Transient Response of the Hadley Centre Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model to Increasing Carbon Dioxide. Part 1: Control Climate and Flux Adjustment

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  • 1 Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Meteorological Office, Bracknell United Kingdom
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Abstract

This paper describes the initialization of an experiment to study the time-dependent response of a high-resolution global coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model to a gradual increase in carbon dioxide. The stability of the control integration with respect to climate drift is assessed, and aspects of the model climatology relevant to the simulation of climate change are discussed. The observed variation of oceanic temperature with latitude and depth is basically well simulated, although, in common with other ocean models, the main thermocline is too diffuse. Nevertheless, it is found that large heat and water flux adjustments must be added to the surface layer of the ocean in order to prevent the occurrence of unacceptable climate drift. The ocean model appears to achieve insufficient meridional heat transport, and this is supported by the pattern of the heat flux adjustment term, although errors in the simulated atmosphere-ocean heat flux also contribute to the latter. The application of the flux adjustments restricts climate drift during the 75-year control experiment. However, a gradual warming still occurs in the surface layers of the Southern Ocean because the flux adjustments are inserted as additive terms in this integration and cannot therefore be guaranteed to prevent climate drift completely.

Abstract

This paper describes the initialization of an experiment to study the time-dependent response of a high-resolution global coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model to a gradual increase in carbon dioxide. The stability of the control integration with respect to climate drift is assessed, and aspects of the model climatology relevant to the simulation of climate change are discussed. The observed variation of oceanic temperature with latitude and depth is basically well simulated, although, in common with other ocean models, the main thermocline is too diffuse. Nevertheless, it is found that large heat and water flux adjustments must be added to the surface layer of the ocean in order to prevent the occurrence of unacceptable climate drift. The ocean model appears to achieve insufficient meridional heat transport, and this is supported by the pattern of the heat flux adjustment term, although errors in the simulated atmosphere-ocean heat flux also contribute to the latter. The application of the flux adjustments restricts climate drift during the 75-year control experiment. However, a gradual warming still occurs in the surface layers of the Southern Ocean because the flux adjustments are inserted as additive terms in this integration and cannot therefore be guaranteed to prevent climate drift completely.

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