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Title: Progress in Simulating the Quasi–Biennial Oscillation in CMIP Models

Abstract

The quasi–biennial oscillation (QBO) of the zonal mean zonal wind is the primary mode of variability in the tropical lower stratosphere. The QBO is characterized by alternating easterly westerly shear layers that descend down from ~10 to 100 hPa. The QBO is also seen in lower stratospheric tropical temperature, water vapor, and ozone and affects tropospheric variability through various teleconnections. We examine here the progress in simulating the QBO in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) models, more specifically in CMIP3, CMIP5, and CMIP6 models. We show that the number of models that are able to simulate the QBO has increased from 0 in CMIP3, to 5 in CMIP5, to 15 in CMIP6. While the number of models with an internally generated QBO has tripled from CMIP5 to CMIP6, the fidelity of the simulation averaged over the CMIP models has not improved. We show that CMIP5 and CMIP6 models represent the QBO period and latitudinal extent quite well; however the QBO amplitude is shifted upwards relative to observations resulting in large underestimation of QBO amplitude at all levels below 20 hPa. As a result, the underestimation of QBO amplitude in the lowermost stratosphere and lack of variations downward to themore » tropopause and below will likely impact the quality of teleconnections seen in the current generation Earth system models.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma), Victoria, BC (Canada)
  3. Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  4. Japan Agency for Marine‐Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama (Japan)
  5. National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Leeds (United Kingdom); University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
  6. National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Leeds (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1668776
Grant/Contract Number:  
89243018SSC000007
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 125; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Richter, Jadwiga H., Anstey, James A., Butchart, Neal, Kawatani, Yoshio, Meehl, Gerald A., Osprey, Scott, and Simpson, Isla R. Progress in Simulating the Quasi–Biennial Oscillation in CMIP Models. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019jd032362.
Richter, Jadwiga H., Anstey, James A., Butchart, Neal, Kawatani, Yoshio, Meehl, Gerald A., Osprey, Scott, & Simpson, Isla R. Progress in Simulating the Quasi–Biennial Oscillation in CMIP Models. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019jd032362
Richter, Jadwiga H., Anstey, James A., Butchart, Neal, Kawatani, Yoshio, Meehl, Gerald A., Osprey, Scott, and Simpson, Isla R. Tue . "Progress in Simulating the Quasi–Biennial Oscillation in CMIP Models". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019jd032362. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1668776.
@article{osti_1668776,
title = {Progress in Simulating the Quasi–Biennial Oscillation in CMIP Models},
author = {Richter, Jadwiga H. and Anstey, James A. and Butchart, Neal and Kawatani, Yoshio and Meehl, Gerald A. and Osprey, Scott and Simpson, Isla R.},
abstractNote = {The quasi–biennial oscillation (QBO) of the zonal mean zonal wind is the primary mode of variability in the tropical lower stratosphere. The QBO is characterized by alternating easterly westerly shear layers that descend down from ~10 to 100 hPa. The QBO is also seen in lower stratospheric tropical temperature, water vapor, and ozone and affects tropospheric variability through various teleconnections. We examine here the progress in simulating the QBO in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) models, more specifically in CMIP3, CMIP5, and CMIP6 models. We show that the number of models that are able to simulate the QBO has increased from 0 in CMIP3, to 5 in CMIP5, to 15 in CMIP6. While the number of models with an internally generated QBO has tripled from CMIP5 to CMIP6, the fidelity of the simulation averaged over the CMIP models has not improved. We show that CMIP5 and CMIP6 models represent the QBO period and latitudinal extent quite well; however the QBO amplitude is shifted upwards relative to observations resulting in large underestimation of QBO amplitude at all levels below 20 hPa. As a result, the underestimation of QBO amplitude in the lowermost stratosphere and lack of variations downward to the tropopause and below will likely impact the quality of teleconnections seen in the current generation Earth system models.},
doi = {10.1029/2019jd032362},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 8,
volume = 125,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {4}
}

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