How well do regional climate models reproduce radiation and clouds in the Arctic?: An evolution of ARCMIP simulations
2008 (English)In: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, ISSN 1558-8424, E-ISSN 1558-8432, Vol. 47, no 9, 2405-2422 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Downwelling radiation in six regional models from the Arctic Regional Climate Model Intercomparison (ARCMIP) project is systematically biased negative in comparison with observations from the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) experiment, although the correlations with observations are relatively good. In this paper, links between model errors and the representation of clouds in these models are investigated. Although some modeled cloud properties, such as the cloud water paths, are reasonable in a climatological sense, the temporal correlation of model cloud properties with observations is poor. The vertical distribution of cloud water is distinctly different among the different models; some common features also appear. Most models underestimate the presence of high clouds, and, although the observed preference for low clouds in the Arctic is present in most of the models, the modeled low clouds are too thin and are displaced downward. Practically all models show a preference to locate the lowest cloud base at the lowest model grid point. In some models this happens also to be where the observations show the highest occurrence of the lowest cloud base; it is not possible to determine if this result is just a coincidence. Different factors contribute to model surface radiation errors. For longwave radiation in summer, a negative bias is present both for cloudy and clear conditions, and intermodel differences are smaller when clouds are present. There is a clear relationship between errors in cloud-base temperature and radiation errors. In winter, in contrast, clear-sky cases are modeled reasonably well, but cloudy cases show a very large intermodel scatter with a significant bias in all models. This bias likely results from a complete failure in all of the models to retain liquid water in cold winter clouds. All models overestimate the cloud attenuation of summer solar radiation for thin and intermediate clouds, and some models maintain this behavior also for thick clouds.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 47, no 9, 2405-2422 p.
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-14592DOI: 10.1175/2008JAMC1845.1ISI: 000259317400009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-14592DiVA: diva2:181112