Atmospheric & Oceanic Science Theses and Dissertations

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    Exploring the Observation Impacts and Enhancing the Predictability for Ensemble-Based Coupled Data Assimilation
    (2023) Chang, Chu-Chun; Kalnay, Eugenia EK; Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This research aims to explore the observation impacts in coupled data assimilation (CDA) and improve the predictability of coupled systems by advanced DA approaches. Three topics are discussed in this dissertation: (1) An enhanced application of the correlation cutoff method (Yoshida and Kalnay, 2018) as a spatial localization is introduced. We investigated the feasibility and characteristics of the traditional distance-dependent (Gaspari and Cohn, 1999) and the correlation-dependent localizations preliminary on the Lorenz (1996) model with the local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF). We further discussed the potential of integrative localization strategies and the application of the correlation cutoff method on Mars DA. (2) We found that the surface sea temperature (SST) relaxation operationally used in the Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) is not effective in reducing existing SST biases. To address this issue, we replaced the SST relaxation with the weakly coupled data assimilation (WCDA) of satellite-retrieved SST products. A series of experiments with real observations were conducted on the CFSv2-LETKF (Sluka et al., 2018) to investigate the impacts of SST WCDA on the CFSv2 analysis and the forecasts. (3) The Ensemble Forecast Sensitivity to Observations (EFSO, Kalnay et al., 2012) is a powerful tool to identify the beneficial or detrimental impact of every observation and has been widely used in atmospheric ensemble-based DA. However, EFSO has not yet been applied to any ocean or coupled DA due to the lack of a proper error norm for oceanic variables. This study first introduces a novel density-based error norm that simultaneously includes sea temperature and salinity forecast errors, by which EFSO becomes available to ocean DA for the first time. We implemented the oceanic EFSO on the CFSv2-LETKF for quantifying the individual impact of ocean observations and explored the great potential of EFSO to be extended as a data selection criterion to improve the CFSv2 forecasts.
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    (2022) Huang, Xinzhou; Yang, Kai; Dickerson, Russell R.; Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Satellite measurements of atmospheric trace gases provide continuous long-term information for monitoring the atmospheric chemical environment and air quality at local, regional, and global scales. Trace gas retrievals play a critical role in chemical data assimilation, air quality modeling and forecast, and regulatory decision-making. In this dissertation, I present retrievals of three trace gases species (O3, SO2, and NO2) from measurements of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation made from the imaging spectrometers onboard operational satellites, including the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) onboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite - Nadir Mapper (OMPS-NM) onboard Suomi-NPP (SNPP), and the OMPS-NM onboard NOAA-20 satellite. The retrievals of the trace gas vertical columns are achieved through the Direct Vertical Column Fitting (DVCF) algorithm, which is designed to maximize the absorption signature from the Earth’s atmosphere in the UV spectral range. This dissertation first demonstrates the theoretical basis and mathematical procedures of the DVCF algorithm used for retrieving total vertical columns of ozone (O3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from DSCOVR EPIC. We describe algorithm advances, including an improved O3 profile representation that enables profile adjustments from multiple spectral measurements and the spatial optimal estimation (SOE) scheme that reduces O3 artifacts resulted from EPIC’s band-to-band misregistrations. Furthermore, we present detailed error analyses to quantify retrieval uncertainties from various sources, assess EPIC-observed volcanic plumes, and validate O3 and SO2 retrievals with correlative data. The second part of this dissertation presents a suite of efforts to retrieve the tropospheric and stratospheric NO2 vertical columns from the new NOAA-20 OMPS hyperspectral Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) instrument, covering retrieval algorithm, Stratosphere-Troposphere Separation (STS) scheme, measurement sensitivity assessment, inter-comparison with the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), evaluation with ground-based Pandora spectrometers, as well as a case study of drastic NO2 changes during COVID-19 pandemic. The third part of my dissertation focuses on validation and algorithm improvements for the tropospheric NO2 retrievals from SNPP OMPS UV measurements. OMPS column NO2 was validated against coincidence measurements from two ground-based MAX-DOAS spectrometers deployed in eastern China. To achieve higher retrieval accuracy, we developed and implemented a series of algorithm improvements, including an explicit aerosol correction scheme to account for changes in measurement sensitivity caused by aerosol scattering and absorption, the replacement of climatological a priori NO2 profile with more accurate NO2 vertical distribution from high-resolution CMAQ model simulations, and the application of model-derived spatial weighting kernel to account for the effect of heterogeneous subpixel distribution. These improvements yield more accurate OMPS NO2 retrievals in better agreement with MAX-DOAS NO2 measurements. The analysis concluded that explicit aerosol correction and a priori profile adjustment are critical for improving satellite NO2 observations in highly polluted regions and spatial downscaling is helpful in resolving NO2 subpixel variations.
