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Title: Enhanced hydrological extremes in the western United States under global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity

Abstract

Understanding how regional hydrological extremes would respond to warming is a grand challenge to the community of climate change research. To address this challenge, we construct an analysis framework based on column integrated water vapor (CWV) wave activity to diagnose the wave component of the hydrological cycle that contributes to hydrological extremes. By applying the analysis to the historical and future climate projections from the CMIP5 models, we found that the wet-versus-dry disparity of daily net precipitation along a zonal band can increase at a super Clausius-Clapeyron rate due to the enhanced stirring length of wave activity at the poleward flank of the mean storm track. The local variant of CWV wave activity reveals the unique characteristics of atmospheric rivers (ARs) in terms of their transport function, enhanced mixing and hydrological cycling rate (HC). Under RCP8.5, the local moist wave activity increases by ~40% over the northeastern Pacific by the end of the 21st century, indicating more ARs hitting the west coast, giving rise to a ~20% increase in the related hydrological extremes - $ despite a weakening of the local HC.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1437541
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-126188
Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3722; KP1703010
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: npj Climate and Atmospheric Science; Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Lu, Jian, Xue, Daokai, Gao, Yang, Chen, Gang, Leung, L. R., and Staten, P. Enhanced hydrological extremes in the western United States under global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0017-9.
Lu, Jian, Xue, Daokai, Gao, Yang, Chen, Gang, Leung, L. R., & Staten, P. Enhanced hydrological extremes in the western United States under global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity. United States. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0017-9.
Lu, Jian, Xue, Daokai, Gao, Yang, Chen, Gang, Leung, L. R., and Staten, P. Mon . "Enhanced hydrological extremes in the western United States under global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity". United States. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0017-9.
@article{osti_1437541,
title = {Enhanced hydrological extremes in the western United States under global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity},
author = {Lu, Jian and Xue, Daokai and Gao, Yang and Chen, Gang and Leung, L. R. and Staten, P.},
abstractNote = {Understanding how regional hydrological extremes would respond to warming is a grand challenge to the community of climate change research. To address this challenge, we construct an analysis framework based on column integrated water vapor (CWV) wave activity to diagnose the wave component of the hydrological cycle that contributes to hydrological extremes. By applying the analysis to the historical and future climate projections from the CMIP5 models, we found that the wet-versus-dry disparity of daily net precipitation along a zonal band can increase at a super Clausius-Clapeyron rate due to the enhanced stirring length of wave activity at the poleward flank of the mean storm track. The local variant of CWV wave activity reveals the unique characteristics of atmospheric rivers (ARs) in terms of their transport function, enhanced mixing and hydrological cycling rate (HC). Under RCP8.5, the local moist wave activity increases by ~40% over the northeastern Pacific by the end of the 21st century, indicating more ARs hitting the west coast, giving rise to a ~20% increase in the related hydrological extremes - $ despite a weakening of the local HC.},
doi = {10.1038/s41612-018-0017-9},
journal = {npj Climate and Atmospheric Science},
number = 1,
volume = 1,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Apr 23 00:00:00 EDT 2018},
month = {Mon Apr 23 00:00:00 EDT 2018}
}