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C. T. Gordon

Abstract

A parameterization package for cloud-radiation interaction is incorporated into a spectral general circulation model (GCM). Fractional cloud amount is predicted quasi-empirically; cloud optical depth is specified for warm clouds and anvil cirrus, but depends on temperature for other subfreezing clouds; the long- and shortwave cloud optical properties are linked to the cloud optical depth. The model's time-mean clouds and its radiative, thermal, and dynamical response to cloud-radiation interaction are investigated for the extended forecast range, primarily by performing two sets of 30-day integrations from real initial conditions for three Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter and three NH summer cases: (i) CLDRADI, with cloud-radiation interaction; and (ii) LONDON, with this GCM's traditional specification of climatological zonal-mean cloud amount and global-mean cloud optical properties.

The 30-day mean CLDRADI fields of total and high cloud amount and corresponding outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) fields are plausible in many respects, especially in the tropics where the latter exhibit South Pacific convergence zone (SPCZ)-like and some intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)-like features, in qualitative agreement with Nimbus-7 and Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) observations. Also, the predicted monthly mean OLR anomalies (relative to model climatology) respond to interannual variations in sea surface temperature. Cloud amount and cloud optical depth are apparently underestimated, however, over the higher-latitude oceans, especially over the Southern Hemisphere (SH) circumpolar low pressure belt and Antarctica. The zonal mean bias in shortwave and net radiation remains large at high latitudes in the summer hemisphere, despite the improved longitudinal structure in the tropics.

Cloud-radiation interaction elicits a cirrus warming response, which reduces the tropical upper-tropospheric cold bias by ∼1–2 K. Over Antarctica, the warm bias in SH summer and cold bias in SH winter are both considerably reduced. During NH winter, the tropical upper troposphere experiences a significant westerly acceleration, including a sign reversal of the zonal-mean zonal wind. By being more conducive to meridional propagation, CLDRADI's tropical westerlies may contribute to the amplification of the quasi-stationary planetary waves in the SH summer extratropics. Otherwise, the impact of cloud-radiation interaction on extratropical geopotential height is generally minimal at extended range.

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C. T. Gordon, A. Rosati, and R. Gudgel

Abstract

The seasonal cycle of SST observed in the eastern equatorial Pacific is poorly simulated by many ocean–atmosphere coupled GCMs. This deficiency may be partly due to an incorrect prediction of tropical marine stratocumulus (MSc). To explore this hypothesis, two basic multiyear simulations have been performed using a coupled GCM with seasonally varying solar radiation. The model’s cloud prediction scheme, which underpredicts tropical marine stratocumulus, is used for all clouds in the control run. In contrast, in the “ISCCP” run, the climatological monthly mean low cloud fraction is specified over the open ocean, utilizing C2 data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP). In this manner, the treatment of MSc clouds, including the annual cycle, is more realistic than in previous sensitivity studies.

Robust surface and subsurface thermodynamical and dynamical responses to the specified MSc are found in the Tropics, especially near the equator. In the annual mean, the equatorial cold tongue extends farther west and intensifies, while the east–west SST gradient is enhanced. A double SST maximum flanking the cold tongue becomes asymmetric about the equator. The SST annual cycle in the eastern equatorial Pacific strengthens, and the equatorial SST seasonal anomalies migrate farther westward. MSc-induced local shortwave radiative cooling enhances dynamical cooling associated with the southeast trades. The surface meridional wind stress in the extreme eastern equatorial Pacific remains southerly all year, while the surface zonal wind stress and equatorial upwelling intensify, as does the seasonal cycle of evaporation, in better agreement with observation. Within the ocean, the thermocline steepens and the Equatorial Undercurrent intensifies. When the low clouds are entirely removed, the SST warms by about 5.5 K in the western and central tropical Pacific, relative to “ISCCP,” and the model’s SST bias there reverses sign.

ENSO-like interannual variability with a characteristic timescale of 3–5 yr is found in all simulations, though its amplitude varies. The “ISCCP” equatorial cold tongue inhibits the eastward progression of ENSO-like warm events east of the date line. When the specified low cloud fraction in “ISCCP” is reduced by 20%, the interannual variability amplifies somewhat and the coupled model responds more like a delayed oscillator. The apparent sensitivity in the equatorial Pacific to a 20% relative change in low cloud fraction may have some cautionary implications for seasonal prediction by coupled GCMs.

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C. T. Gordon, L. Umscheid Jr., and K. Miyakoda

Abstract

Numerical simulation experiments are performed with a 9-level global general circulation model to help determine how much wind data in the tropics are needed for the reconstruction of meteorological fields. Prediction runs are updated every 12 hr with hypothetical data generated from the same model.

