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Title: Challenges and Prospects for Reducing Coupled Climate Model SST Biases in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: The U.S. CLIVAR Eastern Tropical Oceans Synthesis Working Group

Abstract

Well-known problems trouble coupled general circulation models of the eastern Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. Model climates are significantly more symmetric about the equator than is observed. Model sea surface temperatures are biased warm south and southeast of the equator, and the atmosphere is too rainy within a band south of the equator. Near-coastal eastern equatorial SSTs are too warm, producing a zonal SST gradient in the Atlantic opposite in sign to that observed. The U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR) Eastern Tropical Ocean Synthesis Working Group (WG) has pursued here an updated assessment of coupled model SST biases, focusing on the surface energy balance components, on regional error sources from clouds, deep convection, winds, and ocean eddies; on the sensitivity to model resolution; and on remote impacts. Motivated by the assessment, the WG makes the following recommendations: 1) encourage identification of the specific parameterizations contributing to the biases in individual models, as these can be model dependent; 2) restrict multimodel intercomparisons to specific processes; 3) encourage development of high-resolution coupled models with a concurrent emphasis on parameterization development of finer-scale ocean and atmosphere features, including low clouds; 4) encourage further availability of all surface flux components from buoys,more » for longer continuous time periods, in persistently cloudy regions; and 5) focus on the eastern basin coastal oceanic upwelling regions, where further opportunities for observational–modeling synergism exist.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [3];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11];  [1];  [12];  [13];  [14];  [5];  [15];  [13]
  1. Univ. of Miami, FL (United States)
  2. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States); Ocean Univ. of China, Qingdao (China). Collaborative Innovation Center of Marine Science and Technology
  3. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  5. George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA (United States)
  6. Univ. of Bergen (Norway)
  7. Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama (Japan)
  8. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  9. GEOMAR, Kiel (Germany)
  10. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
  11. Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., Falmouth, MA (United States)
  12. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States)
  13. Ocean Univ. of China, Qingdao (China)
  14. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  15. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (United States); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); National Basic Research Priorities Programme (China); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC); German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); European Union (EU)
OSTI Identifier:
1480752
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC02-97ER62402; NA14OAR4310278; NA11OAR4310154; NA14OAR4310160; AGS-1233874; AGS-1338427; OCE-0745508; OCE-1334707; AGS-1462127; NNX14AM19G; NNX14AM71G; 2013CB956204; 41222037; 41221063; 03G0837A; 603521
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 97; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-0007
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Zuidema, Paquita, Chang, Ping, Medeiros, Brian, Kirtman, Ben P., Mechoso, Roberto, Schneider, Edwin K., Toniazzo, Thomas, Richter, Ingo, Small, R. Justin, Bellomo, Katinka, Brandt, Peter, de Szoeke, Simon, Farrar, J. Thomas, Jung, Eunsil, Kato, Seiji, Li, Mingkui, Patricola, Christina, Wang, Zaiyu, Wood, Robert, and Xu, Zhao. Challenges and Prospects for Reducing Coupled Climate Model SST Biases in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: The U.S. CLIVAR Eastern Tropical Oceans Synthesis Working Group. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00274.1.
Zuidema, Paquita, Chang, Ping, Medeiros, Brian, Kirtman, Ben P., Mechoso, Roberto, Schneider, Edwin K., Toniazzo, Thomas, Richter, Ingo, Small, R. Justin, Bellomo, Katinka, Brandt, Peter, de Szoeke, Simon, Farrar, J. Thomas, Jung, Eunsil, Kato, Seiji, Li, Mingkui, Patricola, Christina, Wang, Zaiyu, Wood, Robert, & Xu, Zhao. Challenges and Prospects for Reducing Coupled Climate Model SST Biases in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: The U.S. CLIVAR Eastern Tropical Oceans Synthesis Working Group. United States. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00274.1
Zuidema, Paquita, Chang, Ping, Medeiros, Brian, Kirtman, Ben P., Mechoso, Roberto, Schneider, Edwin K., Toniazzo, Thomas, Richter, Ingo, Small, R. Justin, Bellomo, Katinka, Brandt, Peter, de Szoeke, Simon, Farrar, J. Thomas, Jung, Eunsil, Kato, Seiji, Li, Mingkui, Patricola, Christina, Wang, Zaiyu, Wood, Robert, and Xu, Zhao. Thu . "Challenges and Prospects for Reducing Coupled Climate Model SST Biases in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: The U.S. CLIVAR Eastern Tropical Oceans Synthesis Working Group". United States. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00274.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1480752.
@article{osti_1480752,
title = {Challenges and Prospects for Reducing Coupled Climate Model SST Biases in the Eastern Tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: The U.S. CLIVAR Eastern Tropical Oceans Synthesis Working Group},
author = {Zuidema, Paquita and Chang, Ping and Medeiros, Brian and Kirtman, Ben P. and Mechoso, Roberto and Schneider, Edwin K. and Toniazzo, Thomas and Richter, Ingo and Small, R. Justin and Bellomo, Katinka and Brandt, Peter and de Szoeke, Simon and Farrar, J. Thomas and Jung, Eunsil and Kato, Seiji and Li, Mingkui and Patricola, Christina and Wang, Zaiyu and Wood, Robert and Xu, Zhao},
abstractNote = {Well-known problems trouble coupled general circulation models of the eastern Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. Model climates are significantly more symmetric about the equator than is observed. Model sea surface temperatures are biased warm south and southeast of the equator, and the atmosphere is too rainy within a band south of the equator. Near-coastal eastern equatorial SSTs are too warm, producing a zonal SST gradient in the Atlantic opposite in sign to that observed. The U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR) Eastern Tropical Ocean Synthesis Working Group (WG) has pursued here an updated assessment of coupled model SST biases, focusing on the surface energy balance components, on regional error sources from clouds, deep convection, winds, and ocean eddies; on the sensitivity to model resolution; and on remote impacts. Motivated by the assessment, the WG makes the following recommendations: 1) encourage identification of the specific parameterizations contributing to the biases in individual models, as these can be model dependent; 2) restrict multimodel intercomparisons to specific processes; 3) encourage development of high-resolution coupled models with a concurrent emphasis on parameterization development of finer-scale ocean and atmosphere features, including low clouds; 4) encourage further availability of all surface flux components from buoys, for longer continuous time periods, in persistently cloudy regions; and 5) focus on the eastern basin coastal oceanic upwelling regions, where further opportunities for observational–modeling synergism exist.},
doi = {10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00274.1},
journal = {Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society},
number = 12,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {12}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1. Fig. 1. : (a) CMIP5 ensemble annual-mean SST error in the historical 1960–2004 integrations of 25 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) coupled GCMs relative to the Hadley SST climatology. (b) CMIP5 ensemble 1979–2004 annual-mean precipitation errors in the same 25 models relative to Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitationmore » (CMAP) data, and mean wind (arrows) errors in 22 models relative to ERA-I 10-m winds. Arrows plotted only where all individual model wind errors fall within 90° from the mean. White hatching denotes areas where the sign of the error agrees in all models; black dots denote where all but one [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Mark 3.6.0 (CSIRO Mk3.6.0)] agree. [Adapted from Toniazzo and Woolnough (2014).]« less

