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Numerical on the climatic effect of the Aral Sea
He, H.; Hamdi, R.; Luo, G.; Cai, P.; Zhang, M.; Shi, H.; Li, C.; Termonia, P.; De Maeyer, P.; Kurban, A. (2022). Numerical on the climatic effect of the Aral Sea. Atmos. Res. 268: 105977. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2021.105977
In: Atmospheric Research. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0169-8095; e-ISSN 1873-2895, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    The Aral Sea; Regional climate model; Atmosphere circulation;Precipitation, energy balance components

Authors  Top 
  • He, H., more
  • Hamdi, R., more
  • Luo, G.
  • Cai, P.
  • Zhang, M.
  • Shi, H., more
  • Li, C.
  • Termonia, P., more
  • De Maeyer, P., more
  • Kurban, A.

    Lakes play an important role in regulating the regional climate, especially the large one in the arid region. The Aral Sea located in Central Asia, was once the fourth largest lake in the world, but gradually shrunk and lost more than 80% of its surface. As the Ara Sea dries up in last 60 years, the role of Aral Sea in regulating the regional climate dampens. However, how the Aral Sea regulates the regional climate and its mechanisms remains less understand. The climatic effect of the Aral Sea on regional climate is quantified by comparing two ideal simulations, with the Aral Sea included or excluded, using ALARO-SURFEX regional climate model under 4-km horizontal resolution. The model's performance in reproducing the 2-m temperature, precipitation and surface energy fluxes was evaluated firstly. The Aral Sea decreases (increases) the 2-m temperature in spring-summer (autumn-winter) over the Aral Sea and ambient land, which causes higher (lower) sea level pressure in spring-summer (autumn-winter) corresponding to enhanced the divergence (convergence) in spring-summer (autumn-winter). The lake-effect penetrates to the atmosphere, cools (warms) the daytime air temperature by 2.03 °C (0.07 °C) below (above) the height of 1.4-km during May to September but warming the nighttime air temperature by 0.42 °C below 0.6-km, leads to enhancing descent (ascent) motion in daytime (nighttime), which suppress (trigger) development of local convection in daytime (nighttime). The presence of Aral Sea increases specific humidity below 0.8-km in both daytime and nighttime. As a result, the annual precipitation, especially convective precipitation is increased by 7.08 mm and mainly occurs in nighttime-morning and open water period, but reduced precipitation occurs in 13:00–17:00 and ice frozen period. The presence of Aral Sea substantially reduces the sensible heat, enhances the latent heat, increases ground heat fluxes, but these effects depend season and diurnal variation. The temperature change induced by the Aral Sea is most contributed by the change of latent heat (ground heat) in open water period (ice frozen period), in diurnal timescale, the ground heat contributes most in both daytime and nighttime temperature change.

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