24 Oct 2023
 | 24 Oct 2023

Variability and Predictability of a reduced-order land atmosphere coupled model

Anupama K. Xavier, Jonathan Demaeyer, and Stéphane Vannitsem

Abstract. This study delves into the predictability of atmospheric blocking, zonal, and transition patterns utilizing a simplified coupled model. This model, implemented in Python, emulates midlatitude atmospheric dynamics with a two-layer quasi-geostrophic channel atmosphere on a beta-plane, encompassing simplified land effects. Initially, we comprehensively scrutinize the model's responses to environmental parameters like solar radiation, surface friction, and atmosphere-ground heat exchange. Our findings confirm that the model faithfully replicates real-world Earth-like flow regimes, establishing a robust foundation for further analysis. Subsequently, employing Gaussian mixture clustering, we successfully delineate distinct blocking, zonal, and transition flow regimes, unveiling their dependencies on surface friction. To gauge predictability and persistence, we compute the averaged local Lyapunov exponents for each regime. Our investigation uncovers the presence of zonal, blocking, and transition regimes, particularly under conditions of reduced surface friction. As surface friction increases further, the system transitions to a state characterized by two blocking regimes and a transition regime. Intriguingly, periodic behavior emerges under specific surface friction values, returning to patterns observed under low friction coefficients. Model resolution increase impacts the system in a way that only two regimes are then obtained with the clustering: the transition phase disappears and the predictability drops to roughly 2 days for both of the remaining regimes. In accordance with previous research findings, our study underscores that when all three regimes coexist, zonal patterns exhibit a more extended predictability horizon compared to blocking patterns. Remarkably, transition patterns exhibit reduced predictability when coexisting with the other regimes. In addition, within a specified range of surface friction values where two blocking regimes are found, it is observed that blocked atmospheric situations in the west of the applied topography are marked by instabilities and reduced predictability in contrast to the blockings appearing on the eastern side of the topography.

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Anupama K. Xavier, Jonathan Demaeyer, and Stéphane Vannitsem

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2257', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Nov 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Anupama K Xavier, 22 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2257', Michael Ghil, 18 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Anupama K Xavier, 22 Apr 2024
Anupama K. Xavier, Jonathan Demaeyer, and Stéphane Vannitsem
Anupama K. Xavier, Jonathan Demaeyer, and Stéphane Vannitsem


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Short summary
This research focuses on understanding different atmospheric patterns like blocking, zonal, and transition regimes and analyzing their predictability. We used an idealized land – atmosphere coupled model to simulate Earth's atmosphere. Then we identified these blocking, zonal, and transition regimes using Gaussian Mixture clustering and studied their predictability using Lyapunov exponents.