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Marvin A. Geller
,
Tiehan Zhou
,
Reto Ruedy
,
Igor Aleinov
,
Larissa Nazarenko
,
Nikolai L. Tausnev
,
Shan Sun
,
Maxwell Kelley
, and
Ye Cheng

Abstract

Previous versions of GISS climate models have either used formulations of Rayleigh drag to represent unresolved gravity wave interactions with the model-resolved flow or have included a rather complicated treatment of unresolved gravity waves that, while being climate interactive, involved the specification of a relatively large number of parameters that were not well constrained by observations and also was computationally very expensive. Here, the authors introduce a relatively simple and computationally efficient specification of unresolved orographic and nonorographic gravity waves and their interaction with the resolved flow. Comparisons of the GISS model winds and temperatures with no gravity wave parameterization; with only orographic gravity wave parameterization; and with both orographic and nonorographic gravity wave parameterizations are shown to illustrate how the zonal mean winds and temperatures converge toward observations. The authors also show that the specifications of orographic and nonorographic gravity waves must be different in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Then results are presented where the nonorographic gravity wave sources are specified to represent sources from convection in the intertropical convergence zone and spontaneous emission from jet imbalances. Finally, a strategy to include these effects in a climate-dependent manner is suggested.

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Daehyun Kim
,
Adam H. Sobel
,
Anthony D. Del Genio
,
Yonghua Chen
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Mao-Sung Yao
,
Maxwell Kelley
, and
Larissa Nazarenko

Abstract

The tropical subseasonal variability simulated by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies general circulation model, Model E2, is examined. Several versions of Model E2 were developed with changes to the convective parameterization in order to improve the simulation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). When the convective scheme is modified to have a greater fractional entrainment rate, Model E2 is able to simulate MJO-like disturbances with proper spatial and temporal scales. Increasing the rate of rain reevaporation has additional positive impacts on the simulated MJO. The improvement in MJO simulation comes at the cost of increased biases in the mean state, consistent in structure and amplitude with those found in other GCMs when tuned to have a stronger MJO. By reinitializing a relatively poor-MJO version with restart files from a relatively better-MJO version, a series of 30-day integrations is constructed to examine the impacts of the parameterization changes on the organization of tropical convection. The poor-MJO version with smaller entrainment rate has a tendency to allow convection to be activated over a broader area and to reduce the contrast between dry and wet regimes so that tropical convection becomes less organized. Besides the MJO, the number of tropical-cyclone-like vortices simulated by the model is also affected by changes in the convection scheme. The model simulates a smaller number of such storms globally with a larger entrainment rate, while the number increases significantly with a greater rain reevaporation rate.

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Benjamin I. Cook
,
Richard Seager
,
A. Park Williams
,
Michael J. Puma
,
Sonali McDermid
,
Maxwell Kelley
, and
Larissa Nazarenko

Abstract

In the mid-twentieth century (1948–57), North America experienced a severe drought forced by cold tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs). If these SSTs recurred, it would likely cause another drought, but in a world substantially warmer than the one in which the original event took place. We use a 20-member ensemble of the GISS climate model to investigate the drought impacts of a repetition of the mid-twentieth-century SST anomalies in a significantly warmer world. Using observed SSTs and mid-twentieth-century forcings (Hist-DRGHT), the ensemble reproduces the observed precipitation deficits during the cold season (October–March) across the Southwest, southern plains, and Mexico and during the warm season (April–September) in the southern plains and the Southeast. Under analogous SST forcing and enhanced warming (Fut-DRGHT, ≈3 K above preindustrial), cold season precipitation deficits are ameliorated in the Southwest and southern plains and intensified in the Southeast, whereas during the warm season precipitation deficits are enhanced across North America. This occurs primarily from greenhouse gas–forced trends in mean precipitation, rather than changes in SST teleconnections. Cold season runoff deficits in Fut-DRGHT are significantly amplified over the Southeast, but otherwise similar to Hist-DRGHT over the Southwest and southern plains. In the warm season, however, runoff and soil moisture deficits during Fut-DRGHT are significantly amplified across the southern United States, a consequence of enhanced precipitation deficits and increased evaporative losses due to warming. Our study highlights how internal variability and greenhouse gas–forced trends in hydroclimate are likely to interact over North America, including how changes in both precipitation and evaporative demand will affect future drought.

