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Diagnosis of Polar Amplification and Energy Budget Terms in IPCC Models

PI: Tony Beesley
Institution: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Abstract:
Analyses of arctic observational data have found increases in surface air temperature and cloudiness; decreases in sea-ice extent and thickness; lengthening of the sea-ice melting season; and a northward shift of storm tracks. Many of these findings are consistent with simulations of enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations by climate models, most of which predict that the greatest warming will occur in the polar regions. Yet there are known to be significant errors and large inter-model differences in the simulation of key features of the Arctic climate, such as the annual cycle of cloudiness and atmospheric circulation patterns. The goal of the proposed study is to evaluate the the present simulation of polar climate, and its sensitivity, in the IPCC models. Special emphasis will be given to evaluating how the components of the polar energy budget differ from model to model, in present and perturbed climates.
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