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Alexander Loew, Axel Andersson, Jörg Trentmann, and Marc Schröder

Abstract

Earth system models are indispensable tools in climate studies. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) is a coordinated effort of the Earth system modeling community to intercompare existing models. An accurate simulation of surface solar radiation fluxes is of major importance for the accuracy of simulations of the near-surface climate in Earth system models. The present study provides a quantitative assessment of the accuracy and multidecadal changes of surface solar radiation fluxes for model results from two phases of CMIP. The entire archives of phase 5 of CMIP (CMIP5) and its predecessor phase 3 (CMIP3) are analyzed for present-day climate conditions. A relative model ranking is provided, and its uncertainty is quantified using different global observational records. It is shown that the choice of an observational dataset can have a major influence on relative model ranking between CMIP models. However the multidecadal variability of surface solar radiation fluxes, also known as global “dimming” or “brightening,” is largely underestimated by the CMIP models.

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Brett F. Thornton, Axel Horst, Daniel Carrizo, Henry Holmstrand, Per Andersson, Patrick M. Crill, and Örjan Gustafsson

Abstract

A system was developed for collecting from the ambient atmosphere the methyl halides CH3Cl and CH3Br in quantities sufficient for chlorine and bromine isotope analysis. The construction and operation of the novel cryogenic collection system (cryosampler) and sample purification system developed for this task are described. This study demonstrates the capability of the cryosampler by quantifying the CH3Cl and CH3Br collected from atmospheric samples and the nonfractionating bromine isotope fingerprint of CH3Br from synthetic air samples of controlled composition. An optimized cryosampler operation time of 4 h at a flow rate of 15 L min−1 is applied to yield the nearly 40 ng required for subsequent δ81Br-CH3Br analyses. The sample purification system is designed around a packed column gas chromatography–quadropole–mass spectrometry (GCqMS) system with three additional cryotraps and backflushing capacity. The system's suitability was tested by observing both the mass recovery and the lack of Δ81Br isotope fractionation induced during sample purification under varying flow rates and loading scenarios. To demonstrate that the entire system samples and dependably delivers CH3Br to the isotope analysis system without inducing isotope fractionation, diluted synthetic air mixtures prepared from standard gases were processed through the entire system, yielding a Δ81Br-CH3Br of +0.03‰ ± 0.10‰ relative to their starting composition. Finally, the combined cryosampler–purification and analysis system was applied to demonstrate the first-ever δ81Br-CH3Br in the ambient atmosphere with two samples collected in the autumn of 2011, yielding −0.08‰ ± 0.43‰ and +1.75‰ ± 0.13‰ versus standard mean ocean bromide for samples collected at a suburban Stockholm, Sweden, site.

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Julian Kinzel, Karsten Fennig, Marc Schröder, Axel Andersson, Karl Bumke, and Rainer Hollmann

Abstract

Latent heat fluxes (LHF) play an essential role in the global energy budget and are thus important for understanding the climate system. Satellite-based remote sensing permits a large-scale determination of LHF, which, among others, are based on near-surface specific humidity . However, the random retrieval error () remains unknown. Here, a novel approach is presented to quantify the error contributions to pixel-level of the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data, version 3.2 (HOAPS, version 3.2), dataset. The methodology makes use of multiple triple collocation (MTC) analysis between 1995 and 2008 over the global ice-free oceans. Apart from satellite records, these datasets include selected ship records extracted from the Seewetteramt Hamburg (SWA) archive and the International Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS), serving as the in situ ground reference. The MTC approach permits the derivation of as the sum of model uncertainty and sensor noise , while random uncertainties due to in situ measurement errors () and collocation () are isolated concurrently. Results show an average of 1.1 ± 0.3 g kg−1, whereas the mean () is in the order of 0.5 ± 0.1 g kg−1 (0.5 ± 0.3 g kg−1). Regional analyses indicate a maximum of exceeding 1.5 g kg−1 within humidity regimes of 12–17 g kg−1, associated with the single-parameter, multilinear retrieval applied in HOAPS. Multidimensional bias analysis reveals that global maxima are located off the Arabian Peninsula.

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Axel Andersson, Christian Klepp, Karsten Fennig, Stephan Bakan, Hartmut Grassl, and Jörg Schulz

Abstract

Today, latent heat flux and precipitation over the global ocean surface can be determined from microwave satellite data as a basis for estimating the related fields of the ocean surface freshwater flux. The Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data (HOAPS) is the only generally available satellite-based dataset with consistently derived global fields of both evaporation and precipitation and hence of freshwater flux for the period 1987–2005. This paper presents a comparison of the evaporation E, precipitation P, and the resulting freshwater flux EP in HOAPS with recently available reference datasets from reanalysis and other satellite observation projects as well as in situ ship measurements. In addition, the humidity and wind speed input parameters for the evaporation are examined to identify sources for differences between the datasets. Results show that the general climatological patterns are reproduced by all datasets. Global mean time series often agree within about 10% of the individual products, while locally larger deviations may be found for all parameters. HOAPS often agrees better with the other satellite-derived datasets than with the in situ or the reanalysis data. The agreement usually improves in regions of good in situ sampling statistics. The biggest deviations of the evaporation parameter result from differences in the near-surface humidity estimates. The precipitation datasets exhibit large differences in highly variable regimes with the largest absolute differences in the ITCZ and the largest relative biases in the extratropical storm-track regions. The resulting freshwater flux estimates exhibit distinct differences in terms of global averages as well as regional biases. In comparison with long-term mean global river runoff data, the ocean surface freshwater balance is not closed by any of the compared fields. The datasets exhibit a positive bias in EP of 0.2–0.5 mm day−1, which is on the order of 10% of the evaporation and precipitation estimates.

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Remon Sadikni, Nils H. Schade, Axel Andersson, Annika Jahnke-Bornemann, Iris Hinrichs, Lydia Gates, Birger Tinz, and Detlef Stammer

Abstract

Climatological reference data serve as validation of regional climate models, as the boundary condition for the model runs, and as input for assimilation systems used by reanalyses. Within the framework of the interdisciplinary research program Climate Water Navigation (KLIWAS): Impacts of Climate Change on Waterways and Navigation of the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, a new climatology of the North Sea and adjacent regions was developed in an joint effort by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, the German Weather Service [Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)], and the Integrated Climate Data Center (ICDC) of the University of Hamburg. Long-term records of monthly and annual mean 2-m air temperature, dewpoint temperature, and sea level pressure data from 1950 to 2010 were calculated on a horizontal 1° × 1° grid. All products were based on quality-controlled data from DWD’s Marine Data Centre. Correction methods were implemented for each parameter to reduce the sampling error resulting from the sparse coverage of observations in certain regions. Comparisons between sampling error estimates based on ERA-40 and the climatology products show that the sampling error was reduced effectively. The climatologies are available for download on the ICDC’s website and will be updated regularly regarding new observations and additional parameters. An extension to the Baltic Sea is in progress.

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