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Anastasia Romanou
,
David Rind
,
Jeff Jonas
,
Ron Miller
,
Maxwell Kelley
,
Gary Russell
,
Clara Orbe
,
Larissa Nazarenko
,
Rebecca Latto
, and
Gavin A. Schmidt

Abstract

A 10-member ensemble simulation with the NASA GISS-E2-1-G climate model shows a clear bifurcation in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) strength under the SSP2–4.5 extended scenario. At 26°N, the bifurcation leads to 8 strong AMOC and 2 much weaker AMOC states, while at 48°N, it leads to 8 stable AMOC-on and 2 nearly AMOC-off states, the latter lasting approximately 800 years. A variety of fully coupled models have demonstrated tipping points in AMOC through hosing experiments, i.e., prescribing sufficient freshwater inputs in the subpolar North Atlantic. In the GISS simulations, there are no external freshwater perturbations. The bifurcation arises freely in the coupled system and is the result of stochastic variability (noise-induced bifurcation) associated with sea ice transport and melting in the Irminger Sea after a slowing of the greenhouse gas forcing. While the AMOC strength follows the near shutdown of the Labrador Sea deep convection initially, the Irminger Sea salinity and deep mixing determine the timing of the AMOC recovery or near collapse at 48°N, which varies widely across the ensemble members. Other feedbacks such as ice-albedo, ice-evaporation, E − P, and the overturning salt-advection feedback play a secondary role that may enhance or reduce the primary mechanism which is ice melt. We believe this is the first time that a coupled climate model has shown such a bifurcation across an initial condition ensemble and might imply that there is a chance for significant and prolonged AMOC slow down due to internal variability of the system.

Significance Statement

We believe this is the first time that divergent AMOC behavior has been reported for an ensemble of Earth system model simulations using identical climate forcing and no prescribed freshwater perturbations. This response is a manifestation of noise-induced bifurcation, enhanced by feedbacks, revealing the role stochastic (or intrinsic) variability may play in AMOC stability.

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Clara Orbe
,
David Rind
,
Ron L. Miller
,
Larissa S. Nazarenko
,
Anastasia Romanou
,
Jeffrey Jonas
,
Gary L. Russell
,
Maxwell Kelley
, and
Gavin A. Schmidt

Abstract

Climate models project a future weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), but the impacts of this weakening on climate remain highly uncertain. A key challenge in quantifying the impact of an AMOC decline is in isolating its influence on climate, relative to other changes associated with increased greenhouse gases. Here we isolate the climate impacts of a weakened AMOC in the broader context of a warming climate using a unique ensemble of Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) 2–4.5 integrations that was performed using the Climate Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) version of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE (E2.1). In these runs internal variability alone results in a spontaneous bifurcation of the ocean flow, wherein 2 out of 10 ensemble members exhibit an entire AMOC collapse, while the other 8 members recover at various stages despite identical forcing of each ensemble member and with no externally prescribed freshwater perturbation. We show that an AMOC collapse results in an abrupt northward shift and strengthening of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) Hadley cell (HC) and intensification of the northern midlatitude eddy-driven jet. We then use a set of coupled atmosphere–ocean abrupt CO2 experiments spanning the range 1 times to 5 times CO2 (1x to 5xCO2) to show that this response to an AMOC collapse results in a nonlinear shift in the NH circulation moving from 2xCO2 to 3xCO2. Slab-ocean versions of these experiments, by comparison, do not capture this nonlinear behavior. Our results suggest that changes in ocean heat flux convergences associated with an AMOC collapse—while highly uncertain—can result in profound changes in the NH circulation and continued efforts to constrain the AMOC response to future climate change are needed.