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  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 72, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0252.1

The diurnal cycle of marine cloud feedback in climate models
journal, July 2014

  • Webb, Mark J.; Lock, Adrian P.; Bodas-Salcedo, Alejandro
  • Climate Dynamics, Vol. 44, Issue 5-6
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2234-1

Variability and Trends in Surface Meteorology and Air–Sea Fluxes at a Site off Northern Chile
journal, April 2015


The Transpose-AMIP II Experiment and Its Application to the Understanding of Southern Ocean Cloud Biases in Climate Models
journal, May 2013


The PreVOCA experiment: modeling the lower troposphere in the Southeast Pacific
journal, January 2010

  • Wyant, M. C.; Wood, R.; Bretherton, C. S.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 10, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-10-4757-2010

Global and regional modeling of clouds and aerosols in the marine boundary layer during VOCALS: the VOCA Intercomparison
journal, January 2014

  • Wyant, M. C.; Bretherton, C. S.; Wood, R.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, Vol. 14, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.5194/acpd-14-6537-2014

Diagnosing southeast tropical Atlantic SST and ocean circulation biases in the CMIP5 ensemble
journal, July 2014


Oceanic origin of southeast tropical Atlantic biases
journal, August 2013


CORE.2 Global Air-Sea Flux Dataset
dataset, January 2008

  • Yeager, Stephen G.; Large, William G.
  • UCAR/NCAR - Research Data Archive
  • DOI: 10.5065/D6WH2N0S

Possible Root Causes of Surface Westerly Biases over the Equatorial Atlantic in Global Climate Models
journal, October 2013


Shallow Meridional Circulations in the Tropical Atmosphere
journal, July 2008

  • Zhang, Chidong; Nolan, David S.; Thorncroft, Christopher D.
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1175/2007JCLI1870.1

Double ITCZ in Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Models: From CMIP3 to CMIP5: DOUBLE ITCZ IN CMIP3 AND CMIP5 AOGCMS
journal, October 2015

  • Zhang, Xiaoxiao; Liu, Hailong; Zhang, Minghua
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065973

