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Uncertainties in climate modelsí forecasting capability

PI: Stephen Leroy
Institution: Harvard University
We are interested in gauging the uncertainties in climate models' forecasting capability and deriving science requirements for future climate benchmarking missions from these uncertainties. The uncertainties in climate models' forecasting capability of which we speak derives from the empirical nature of their parameterization of sub-gridscale processes, especially those having to do with clouds, convection, and ocean-air interaction. In our research activity we will use the output of forced runs from several climate models contributing to the IPCC 4AR archive to quantify the range of uncertainties in climate model sensitivity. Our focus will be on global scale atmospheric responses in particular phenomena, such as changes in the Hadley circulation and resulting patterns of precipitation change, the strength and position of the mid-latitude storm track, and the stratospheric Brewer-Dobson circulation. We will simulate the differences in climate models' responses to a given forcing as they would appear in spectrally resolved infrared radiance and microwave refraction, the observables of two candidate climate benchmarking missions. The results for changes in infrared spectra will be compared to the difference between IRIS, an infrared interferometer flown in 1970-1971, and IMG, an infrared interferometer flown in 1997-1998.
  • Leroy, S.S., J.G. Anderson and J.A. Dykema, 2006: Testing climate models using GPS radio occultation: A sensitivity analysis. J. Geophys. Res, 111, 10.1029/2005JD006145. Abstract. Full Article. Edit.
  • Leroy, S.S., J.G. Anderson, J.A. Dykema, and R.M. Goody, 2007: Testing Climate Models Using Thermal Infrared Spectra. J. Climate. Accepted. Abstract. Edit.

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