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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0894
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract  The Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma) global coupled model is used to investigate the potential climate effects of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations and changes in sulfate aerosol loadings. The forcing scenario adopted closely resembles that of Mitchell et al. for both the greenhouse gas and aerosol components. Its implementation in the model and the resulting changes in forcing are described. Five simulations of 200 years in length, nominally for the years 1900 to 2100, are available for analysis. They consist of a control simulation without change in forcing, three independent simulations with the same greenhouse gas and aerosol changes, and a single simulation with greenhouse gas only forcing. Simulations of the evolution of temperature and precipitation from 1900 to the present are compared with available observations. Temperature and precipitation are primary climate variables with reasonable temporal and spatial coverage in the observational record for the period. The simulation of potential climate change from the present to the end of the twenty-first century, based on projected GHG and aerosol forcing changes, is discussed in a companion paper. For the historical period dealt with here, the GHG and aerosol forcing has changed relatively little compared to the forcing changes projected to the end of the twenty-first century. Nevertheless, the forced climate signal for temperature in the model is reasonably consistent with the observed global mean temperature from the instrumental record. This is true also for the trend in zonally averaged temperature as a function of latitude and for some aspects of the geographical and regional distributions of temperature. Despite the modest change in overall forcing, the difference between GHG+aerosol and GHG-only forcing is discernible in the temperature response for this period. Changes in precipitation, on the other hand, are much less evident in both the instrumental and simulated record. There is an apparent increasing trend in average precipitation in both the observations and the model results over that part of the land for which observations are available. Regional and geographical changes and trends (which are less affected by sampling considerations), if they exist, are masked by the large natural variability of precipitation in both model and observations.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-0894
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract  The potential climatic consequences of increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration and sulfate aerosol loading are investigated for the years 1900 to 2100 based on five simulations with the CCCma coupled climate model. The five simulations comprise a control experiment without change in GHG or aerosol amount, three independent simulations with increasing GHG and aerosol forcing, and a simulation with increasing GHG forcing only. Climate warming accelerates from the present with global mean temperatures simulated to increase by 1.7 °C to the year 2050 and by a further 2.7 °C by the year 2100. The warming is non-uniform as to hemisphere, season, and underlying surface. Changes in interannual variability of temperature show considerable structure and seasonal dependence. The effect of the comparatively localized negative radiative forcing associated with the aerosol is to retard and reduce the warming by about 0.9 °C at 2050 and 1.2 °C at 2100. Its primary effect on temperature is to counteract the global pattern of GHG-induced warming and only secondarily to affect local temperatures suggesting that the first order transient climate response of the system is determined by feedback processes and only secondarily by the local pattern of radiative forcing. The warming is accompanied by a more active hydrological cycle with increases in precipitation and evaporation rates that are delayed by comparison with temperature increases. There is an “El Nino-like” shift in precipitation and an overall increase in the interannual variability of precipitation. The effect of the aerosol forcing is again primarily to delay and counteract the GHG-induced increase. Decreases in soil moisture are common but regionally dependent and interannual variability changes show considerable structure. Snow cover and sea-ice retreat. A PNA-like anomaly in mean sea-level pressure with an enhanced Aleutian low in northern winter is associated with the tropical shift in precipitation regime. The interannual variability of mean sea-level pressure generally decreases with largest decreases in the tropical Indian ocean region. Changes to the ocean thermal structure are associated with a spin-down of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation together with a decrease in its variability. The effect of aerosol forcing, although modest, differs from that for most other quantities in that it does not act primarily to counteract the GHG forcing effect. The barotropic stream function in the ocean exhibits modest change in the north Pacific but accelerating changes in much of the Southern Ocean and particularly in the north Atlantic where the gyre spins down in conjunction with the decrease in the thermohaline circulation. The results differ in non-trivial ways from earlier equilibrium 2 × CO2 results with the CCCma model as a consequence of the coupling to a fully three-dimensional ocean model and the evolving nature of the forcing.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-0894
