mediterranean Sea provides the greatest contribution to precipitation in the basin in both seasons, extending to the whole basin for the winter, but being more confined to the western side during the summer. Moisture from the Caspian and Black Seas contributes to precipitation rather less.
The occurrence of wet and dry growing seasons in water-limited regions remains poorly understood, partly due to the complex role that these regions play in the genesis of their own rainfall. This limits the predictability of global carbon and water budgets, and hinders the regional management of natural resources. Using novel satellite observations and atmospheric trajectory modelling, we unravel the origin and immediate drivers of growing-season precipitation, and the extent to which ecoregions themselves contribute to their own supply of rainfall. Results show that persistent anomalies in growing-season precipitation—and subsequent biomass anomalies—are caused by a complex interplay of land and ocean evaporation, air circulation and local atmospheric stability changes. For regions such as the Kalahari and Australia, the volumes of moisture recycling decline in dry years, providing a positive feedback that intensifies dry conditions. However, recycling ratios increase up to 40%, pointing to the crucial role of these regions in generating their own supply of rainfall; transpiration in periods of water stress allows vegetation to partly offset the decrease in regional precipitation. Findings highlight the need to adequately represent vegetation–atmosphere feedbacks in models to predict biomass changes and to simulate the fate of water-limited regions in our warming climate.
Moisture transport into the Arctic: Source-receptor relationships and the roles of atmospheric circulation and evaporati...Published: 27 November 2016 by Wiley in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Hydrological processes play a key role in the Arctic, as well as being an important part of the response of this region to climate change. The origin of the moisture arriving (and then precipitating) in the Arctic is a crucial question in our understanding of the Arctic hydrological cycle. In an attempt to answer this, the present study uses the Lagrangian diagnosis model FLEXPART to localize the main sources of moisture for the Arctic region, to analyze their variability and their contribution to precipitation, and to consider the implications of any changes in the transport of moisture from particular sources within the system. From this analysis, four major moisture sources appear as the most important moisture supplies into the system: the subtropical and southern extratropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans, North America, and Siberia. Oceanic sources play an important role throughout the year, whereas continental ones only take effect in summer. The sink areas associated with each source have been shown to be moderately influenced by changes in atmospheric circulation, mainly associated with the East Atlantic (EA) pattern for the Atlantic source and related to West Pacific (WP) and Pacific/North American (PNA) teleconnection patterns for the Pacific one. On the other hand, the variability over the sinks does not seem to be significantly related to changes in evaporation at an interannual scale.
<p>The Niger River basin (NRB) is located on the important climatic region of the African Sahel. In this work we use the Lagrangian tridimensional model FLEXPART v9.0, to identify and characterize the moisture sources for the NRB. The method allowed integrating the evaporation minus precipitation budget through 10 days backward trajectories and thus, identifying the origin of air masses residing over the NRB. The analysis was performed for 35 years from 1980 to 2014. There were identified the main seasonal climatological moisture sources of the NRB and quantify their contribution to the total moisture influx. At first day backward in time the NRB appears as the main moisture source, contributing less and less humidity to the particles during last days, suggesting the importance of local moisture supply to recycling process. Through the 10 days backward, the pattern of (E – P) shows the spatial expansion of sources and sinks regions. Across the year, the moisture supply to the NRB mainly comes from itself and the tropical-east south Atlantic Ocean, but are also important the rest of the sources located on the tropical-east north Atlantic Ocean near Africa, the Sahel surrounded regions, the Mediterranean Sea, the east Africa, the north-east Africa and less important small regions on central-equatorial Africa and the <br /> tropical-west Indian Ocean.<span></span></p>
<span>Tracking the Origin of Moisture (and Moisture for Precipitation) over the Danube River Basin through a Lagrangian ...Published: 15 July 2016 by MDPI AG in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Atmospheric Sciences
<p>In this study we investigate the sources of moisture (and moisture for precipitation) over the Danube River Basin (DRB) through a Lagrangian approach which uses the FLEXPART V9.0 Lagrangian particle dispersion model together with ERA-Interim reanalysis data to track changes in atmospheric moisture along 10-day trajectories. This approach computes the budget of evaporation minus precipitation by calculating changes in specific humidity along forward and backward trajectories. We considered a temporal period of 34 years, from 1980 to 2014 which allowed identifying climatological sources and moisture transport towards the basin at interannual scale. Results showed that the DRB receives moisture mainly from seven different oceanic, maritime and terrestrial moisture source regions: North Atlantic Ocean, North Africa, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Danube River Basin and Central and Eastern Europe. The contribution of these sources differs with the season. During the Wet season (October–March) the main moisture source for the DRB is the Mediterranean Sea, while during the Dry season (April–September) the dominant source of moisture in the DRB itself. Moisture coming from each source has a different contribution for the precipitation in the DRB. Between the studied sources results show that the moisture coming from the Mediterranean Sea provides the highest values for precipitation in the basin during both seasons, extending to the whereas the whole basin for the Wet season and more confined to the western side during the Dry one. Moisture coming from the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea was that less contribute to precipitation.</p>
<p>Recently, the Arctic system has been suffering an extreme reduction in its sea ice extension. 2007 and 2012 represent those years showing the maximum sea ice loss. This rapid decrease has been suggested to have important implications on climate not only over the system itself but also globally. Understanding the causes of this sea ice loss is key to analyzing how future changes related to climate change can affect the Arctic system and the global system. For this purpose, we have applied the Lagrangian model FLEXPART to study the anomalous transport of moisture for these years and to analyze the implications on the sea ice it may produce. Throughout this model, we will analyze the variation in the sources of moisture for the system (backward analysis), and how the moisture supply from these sources is affected (forward analysis). From the results an anomalous transport of moisture have been proved to occur for both years. However, the pattern is different for each event, being the anomalous moisture supply different in both intensity and spatial distribution from every source.</p>