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    (2022) Lippi, Donald; Kleist, Daryl T; Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Doppler radial winds have been an underutilized observation in U.S. operational forecast systems. This has typically been owing to limitations in formulation of the observation operator, the amount of data thinning via super-obbing, or simple exclusion from assimilation in global modeling systems. In this work we explore some of the more feasible aspects of radial wind assimilation that could more readily be applied to the operational systems with the main goal to improve the use of radial winds in the operational forecast systems used by NOAA. It will be shown that improvements could be made to systems not only operating at the convective scale, but also that global systems could benefit from the assimilation of radial winds. Experiments featuring results from the regional NAM version 4 forecast system along with the GFS version 15 and 16 will be shown. The GFS experiments explore the potential radial wind impact via hypothetical observing networks tested with observing system simulation experiments. We further extend this study to a real-data case with a land falling tropical cyclone event and novel, rapidly-updated version of the GFS.This work is a first step toward improving the use of radial wind observations and tests their use for the very first time in the GFS. This effort demonstrates potential for radial wind assimilation in the GFS, a potentially important observation type as we increase update cadence and spatial resolution.
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    High Resolution Remote Sensing Observations of Summer Sea Ice
    (2022) Buckley, Ellen Margaret; Farrell, Sinéad L; Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    During the Arctic summer melt season, the sea ice transitions from a consolidated ice pack with a highly reflective snow-covered surface to a disintegrating unconsolidated pack with melt ponds spotting the ice surface. The albedo of the Arctic decreases by up to 50%, resulting in increased absorption of solar radiation, triggering the positive sea ice albedo feedback that further enhances melting. Summer melt processes occur at a small scale and are required for melt pond parameterization in models and quantifying albedo change. Arctic-wide observations of melt features were however not available until recently. In this work we develop original techniques for the analysis of high-resolution remote sensing observations of summer sea ice. By applying novel algorithms to data acquired from airborne and satellite sensors onboard IceBridge, Sentinel-2, WorldView and ICESat-2, we derive a set of parameters that describe melt conditions on Arctic sea ice in summer. We present a new, pixel-based classification scheme to identify melt features in high-resolution summer imagery. We apply the classification algorithm to IceBridge Digital Mapping System data and find a greater melt pond fraction (25%) on sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, a region consisting of predominantly first year ice, compared to the Central Arctic, where the melt pond fraction is 14% on predominantly multiyear ice. Expanding the study to observations acquired by the Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument, we track the variability in melt pond fraction and sea ice concentration with time, focusing on the anomalously warm summer of 2020. So as to obtain a three-dimensional view of the evolution of summer melt we also exploit ICESat-2 surface elevation measurements. We develop and apply the Melt Pond Algorithm to track ponds in ICESat-2 photon cloud data and derive their depth. Pond depth measurements in conjunction with melt pond fraction and sea ice concentration provide insights into the regional patterns and temporal evolution of melt on summer sea ice. We found mean melt pond fraction increased rapidly in the beginning of the melt season, peaking at 16% on 24 June 2020, while median pond depths increased steadily from 0.4 m at the beginning of the melt season, to peaking at 0.97 m on 16 July, even as melt pond fraction had begun to decrease. Our findings may be used to improve parameterization of melt processes in models, quantify freshwater storage, and study the partitioning of under ice light.