It is found that the asymptotic root mean square (rms) wind errors in the tropics, particularly in the 11S-IIN “equatorial” latitude belt, fail to meet the GARP data requirements for the FGGE if surface pressure and temperature data alone are used for updating. The addition of tropical wind data at just two vertical levels leads to a significant, but insufficient, reduction of rrns wind errors within “tropics” (26S-26N); the largest errors remain near the equator. However, these errors become acceptably small if wind data are inserted at all 9 levels within the equatorial region. Another result is that insertion of tropical wind data at just two levels has a sizable influence upon wind errors even in the extratropics.

A critique of some implicit assumptions made in simulation experiments of the type we have performed is included.

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Richard G. Gudgel, Anthony Rosati, and C. T. Gordon

Abstract

The sensitivity of a coupled general circulation model (CGCM) to tropical marine stratocumulus (MSc) clouds and low-level clouds over the tropical land is examined. The hypothesis that low-level clouds play an important role in determining the strength and position of the Walker circulation and also on the strength and phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is studied using a Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) experimental prediction CGCM. In the Tropics, a GFDL experimental prediction CGCM exhibits a strong bias in the western Pacific where an eastward shift in the ascending branch of the Walker circulation diminishes the strength and expanse of the sea surface temperature (SST) warm pool, thereby reducing the east–west SST gradient, and effectively weakening the trade winds. These model features are evidence of a poorly simulated Walker circulation, one that mirrors a “perpetual El Niño” state. One possible factor contributing to this bias is a poor simulation of MSc clouds in the eastern equatorial Pacific (which are essential to a proper SST annual cycle). Another possible contributing factor might be radiative heating biases over the land in the Tropics, which could, in turn, have a significant impact on the preferred locations of maximum convection in the Tropics. As a means of studying the sensitivity of a CGCM to both MSc clouds and to varied radiative forcing over the land in the Tropics, low-level clouds obtained from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) are prescribed. The experiment sets consist of one where clouds are fully predicted, another where ISCCP low-level clouds are prescribed over the oceans alone, and a third where ISCCP low-level clouds are prescribed both over the global oceans and over the tropical landmasses. A set of ten 12-month hindcasts is performed for each experiment.

The results show that the combined prescription of interannually varying global ocean and climatological tropical land low-level clouds into the CGCM results in a much improved simulation of the Walker circulation over the Pacific Ocean. The improvement to the tropical circulation was also notable over the Indian and Atlantic basins as well. These improvements in circulation led to a considerable increase in ENSO hindcast skill in the first year by the CGCM. These enhancements were a function of both the presence of MSc clouds over the tropical oceans and were also due to the more realistic positioning of the regions of maximum convection in the Tropics. This latter model feature was essentially a response to the change in radiative forcing over tropical landmasses associated with a reduction in low cloud fraction and optical depth when ISCCP low-level clouds were prescribed there. These results not only underscore the importance of a reasonable representation of MSc clouds but also point out the considerable impact that radiative forcing over the tropical landmasses has on the simulated position of the Walker circulation and also on ENSO forecasting.

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Keith Lindsay, Gordon B. Bonan, Scott C. Doney, Forrest M. Hoffman, David M. Lawrence, Matthew C. Long, Natalie M. Mahowald, J. Keith Moore, James T. Randerson, and Peter E. Thornton

Abstract

Version 1 of the Community Earth System Model, in the configuration where its full carbon cycle is enabled, is introduced and documented. In this configuration, the terrestrial biogeochemical model, which includes carbon–nitrogen dynamics and is present in earlier model versions, is coupled to an ocean biogeochemical model and atmospheric CO2 tracers. The authors provide a description of the model, detail how preindustrial-control and twentieth-century experiments were initialized and forced, and examine the behavior of the carbon cycle in those experiments. They examine how sea- and land-to-air CO2 fluxes contribute to the increase of atmospheric CO2 in the twentieth century, analyze how atmospheric CO2 and its surface fluxes vary on interannual time scales, including how they respond to ENSO, and describe the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 and its surface fluxes. While the model broadly reproduces observed aspects of the carbon cycle, there are several notable biases, including having too large of an increase in atmospheric CO2 over the twentieth century and too small of a seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The biases are related to a weak response of the carbon cycle to climatic variations on interannual and seasonal time scales and to twentieth-century anthropogenic forcings, including rising CO2, land-use change, and atmospheric deposition of nitrogen.