Upper-Ocean Processes under the Stratus Cloud Deck in the Southeast Pacific Ocean
journal, January 2010

  • Zheng, Yangxing; Kiladis, George N.; Shinoda, Toshiaki
  • Journal of Physical Oceanography, Vol. 40, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1175/2009JPO4213.1

Sea Surface Temperature Biases under the Stratus Cloud Deck in the Southeast Pacific Ocean in 19 IPCC AR4 Coupled General Circulation Models
journal, August 2011

  • Zheng, Yangxing; Shinoda, Toshiaki; Lin, Jia-Lin
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 24, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1175/2011JCLI4172.1

The Interaction of Clouds and Dry Air in the Eastern Tropical Pacific
journal, September 2006

  • Zuidema, Paquita; Mapes, Brian; Lin, Jialin
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 19, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3836.1

Stratocumulus Cloud-Top Height Estimates and Their Climatic Implications
journal, September 2009

  • Zuidema, Paquita; Painemal, David; de Szoeke, Simon
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 22, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI2708.1

Smoke and Clouds above the Southeast Atlantic: Upcoming Field Campaigns Probe Absorbing Aerosol’s Impact on Climate
journal, July 2016

  • Zuidema, Paquita; Redemann, Jens; Haywood, James
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 97, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00082.1

Works referencing / citing this record:

Fast SST error growth in the southeast Pacific Ocean: comparison between high and low-resolution CCSM4 retrospective forecasts
journal, June 2019

  • da Silveira, Isabel Porto; Zuidema, Paquita; Kirtman, Benjamin Paul
  • Climate Dynamics, Vol. 53, Issue 9-10
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00382-019-04855-5

Can reducing the incoming energy flux over the Southern Ocean in a CGCM improve its simulation of tropical climate?: Southern Ocean-Tropics Link in a CGCM
journal, October 2016

  • Mechoso, Carlos R.; Losada, Teresa; Koseki, Shunya
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 20
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An Argo‐Derived Background Diffusivity Parameterization for Improved Ocean Simulations in the Tropical Pacific
journal, February 2018

  • Zhu, Yuchao; Zhang, Rong‐Hua
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017gl076269

A Modeling Strategy for the Investigation of the Effect of Mesoscale SST Variability on Atmospheric Dynamics
journal, April 2019

  • Jia, Yinglai; Chang, Ping; Szunyogh, Istvan
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019gl081960

The impact of climate model sea surface temperature biases on tropical cyclone simulations
journal, December 2018


Contributions of atmospheric and oceanic feedbacks to subtropical northeastern sea surface temperature variability
journal, September 2019


Role of wind stress in driving SST biases in the Tropical Atlantic
journal, March 2019

  • Voldoire, Aurore; Exarchou, Eleftheria; Sanchez-Gomez, Emilia
  • Climate Dynamics, Vol. 53, Issue 5-6
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00382-019-04717-0

The Tropical Atlantic Observing System
journal, May 2019


Ultra-clean and smoky marine boundary layers frequently occur in the same season over the southeast Atlantic
journal, January 2020

  • Pennypacker, Sam; Diamond, Michael; Wood, Robert
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 20, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-20-2341-2020

Revisiting the CMIP5 Thermocline in the Equatorial Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
journal, December 2018

  • Castaño‐Tierno, A.; Mohino, E.; Rodríguez‐Fonseca, B.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 23
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl079847

Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next Decade
journal, July 2019


Frontogenesis of the Angola–Benguela Frontal Zone
journal, January 2019

  • Koseki, Shunya; Giordani, Hervé; Goubanova, Katerina
  • Ocean Science, Vol. 15, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/os-15-83-2019

High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP v1.0) for CMIP6
journal, January 2016

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  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 9, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-9-4185-2016

Importance of positive cloud feedback for tropical Atlantic interhemispheric climate variability
journal, October 2017

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  • Climate Dynamics, Vol. 51, Issue 5-6
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Coupling Ocean Currents and Waves with Wind Stress over the Gulf Stream
journal, June 2019


Tropical Atlantic Variability: Observations and Modeling
journal, August 2019

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  • Atmosphere, Vol. 10, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.3390/atmos10090502

Equatorial Atlantic variability-Modes, mechanisms, and global teleconnections
journal, May 2018

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  • Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 9, Issue 4
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The diurnal cycle of the smoky marine boundary layer observed during August in the remote southeast Atlantic
journal, January 2019


Ultra-clean and smoky marine boundary layers frequently occur in the same season over the southeast Atlantic
journal, July 2019

  • Pennypacker, Sam; Diamond, Michael; Wood, Robert
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-2019-628