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract  A global, three-dimensional climate model, developed by coupling the CCCma second-generation atmospheric general circulation model (GCM2) to a version of the GFDL modular ocean model (MOM1), forms the basis for extended simulations of past, current and projected future climate. The spin-up and coupling procedures are described, as is the resulting climate based on a 200 year model simulation with constant atmospheric composition and external forcing. The simulated climate is systematically compared to available observations in terms of mean climate quantities and their spatial patterns, temporal variability, and regional behavior. Such comparison demonstrates a generally successful reproduction of the broad features of mean climate quantities, albeit with local discrepancies. Variability is generally well-simulated over land, but somewhat underestimated in the tropical ocean and the extratropical storm-track regions. The modelled climate state shows only small trends, indicating a reasonable level of balance at the surface, which is achieved in part by the use of heat and freshwater flux adjustments. The control simulation provides a basis against which to compare simulated climate change due to historical and projected greenhouse gas and aerosol forcing as described in companion publications.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-0894
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract  We examine the seasonal cycle of near-surface air temperature simulated by 17 coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). Nine of the models use ad hoc “flux adjustment” at the ocean surface to bring model simulations close to observations of the present-day climate. We group flux-adjusted and non-flux-adjusted models separately and examine the behavior of each class. When averaged over all of the flux-adjusted model simulations, near-surface air temperature falls within 2 K of observed values over the oceans. The corresponding average over non-flux-adjusted models shows errors up to ∼6 K in extensive ocean areas. Flux adjustments are not directly applied over land, and near-surface land temperature errors are substantial in the average over flux-adjusted models, which systematically underestimates (by ∼5 K) temperature in areas of elevated terrain. The corresponding average over non-flux-adjusted models forms a similar error pattern (with somewhat increased amplitude) over land. We use the temperature difference between July and January to measure seasonal cycle amplitude. Zonal means of this quantity from the individual flux-adjusted models form a fairly tight cluster (all within ∼30% of the mean) centered on the observed values. The non-flux-adjusted models perform nearly as well at most latitudes. In Southern Ocean mid-latitudes, however, the non-flux-adjusted models overestimate the magnitude of January-minus-July temperature differences by ∼5 K due to an overestimate of summer (January) near-surface temperature. This error is common to five of the eight non-flux-adjusted models. Also, over Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude land areas, zonal mean differences between July and January temperatures simulated by the non-flux-adjusted models show a greater spread (positive and negative) about observed values than results from the flux-adjusted models. Elsewhere, differences between the two classes of models are less obvious. At no latitude is the zonal mean difference between averages over the two classes of models greater than the standard deviation over models. The ability of coupled GCMs to simulate a reasonable seasonal cycle is a necessary condition for confidence in their prediction of long-term climatic changes (such as global warming), but it is not a sufficient condition unless the seasonal cycle and long-term changes involve similar climatic processes. To test this possible connection, we compare seasonal cycle amplitude with equilibrium warming under doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide for the models in our data base. A small but positive correlation exists between these two quantities. This result is predicted by a simple conceptual model of the climate system, and it is consistent with other modeling experience, which indicates that the seasonal cycle depends only weakly on climate sensitivity.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-11-09
    Description: The Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution (CanSISE) Network is a climate research network focused on developing and applying state-of-the-art observational data to advance dynamical prediction, projections, and understanding of seasonal snow cover and sea ice in Canada and the circumpolar Arctic. This study presents an assessment from the CanSISE Network of the ability of the second-generation Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) and the Canadian Seasonal to Interannual Prediction System (CanSIPS) to simulate and predict snow and sea ice from seasonal to multi-decadal timescales, with a focus on the Canadian sector. To account for observational uncertainty, model structural uncertainty, and internal climate variability, the analysis uses multi-source observations, multiple Earth system models (ESMs) in Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), and large initial-condition ensembles of CanESM2 and other models. It is found that the ability of the CanESM2 simulation to capture snow-related climate parameters, such as cold-region surface temperature and precipitation, lies within the range of currently available international models. Accounting for the considerable disagreement among satellite-era observational datasets on the