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Randal D. Koster, Y. C. Sud, Zhichang Guo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Gordon Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Edmond Chan, Diana Verseghy, Peter Cox, Harvey Davies, Eva Kowalczyk, C. T. Gordon, Shinjiro Kanae, David Lawrence, Ping Liu, David Mocko, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Ken Mitchell, Sergey Malyshev, Bryant McAvaney, Taikan Oki, Tomohito Yamada, Andrew Pitman, Christopher M. Taylor, Ratko Vasic, and Yongkang Xue

Abstract

The Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) is a model intercomparison study focusing on a typically neglected yet critical element of numerical weather and climate modeling: land–atmosphere coupling strength, or the degree to which anomalies in land surface state (e.g., soil moisture) can affect rainfall generation and other atmospheric processes. The 12 AGCM groups participating in GLACE performed a series of simple numerical experiments that allow the objective quantification of this element for boreal summer. The derived coupling strengths vary widely. Some similarity, however, is found in the spatial patterns generated by the models, with enough similarity to pinpoint multimodel “hot spots” of land–atmosphere coupling. For boreal summer, such hot spots for precipitation and temperature are found over large regions of Africa, central North America, and India; a hot spot for temperature is also found over eastern China. The design of the GLACE simulations are described in full detail so that any interested modeling group can repeat them easily and thereby place their model’s coupling strength within the broad range of those documented here.

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Zhichang Guo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, Randal D. Koster, Y. C. Sud, Gordon Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Edmond Chan, Diana Verseghy, Peter Cox, C. T. Gordon, J. L. McGregor, Shinjiro Kanae, Eva Kowalczyk, David Lawrence, Ping Liu, David Mocko, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Ken Mitchell, Sergey Malyshev, Bryant McAvaney, Taikan Oki, Tomohito Yamada, Andrew Pitman, Christopher M. Taylor, Ratko Vasic, and Yongkang Xue

Abstract

The 12 weather and climate models participating in the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) show both a wide variation in the strength of land–atmosphere coupling and some intriguing commonalities. In this paper, the causes of variations in coupling strength—both the geographic variations within a given model and the model-to-model differences—are addressed. The ability of soil moisture to affect precipitation is examined in two stages, namely, the ability of the soil moisture to affect evaporation, and the ability of evaporation to affect precipitation. Most of the differences between the models and within a given model are found to be associated with the first stage—an evaporation rate that varies strongly and consistently with soil moisture tends to lead to a higher coupling strength. The first-stage differences reflect identifiable differences in model parameterization and model climate. Intermodel differences in the evaporation–precipitation connection, however, also play a key role.

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R. D. Koster, S. P. P. Mahanama, T. J. Yamada, Gianpaolo Balsamo, A. A. Berg, M. Boisserie, P. A. Dirmeyer, F. J. Doblas-Reyes, G. Drewitt, C. T. Gordon, Z. Guo, J.-H. Jeong, W.-S. Lee, Z. Li, L. Luo, S. Malyshev, W. J. Merryfield, S. I. Seneviratne, T. Stanelle, B. J. J. M. van den Hurk, F. Vitart, and E. F. Wood

Abstract

The second phase of the Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE-2) is a multi-institutional numerical modeling experiment focused on quantifying, for boreal summer, the subseasonal (out to two months) forecast skill for precipitation and air temperature that can be derived from the realistic initialization of land surface states, notably soil moisture. An overview of the experiment and model behavior at the global scale is described here, along with a determination and characterization of multimodel “consensus” skill. The models show modest but significant skill in predicting air temperatures, especially where the rain gauge network is dense. Given that precipitation is the chief driver of soil moisture, and thereby assuming that rain gauge density is a reasonable proxy for the adequacy of the observational network contributing to soil moisture initialization, this result indeed highlights the potential contribution of enhanced observations to prediction. Land-derived precipitation forecast skill is much weaker than that for air temperature. The skill for predicting air temperature, and to some extent precipitation, increases with the magnitude of the initial soil moisture anomaly. GLACE-2 results are examined further to provide insight into the asymmetric impacts of wet and dry soil moisture initialization on skill.

