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Title: Sensitivity of the summertime tropical Atlantic precipitation distribution to convective parameterization and model resolution in ECHAM6

A realistic simulation of the tropical Atlantic precipitation distribution remains a challenge for atmospheric general circulation models, owing to their too coarse resolution that makes it necessary to parameterize convection. During boreal summer, models tend to underestimate the northward shift of the tropical Atlantic rain belt, leading to deficient precipitation over land and an anomalous precipitation maximum over the west Atlantic ocean. In this study, the model ECHAM6 is used to test the sensitivity of the precipitation biases to convective parameterization and horizontal resolution. Two sets of sensitivity experiments are performed. In the first set of experiments, modifications are applied to the convection scheme in order to investigate the relative roles of the trigger, entrainment, and closure formulations. In the second set, the model is run at high resolution with low-resolution boundary conditions in order to identify the relative contributions of a high-resolution atmosphere, orography, and surface. Results show that the dry bias over land in the model can be reduced by weakening the entrainment rate over land. Over ocean, it is found that the anomalous precipitation maximum occurs because of model choices that decrease the sensitivity of convection to the monsoon circulation in the east Atlantic. A reduction ofmore » the west Atlantic precipitation bias can be achieved by (i) using a moisture convergence closure, (ii) increasing the resolution of orography, or (iii) enhancing the production of deep convection in the east Atlantic. As a result, the biases over land and over ocean do not impact each other.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (Germany); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; tropical Atlantic; precipitation biases; convective paramaterization; horizontal resolution; Atlantic ITCZ
OSTI Identifier: