EPIC2001 and the coupled ocean-atmosphere system of the tropical east Pacific

  • Raymond D
  • Esbensen S
  • Paulson C
 et al. 
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Coupled global ocean-atmosphere models currently do a poor job of
predicting conditions in the tropical east Pacific, and have a particularly
hard time reproducing the annual cycle in this region. This poor
performance is probably due to the sensitivity of the east Pacific
to the inadequate representation of certain physical processes in
the modeled ocean and atmosphere. The representations of deep cumulus
convection, ocean mixing, and stratus region energetics are known
to be problematic in such models. The U.S. Climate Variability and
Predictability (CLIVAR) program sponsored the field experiment East
Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes in the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere
System 2001 (EPIC2001), which has the goal of providing the observational
basis needed to improve the representation of certain key physical
processes in models.

In addition to physical processes, EPIC2001 research is directed toward
a better understanding and simulation of the effects of short-term
variability in the east Pacific on climate. This variability is particularly
important in the region because conditions in the intertropical convergence
zone are highly variable on daily to intraseasonal time scales. The
effects of such variability rectify strongly onto climate time scales
in this region.

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  • Walt PetersenNASA Marshall Space Flight Center

  • David J. Raymond

  • Steven K. Esbensen

  • Clayton Paulson

  • Michael Gregg

  • Christopher S. Bretherton

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