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Subtropical Clouds and Meteorology in CMIP3 and CMIP5 Models

Paper Reviewed
Myers, T.A. and Norris, J.R. 2015. On the relationships between subtropical clouds and meteorology in observations and CMIP3 and CMIP5 models. Journal of Climate 28: 2945-2967.

Writing as background for their study, Myers and Norris (2015) state that climate-model simulations of clouds over the eastern subtropical oceans contribute to "large uncertainties in projected cloud feedback to global warming." And, hence, they examined the inter-annual relationships of cloud radiative effects and cloud fraction on several meteorological variables -- including inter-annual relationships of shortwave, longwave and net cloud radiative effect to sea surface temperature, estimated inversion strength, horizontal surface temperature advection, free-tropospheric moisture and subsidence -- in both real-world observations and model projections of phases 3 and 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP3 and CMIP5).

This work revealed, as the two U.S. researchers report, that a larger percentage of CMIP5 than CMIP3 models simulate the wrong (1) sign or (2) magnitude of the relationship of the shortwave cloud radiative effect to (3) the sea surface temperature and (4) the estimated inversion strength. And they further report that (5) "most models fail to produce the sign of the relationship between [the] shortwave cloud radiative effect and temperature advection," due to (6) "errors in the relationship between low-level cloud fraction and meteorology," as well as (7,8) "errors in the response of mid- and high-level cloud fraction to variations in meteorology."

Nevertheless, hope still abounds. But in the meantime, a lot of wheel-spinning and negative findings do little to give one much reason to put any faith at all in what the world's climate alarmists continue to claim about Earth's climatic future.

Posted 28 July 2015