<p>The Sahelian region is located southern the Sahara Desert and the wet tropical belt of central Africa, and it is affected by a monsoonal regime. It is well known that the Sahel is one of the most vulnerable areas due its annual strong climatic variations. In essence, to bring precipitation over a region, the atmosphere needs moisture to condense. So, it is necessary to know where the supply of moisture that precipitates over the Sahel come from to understand the rainfall variability. In a previous paper by Nieto et al.  they defined, using a lagrangian method of diagnosis, the sources of moisture that reach the Sahel (10°–20° N; 20° E–18° W) calculating changes in the specific humidity along trajectories of a lot of atmospheric-particles. The analysis was done using the observational data from the ECMWF for a 5-year period (2000–2004), but the shorter time period used impeded the study of interannual variability or possible relationships with modes of climate variability as ENSO or NAO. Based in those lacks in this following paper we provide an extensively revisited analysis to determine and analyze in an improved way the sources of moisture for the Sahel. In order to carry out this aim, we have used here: (a) a longer climatological period of time from 1980 to 2012 (three decades) to redefine the sources of moisture; (b) the nowadays best-considered database to reproduce the atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle: the ERA-Interim Reanalysis data to track atmospheric moisture changes along trajectories; (c) a definition of the sources using a moving threshold in the field of E-P for annual, seasonal and monthly scales. This new extended and improved data allowed us to redo, among others, the time series of E-P day by day calculated backward for the moisture over the Sahel area and integrated over the moisture sources determined in the previous steps. But now the most important is the possibility to analyze the relationship with between the amount of the moisture over the sources and the field of real precipitation over the Sahel, and to have concrete outcomes about the modulation by the main patterns of climate variability on the sources as ENSO, NAO and the local West African Monsoon (WAM).</p>
Analysis of Changes on Moisture Sources Contributions for Arctic Region in a FutureClimate Scenario Using GFDL/CM3 ModelPublished: 15 July 2016 by MDPI AG in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Atmospheric Sciences
<p>The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report suggests that the projected increase in the global temperature in future scenarios could cause different impacts in different regions of the world. For the Polar Regions the global models are being adapted to measure these changes, but the preliminary results indicate large heating for the Arctic region. The changes on Arctic region are not a problem just for a future climate: the Arctic amplification, the decrease on Arctic sea ice extent and on snow cover extent is a present concern for climatologists. Studies suggest a link between Arctic changes and mid-latitude weather, as the changes on Arctic Region where observed accompanied by changes in other regions of the world, especially in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude. Some mechanisms are proposed to explain this link, and one of then is related to changes in the atmospheric moisture transport from middle latitudes. Recent studies have shown that the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific Ocean appear as the main regions that contribute as moisture sources to the Arctic Region. The objective of this work is to use the output of GFDL/CM3 Model for 2046–2075 and 2070–2099 periods to identify the regions of the main change on moisture sources that contributes to the Arctic Region in a future scenario (RCP4.5) compared to a present climate (1980–2005). For both future periods analysed, the results suggest that the contribution for Arctic moisture by the regions located on North Atlantic Ocean, North Africa and Middle East enhanced. This may indicate an increase in moisture transport from mid-latitude to Arctic that could lead to several changes in Arctic climate: warming, decrease on sea ice extent and on snow cover.</p>
A Lagrangian approach was used to identify the moisture sources for 14 ice-core sites located worldwide for the period of 1980–2012. The sites were classified into three domains: Arctic, Central (Andes, Alps, and Kilimanjaro), and Antarctic. The approach was used to compute budgets of evaporation minus precipitation by calculating changes in the specific humidity along 10-day backward trajectories. The results indicate that the oceanic regions around the subtropical high-pressure centres provide most of moisture, and their contribution varies throughout the year following the annual cycles of the centres. For the Arctic Domain, the sources lie in the subtropical North Atlantic and Pacific. The subtropical South Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans provide moisture for the Antarctic Domain. The sources for South America are the Atlantic and South Pacific, for Europe the sources are in the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic, and for Asia the sources are the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.
The present work proposes a Lagrangian diagnostic scheme to investigate the anomalous moisture transport before, during, and after the occurrence of drought episodes. The Lagrangian approach proposed here uses the model FLEXPART integrated with the ERA-Interim data set and it has been successfully applied in previous studies concerning the climatological characterization of the sources and sinks of moisture in several regions around the world. The drought episodes will be identified and characterized through the SPEI index. The anomalies of the moisture sources for the area affected will be analyzed, as well as the impact of the droughts on the moisture transport from the area affected towards its climatological sinks (previous studies suggest that some heat wave episodes can be associated with anomalies in moisture transport). In other words, the methodology proposes to investigate the role of the area affected as a receptor/source of moisture during the drought episodes. As an example of applicability of the methodology, the severe drought episode over central U.S. in 2012 is analyzed. An analysis of the 2012 anomalies suggests that there was some reduction in the contribution from the local and continental climatological moisture sources for the central U.S. mainly from June to October. The period from July to October 2012 was also characterized by the reduction of the moisture transport from the drought area towards its climatological sinks located over northeastern North America. A better understanding not only of the transport of humidity, but also of the relationship between sources/sinks of moisture and of possible impacts generated by variations in the sources is crucial for a more accurate weather forecast, helping to minimize the consequences of the natural hazards.
Raquel Nieto added a new affiliation: UVIGO – University of Vigo, Ourense, Spain.