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The Role of the Ocean Surface Flux of Energy in Determining Net Radiation Flux at TOA

PI: Ho-Jeong Shin
Institution: Yonsei University
Additional Investigators: Jeong-Woo Kim, Il-Ung Chung, Hyung-Jin Kim
GCM has been the most useful tools for studying climate change, though GCM simulation results are still subject to uncertainty. GCM results, however, must exhibit a global energy balance between the net radiation flux at TOA and the net energy flux at ocean surface. AGCMs represented by AMIP GCMs often fail to establish this balance. However, most AMIP GCMs are robust in showing up certain relations between the net radiation flux at TOA and the net energy flux at the ocean surface in spite of the fact that SST had been prescribed. In principle, CGCM simulation results are a better framework since SST is not prescribed but calculated with other state variables.

The present study will examine how the state-of-the-art CGCMs exhibit the global balance between the net energy fluxes at TOA and ocean surface. The simulated energy budgets with CGCMs will be verified against the late 20th century observed climate (from 1971 to 2000). However, the main objective of the study is to understand how the ocean heat flux dictates the net radiation flux at TOA.

Data Required:
Energy fluxes: upward and downward, long wave and short wave radiation at both TOA and SFC; sensible heat flux, latent heat flux
Surface hydrological variables: precipitation, evaporation, total runoff, snow amount, snow melt
3-D variables: air temperature, specific humidity, and cloud water
Concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases
Land surface type (or vegetation cover) or land/sea mask, and sea ice concentration or distribution.
Frequency and period: monthly mean fields from January 1971 to December 2000
Models: Atmosphere-Ocean Coupled GCMs
  • Shin, H.-J., I.-U. Chung, H.-J. Kim, and J.-W. Kim, 2006: Global energy cycle between land and ocean in the simulated 20th century climate systems. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L14702, 10.1029/2006GL025977. Abstract. Edit.

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