Are inter-model differences in AMIP-II near surface air temperature means and extremes explained by land surface energy balance complexity?

A. J. Pitman*, B. J. McAvaney, N. Bagnoud, B. Cheminat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We use the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP-II) experimental protocol to perform six ensemble simulations for four different modes of land surface energy balance complexity. We calculate the land-only mean, minimum and maximum temperature variance for each ensemble and compare these with AMIP-II results. We find no evidence that the surface energy balance complexity leads to systematic differences in the simulated mean, minimum or maximum temperature variance at the global scale, or in the zonal averages. We therefore conclude that the differences simulated by the AMIP-II models cannot be attributed to variations in surface energy balance complexity. Our results indicate that the simulation of mean temperature variance and the variance of extreme temperature are not limited by uncertainties in how to parameterize the surface energy balance, a conclusion that adds confidence to the use of climate models for detection and attribution studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume31
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2004

Keywords

  • 1610 Global Change: Atmosphere (0315, 0325)
  • 3319 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: General circulation
  • 3322 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Land/atmosphere interactions

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