Southern hemisphere cloud-dynamics biases in CMIP5 models and their implications for climate projections

  • Grise K
  • Polvani L
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Abstract

AbstractThis study quantifies cloud–radiative anomalies associated with interannual variability in the latitude of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) midlatitude eddy-driven jet, in 20 global climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Two distinct model types are found. In the first class of models (type I models), total cloud fraction is reduced at SH midlatitudes as the jet moves poleward, contributing to enhanced shortwave radiative warming. In the second class of models (type II models), this dynamically induced cloud radiative warming effect is largely absent. Type I and type II models have distinct deficiencies in their representation of observed Southern Ocean clouds, but comparison with two independent satellite datasets indicates that the cloud–dynamics behavior of type II models is more realistic.Because the SH midlatitude jet shifts poleward in response to CO2 forcing, the cloud–dynamics biases uncovered from interannual variability are directly relevant for cli...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Antarctic Oscillation
  • Climate models
  • Climate prediction
  • Cloud radiative effects
  • Shortwave radiation
  • Southern Hemisphere

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Authors

  • Kevin M. Grise

  • Lorenzo M. Polvani

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