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Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) Problems

Paper Reviewed
Song, Z., Lee, S.-K., Wang, C., Kirtman, B.P. and Qiao, F. 2015. Contributions of the atmosphere-land ocean-sea ice model components to the tropical Atlantic SST bias in CESM1. Ocean Modelling 96: 280-290.

In an effort to "identify and quantify intrinsic errors in the atmosphere-land and ocean-sea ice model components of the Community Earth System Model version 1(CESM1) and their contributions to the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) bias in CESM1," Song et al. (2015) propose a new method of diagnosis and apply it to a set of CESM1 simulations. And what did they thereby learn?

Quoting the five researchers, they say that "in boreal summer, the ocean-sea ice model could cause large amplitudes of warm SST bias in [1] the eastern equatorial and [2] southeastern tropical Atlantic," due to "its spurious [3] ocean dynamic and [4] mixing processes," even if it is coupled to a perfect atmosphere-land model.

They report, for example, that (5,6) the trade winds and associated surface latent cooling are (7,8) "too strong in the northwestern and southwestern tropical Atlantic," while they are (9,10) "too weak in the northeastern and southeastern tropical Atlantic." And these unresolved problems continue to plague all climate models that employ CESM1 output at one point or another in their analyses.

Posted 15 April 2016