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  • Karlsson, J., and Svensson, G., and Rodhe, H., Cloud radiative forcing of subtropical low level clouds in global models. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0322-1. Accepted.

Simulations of subtropical marine low clouds and their radiative properties by nine coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models participating in the fourth assesment report (AR4) of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) are analyzed. Satellite observations of cloudiness and radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) are utilized for comparison. The analysis is confined to the marine subtropics in an attempt to isolate low cloudiness from tropical convective systems.

All analyzed models have a negative bias in the low cloud fraction (model mean bias of −15%). On the other hand, the models show an excess of cloud radiative cooling in the region (model mean excess of 13 W m−2). The latter bias is shown to mainly originate from too much shortwave reflection by the models clouds rather than biases in the clear-sky fluxes. These results confirm earlier studies, thus no major progress in simulating the marine subtropical clouds is noted. As a consequence of the combination of these two biases, this study suggests that all investigated models are likely to overestimate the radiative response to changes in low level subtropical cloudiness.

Full Article: http://springer.lib.tsinghua.edu.cn/content/b4r17t0614104114/?p=fc0f98906ca148228ace629ee0a40cdc&pi=0

Last Updated: 2007-12-14

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