Quality assessment of atmospheric surface fields over the Baltic Sea from an ensemble of regional climate model simulations with respect to ocean dynamics.

Meier, H. E. Markus, Höglund, Anders, Döscher, Ralf, Andersson, Helen, Löptien, Ulrike and Kjellström, Erik (2011) Quality assessment of atmospheric surface fields over the Baltic Sea from an ensemble of regional climate model simulations with respect to ocean dynamics. Oceanologia, 53 (1_TI). pp. 193-227. DOI 10.5697/oc.53-1-TI.193.

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Abstract

Climate model results for the Baltic Sea region from an ensemble of eight simulations using the Rossby Centre Atmosphere model version 3 (RCA3) driven with lateral boundary data from global climate models (GCMs) are compared with results from a downscaled ERA40 simulation and gridded observations from 1980-2006. The results showed that data from RCA3 scenario simulations should not be used as forcing for Baltic Sea models in climate change impact studies because biases of the control climate significantly affect the simulated changes of future projections. For instance, biases of the sea ice cover in RCA3 in the present climate affect the sensitivity of the model's response to changing climate due to the ice-albedo feedback. From the large ensemble of available RCA3 scenario simulations two GCMs with good performance in downscaling experiments during the control period 1980-2006 were selected. In this study, only the quality of atmospheric surface fields over the Baltic Sea was chosen as a selection criterion. For the greenhouse gas emission scenario A1B two transient simulations for 1961-2100 driven by these two GCMs were performed using the regional, fully coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean model RCAO. It was shown that RCAO has the potential to improve the results in downscaling experiments driven by GCMs considerably, because sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations are calculated more realistically with RCAO than when RCA3 has been forced with surface boundary data from GCMs. For instance, the seasonal 2 m air temperature cycle is closer to observations in RCAO than in RCA3 downscaling simulations. However, the parameterizations of air-sea fluxes in RCAO need to be improved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Regional climate modelling; Atmosphere-ocean coupling; Climate change; Ensemble modelling; Baltic Sea region
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5697/oc.53-1-TI.193
ISSN: 0078-3234
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 07:10
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2012 07:10
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/14994

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