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William D. Collins, Cecilia M. Bitz, Maurice L. Blackmon, Gordon B. Bonan, Christopher S. Bretherton, James A. Carton, Ping Chang, Scott C. Doney, James J. Hack, Thomas B. Henderson, Jeffrey T. Kiehl, William G. Large, Daniel S. McKenna, Benjamin D. Santer, and Richard D. Smith

Abstract

The Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3) has recently been developed and released to the climate community. CCSM3 is a coupled climate model with components representing the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land surface connected by a flux coupler. CCSM3 is designed to produce realistic simulations over a wide range of spatial resolutions, enabling inexpensive simulations lasting several millennia or detailed studies of continental-scale dynamics, variability, and climate change. This paper will show results from the configuration used for climate-change simulations with a T85 grid for the atmosphere and land and a grid with approximately 1° resolution for the ocean and sea ice. The new system incorporates several significant improvements in the physical parameterizations. The enhancements in the model physics are designed to reduce or eliminate several systematic biases in the mean climate produced by previous editions of CCSM. These include new treatments of cloud processes, aerosol radiative forcing, land–atmosphere fluxes, ocean mixed layer processes, and sea ice dynamics. There are significant improvements in the sea ice thickness, polar radiation budgets, tropical sea surface temperatures, and cloud radiative effects. CCSM3 can produce stable climate simulations of millennial duration without ad hoc adjustments to the fluxes exchanged among the component models. Nonetheless, there are still systematic biases in the ocean–atmosphere fluxes in coastal regions west of continents, the spectrum of ENSO variability, the spatial distribution of precipitation in the tropical oceans, and continental precipitation and surface air temperatures. Work is under way to extend CCSM to a more accurate and comprehensive model of the earth's climate system.

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Leo J. Donner, Bruce L. Wyman, Richard S. Hemler, Larry W. Horowitz, Yi Ming, Ming Zhao, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Paul Ginoux, S.-J. Lin, M. Daniel Schwarzkopf, John Austin, Ghassan Alaka, William F. Cooke, Thomas L. Delworth, Stuart M. Freidenreich, C. T. Gordon, Stephen M. Griffies, Isaac M. Held, William J. Hurlin, Stephen A. Klein, Thomas R. Knutson, Amy R. Langenhorst, Hyun-Chul Lee, Yanluan Lin, Brian I. Magi, Sergey L. Malyshev, P. C. D. Milly, Vaishali Naik, Mary J. Nath, Robert Pincus, Jeffrey J. Ploshay, V. Ramaswamy, Charles J. Seman, Elena Shevliakova, Joseph J. Sirutis, William F. Stern, Ronald J. Stouffer, R. John Wilson, Michael Winton, Andrew T. Wittenberg, and Fanrong Zeng

Abstract

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) has developed a coupled general circulation model (CM3) for the atmosphere, oceans, land, and sea ice. The goal of CM3 is to address emerging issues in climate change, including aerosol–cloud interactions, chemistry–climate interactions, and coupling between the troposphere and stratosphere. The model is also designed to serve as the physical system component of earth system models and models for decadal prediction in the near-term future—for example, through improved simulations in tropical land precipitation relative to earlier-generation GFDL models. This paper describes the dynamical core, physical parameterizations, and basic simulation characteristics of the atmospheric component (AM3) of this model. Relative to GFDL AM2, AM3 includes new treatments of deep and shallow cumulus convection, cloud droplet activation by aerosols, subgrid variability of stratiform vertical velocities for droplet activation, and atmospheric chemistry driven by emissions with advective, convective, and turbulent transport. AM3 employs a cubed-sphere implementation of a finite-volume dynamical core and is coupled to LM3, a new land model with ecosystem dynamics and hydrology. Its horizontal resolution is approximately 200 km, and its vertical resolution ranges approximately from 70 m near the earth’s surface to 1 to 1.5 km near the tropopause and 3 to 4 km in much of the stratosphere. Most basic circulation features in AM3 are simulated as realistically, or more so, as in AM2. In particular, dry biases have been reduced over South America. In coupled mode, the simulation of Arctic sea ice concentration has improved. AM3 aerosol optical depths, scattering properties, and surface clear-sky downward shortwave radiation are more realistic than in AM2. The simulation of marine stratocumulus decks remains problematic, as in AM2. The most intense 0.2% of precipitation rates occur less frequently in AM3 than observed. The last two decades of the twentieth century warm in CM3 by 0.32°C relative to 1881–1920. The Climate Research Unit (CRU) and Goddard Institute for Space Studies analyses of observations show warming of 0.56° and 0.52°C, respectively, over this period. CM3 includes anthropogenic cooling by aerosol–cloud interactions, and its warming by the late twentieth century is somewhat less realistic than in CM2.1, which warmed 0.66°C but did not include aerosol–cloud interactions. The improved simulation of the direct aerosol effect (apparent in surface clear-sky downward radiation) in CM3 evidently acts in concert with its simulation of cloud–aerosol interactions to limit greenhouse gas warming.

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