Critical Southern Ocean climate model biases traced to atmospheric model cloud errors

Researchers have traced large and long-standing biases in computer simulations of climate, affecting the turbid Southern Ocean, to errors in cloud that emerge rapidly within the atmospheric models. Biases evolve over time through knock on effects that shift the location of the battering winds of the “roaring 40s”.

This new method combines detailed simulations with observations of energy exchanged between the oceans and atmosphere that allows us to better understand how deficiencies in climate models emerge in this key region for climate. This offers a clear route to improve the complex simulations necessary to make reliable climate change projections of the future.

Hyder P, J Edwards, RP Allan, H Hewitt, T Bracegirdle, J Gregory, R Wood, A Meijers, J Mulcahy, P Field, K Furtado, A Bodas-Salcedo, K Williams, D Copsey, S Josey, C Liu, C Roberts, C Sanchez, J Ridley, L Thorpe, S Hardiman, M Mayer, D Berry and S Belcher

(2018) Critical Southern Ocean climate model biases traced to atmospheric model cloud errors, Nature Communications, 9, 3625

http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05634-2