distribution of snow water equivalent, CanESM2 has too much springtime snow mass over Canada, reflecting a broader northern hemispheric positive bias. Biases in seasonal snow cover extent are generally less pronounced. CanESM2 also exhibits retreat of springtime snow generally greater than observational estimates, after accounting for observational uncertainty and internal variability. Sea ice is biased low in the Canadian Arctic, which makes it difficult to assess the realism of long-term sea ice trends there. The strengths and weaknesses of the modelling system need to be understood as a practical tradeoff: the Canadian models are relatively inexpensive computationally because of their moderate resolution, thus enabling their use in operational seasonal prediction and for generating large ensembles of multidecadal simulations. Improvements in climate-prediction systems like CanSIPS rely not just on simulation quality but also on using novel observational constraints and the ready transfer of research to an operational setting. Improvements in seasonal forecasting practice arising from recent research include accurate initialization of snow and frozen soil, accounting for observational uncertainty in forecast verification, and sea ice thickness initialization using statistical predictors available in real time.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-09-13
    Description: We describe the behaviour of 23 dynamical ocean-atmosphere models, in the context of comparison with observations in a common framework. Fields of tropical sea surface temperature (SST), surface wind stress and upper ocean vertically averaged temperature (VAT) are assessed with regard to annual mean, seasonal cycle, and interannual variability characteristics. Of the participating models, 21 are coupled GCMs, of which 13 use no form of flux adjustment in the tropics. The models vary widely in design, components and purpose: nevertheless several common features are apparent. In most models without flux adjustment, the annual mean equatorial SST in the central Pacific is too cool and the Atlantic zonal SST gradient has the wrong sign. Annual mean wind stress is often too weak in the central Pacific and in the Atlantic, but too strong in the west Pacific. Few models have an upper ocean VAT seasonal cycle like that observed in the equatorial Pacific. Interannual variability is commonly too weak in the models: in particular, wind stress variability is low in the equatorial Pacific. Most models have difficulty in reproducing the observed Pacific 'horseshoe' pattern of negative SST correlations with interannual Niño3 SST anomalies, or the observed Indian-Pacific lag correlations. The results for the fields examined indicate that several substantial model improvements are needed, particularly with regard to surface wind stress.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2016-09-08
    Description:  An ensemble of twenty four coupled ocean-atmosphere models has been compared with respect to their performance in the tropical Pacific. The coupled models span a large portion of the parameter space and differ in many respects. The intercomparison includes TOGA (Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere)-type models consisting of high-resolution tropical ocean models and coarse-resolution global atmosphere models, coarse-resolution global coupled models, and a few global coupled models with high resolution in the equatorial region in their ocean components. The performance of the annual mean state, the seasonal cycle and the interannual variability are investigated. The primary quantity analysed is sea surface temperature (SST). Additionally, the evolution of interannual heat content variations in the tropical Pacific and the relationship between the interannual SST variations in the equatorial Pacific to fluctuations in the strength of the Indian summer monsoon are investigated. The results can be summarised as follows: almost all models (even those employing flux corrections) still have problems in simulating the SST climatology, although some improvements are found relative to earlier intercomparison studies. Only a few of the coupled models simulate the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in terms of gross equatorial SST anomalies realistically. In particular, many models overestimate the variability in the western equatorial Pacific and underestimate the SST variability in the east. The evolution of interannual heat content variations is similar to that observed in almost all models. Finally, the majority of the models show a strong connection between ENSO and the strength of the Indian summer monsoon.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-03-04
    Description: Experiments with dynamic-thermodynamic sea-ice models indicate a strong dependence of the net freezing rate, sea-ice transport and variability on dynamic model parameters. Although current dynamic-thermodynamic sea-ice models show relatively good agreement with observations, an optimization seems to be necessary, especially for the parameterizations of dynamic processes. Presently, only a few coupled climate models use dynamic-thermodynamic sea-ice models. In order to promote, by means of coordinated numerical experiments, the development of an optimal sea-ice model for climate research, the Sea Ice Ocean Modelling Panel of the Arctic Climate System Study (ACSYS, a project of the World Climate Research Programme) has initiated the Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP). The first results from this model hierarchy approach are presented
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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