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  • Lucarini, V., Calmanti, S., Dell'Aquila, A., Ruti, P.M., Speranza, A., 2007: Intercomparison of the northern hemisphere winter mid-latitude atmospheric variability of the IPCC models. Climate Dynamics, 28, 829-849, doi:10.1007/s00382-006-0213-x.

We compare for the overlapping time frame 1962-2000 the representation of the northern hemisphere mid-latitude winter atmospheric variability of the available XX century simulations of GCMs included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report with the reanalyses of NCEP-NCAR and ECMWF. We adopt the classical approach of computing the Hayashi spectra of the 500hPa geopotential height fields and we introduce an ad hoc integral measure of the variability observed in the Northern Hemisphere on different spectral sub-domains. The total wave variability is taken as a global scalar metrics describing the overall performance of each model, while the total variability pertaining to the eastward propagating baroclinic waves and to the planetary waves are taken as scalar metrics describing the performance of each model in describing the corresponding specific physical process. We obtain that large biases, in most cases larger than 20%, are found in all the considered metrics between the wave climatologies of most IPCC models and the reanalises. The span of the climatologies of the various models is in all cases over 50% of the climatology of the reanalises. In particular, the baroclinic waves are typically overestimated by the climate models, while the planetary waves are usually underestimated. This closely resembles the results of many diagnostic studies performed in the past on global weather forecasting models. The vertical resolution of the atmosphere and, somewhat unexpectedly, of the adopted ocean model seem to be critical in determining the agreement of the climate models with the reanalyses. This study suggests a serious caveat in the ability of most of the presently available climate models in describing the statistical properties of the global scale atmospheric dynamics of the present climate, and, a fortiori, in the perspective of climate change.
(Email: valerio.lucarini@unicam.it)

Full Article: https://unicam.it/~valerio.lucarini/LucarinietalClimDyn2006.zip

Last Updated: 2007-07-26

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