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Clara Orbe
,
David Rind
,
Darryn Waugh
,
Jeffrey Jonas
,
Xiyue Zhang
,
Gabriel Chiodo
,
Larissa Nazarenko
, and
Gavin A. Schmidt

Abstract

Stratospheric ozone, and its response to anthropogenic forcings, provide an important pathway for the coupling between atmospheric composition and climate. In addition to stratospheric ozone’s radiative impacts, recent studies have shown that changes in the ozone layer due to 4xCO2 have a considerable impact on the Northern Hemisphere (NH) tropospheric circulation, inducing an equatorward shift of the North Atlantic jet during boreal winter. Using simulations produced with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) high-top climate model (E2.2) we show that this equatorward shift of the Atlantic jet can induce a more rapid weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The weaker AMOC, in turn, results in an eastward acceleration and poleward shift of the Atlantic and Pacific jets, respectively, on longer timescales. As such, coupled feedbacks from both stratospheric ozone and the AMOC result in a two-timescale response of the NH midlatitude jet to abrupt 4xCO2 forcing: a “fast” response (5–20 years) during which it shifts equatorward and a “total” response (~100–150 years) during which the jet accelerates and shifts poleward. The latter is driven by a weakening of the AMOC that develops in response to weaker surface zonal winds, that result in reduced heat fluxes out of the subpolar gyre and reduced North Atlantic Deep Water formation. Our results suggest that stratospheric ozone changes in the lower stratosphere can have a surprisingly powerful effect on the AMOC, independent of other aspects of climate change.

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Clara Orbe
,
Luke Van Roekel
,
Ángel F. Adames
,
Amin Dezfuli
,
John Fasullo
,
Peter J. Gleckler
,
Jiwoo Lee
,
Wei Li
,
Larissa Nazarenko
,
Gavin A. Schmidt
,
Kenneth R. Sperber
, and
Ming Zhao

Abstract

We compare the performance of several modes of variability across six U.S. climate modeling groups, with a focus on identifying robust improvements in recent models [including those participating in phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP)] compared to previous versions. In particular, we examine the representation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the tropical stratosphere, and the dominant modes of extratropical variability, including the southern annular mode (SAM), the northern annular mode (NAM) [and the closely related North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)], and the Pacific–North American pattern (PNA). Where feasible, we explore the processes driving these improvements through the use of “intermediary” experiments that utilize model versions between CMIP3/5 and CMIP6 as well as targeted sensitivity experiments in which individual modeling parameters are altered. We find clear and systematic improvements in the MJO and QBO and in the teleconnection patterns associated with the PDO and ENSO. Some gains arise from better process representation, while others (e.g., the QBO) from higher resolution that allows for a greater range of interactions. Our results demonstrate that the incremental development processes in multiple climate model groups lead to more realistic simulations over time.

Free access
Jonathan H. Jiang
,
Hui Su
,
Chengxing Zhai
,
T. Janice Shen
,
Tongwen Wu
,
Jie Zhang
,
Jason N. S. Cole
,
Knut von Salzen
,
Leo J. Donner
,
Charles Seman
,
Anthony Del Genio
,
Larissa S. Nazarenko
,
Jean-Louis Dufresne
,
Masahiro Watanabe
,
Cyril Morcrette
,
Tsuyoshi Koshiro
,
Hideaki Kawai
,
Andrew Gettelman
,
Luis Millán
,
William G. Read
,
Nathaniel J. Livesey
,
Yasko Kasai
, and
Masato Shiotani

Abstract

Upper-tropospheric ice cloud measurements from the Superconducting Submillimeter Limb Emission Sounder (SMILES) on the International Space Station (ISS) are used to study the diurnal cycle of upper-tropospheric ice cloud in the tropics and midlatitudes (40°S–40°N) and to quantitatively evaluate ice cloud diurnal variability simulated by 10 climate models. Over land, the SMILES-observed diurnal cycle has a maximum around 1800 local solar time (LST), while the model-simulated diurnal cycles have phases differing from the observed cycle by −4 to 12 h. Over ocean, the observations show much smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes than over land with a peak at 1200 LST, while the modeled diurnal cycle phases are widely distributed throughout the 24-h period. Most models show smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes over ocean than over land, which is in agreement with the observations. However, there is a large spread of modeled diurnal cycle amplitudes ranging from 20% to more than 300% of the observed over both land and ocean. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis on the observed and model-simulated variations of ice clouds finds that the first EOF modes over land from both observation and model simulations explain more than 70% of the ice cloud diurnal variations and they have similar spatial and temporal patterns. Over ocean, the first EOF from observation explains 26.4% of the variance, while the first EOF from most models explains more than 70%. The modeled spatial and temporal patterns of the leading EOFs over ocean show large differences from observations, indicating that the physical mechanisms governing the diurnal cycle of oceanic ice clouds are more complicated and not well simulated by the current climate models.

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Maria Rugenstein
,
Jonah Bloch-Johnson
,
Ayako Abe-Ouchi
,
Timothy Andrews
,
Urs Beyerle
,
Long Cao
,
Tarun Chadha
,
Gokhan Danabasoglu
,
Jean-Louis Dufresne
,
Lei Duan
,
Marie-Alice Foujols
,
Thomas Frölicher
,
Olivier Geoffroy
,
Jonathan Gregory
,
Reto Knutti
,
Chao Li
,
Alice Marzocchi
,
Thorsten Mauritsen
,
Matthew Menary
,
Elisabeth Moyer
,
Larissa Nazarenko
,
David Paynter
,
David Saint-Martin
,
Gavin A. Schmidt
,
Akitomo Yamamoto
, and
Shuting Yang

Abstract

We present a model intercomparison project, LongRunMIP, the first collection of millennial-length (1,000+ years) simulations of complex coupled climate models with a representation of ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and land surface, and their interactions. Standard model simulations are generally only a few hundred years long. However, modeling the long-term equilibration in response to radiative forcing perturbation is important for understanding many climate phenomena, such as the evolution of ocean circulation, time- and temperature-dependent feedbacks, and the differentiation of forced signal and internal variability. The aim of LongRunMIP is to facilitate research into these questions by serving as an archive for simulations that capture as much of this equilibration as possible. The only requirement to participate in LongRunMIP is to contribute a simulation with elevated, constant CO2 forcing that lasts at least 1,000 years. LongRunMIP is an MIP of opportunity in that the simulations were mostly performed prior to the conception of the archive without an agreed-upon set of experiments. For most models, the archive contains a preindustrial control simulation and simulations with an idealized (typically abrupt) CO2 forcing. We collect 2D surface and top-of-atmosphere fields and 3D ocean temperature and salinity fields. Here, we document the collection of simulations and discuss initial results, including the evolution of surface and deep ocean temperature and cloud radiative effects. As of October 2019, the collection includes 50 simulations of 15 models by 10 modeling centers. The data of LongRunMIP are publicly available. We encourage submissions of more simulations in the future.

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Gavin A. Schmidt
,
Reto Ruedy
,
James E. Hansen
,
Igor Aleinov
,
Nadine Bell
,
Mike Bauer
,
Susanne Bauer
,
Brian Cairns
,
Vittorio Canuto
,
Ye Cheng
,
Anthony Del Genio
,
Greg Faluvegi
,
Andrew D. Friend
,
Tim M. Hall
,
Yongyun Hu
,
Max Kelley
,
Nancy Y. Kiang
,
Dorothy Koch
,
Andy A. Lacis
,
Jean Lerner
,
Ken K. Lo
,
Ron L. Miller
,
Larissa Nazarenko
,
Valdar Oinas
,
Jan Perlwitz
,
Judith Perlwitz
,
David Rind
,
Anastasia Romanou
,
Gary L. Russell
,
Makiko Sato
,
Drew T. Shindell
,
Peter H. Stone
,
Shan Sun
,
Nick Tausnev
,
Duane Thresher
, and
Mao-Sung Yao

Abstract

A full description of the ModelE version of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) and results are presented for present-day climate simulations (ca. 1979). This version is a complete rewrite of previous models incorporating numerous improvements in basic physics, the stratospheric circulation, and forcing fields. Notable changes include the following: the model top is now above the stratopause, the number of vertical layers has increased, a new cloud microphysical scheme is used, vegetation biophysics now incorporates a sensitivity to humidity, atmospheric turbulence is calculated over the whole column, and new land snow and lake schemes are introduced. The performance of the model using three configurations with different horizontal and vertical resolutions is compared to quality-controlled in situ data, remotely sensed and reanalysis products. Overall, significant improvements over previous models are seen, particularly in upper-atmosphere temperatures and winds, cloud heights, precipitation, and sea level pressure. Data–model comparisons continue, however, to highlight persistent problems in the marine stratocumulus regions.

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