An atmosphere–ocean regional climate model for the Mediterranean area: assessment of a present climate simulation
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- Artale, V., Calmanti, S., Carillo, A. et al. Clim Dyn (2010) 35: 721. doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0691-8
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We present an atmosphere–ocean regional climate model for the Mediterranean basin, called the PROTHEUS system, composed by the regional climate model RegCM3 as the atmospheric component and by a regional configuration of the MITgcm model as the oceanic component. The model is applied to an area encompassing the Mediterranean Sea and compared to a stand-alone version of its atmospheric component. An assessment of the model performances is done by using available observational datasets. Despite a persistent bias, the PROTHEUS system is able to capture the inter-annual variability of seasonal sea surface temperature (SST) and also the fine scale spatio-temporal evolution of observed SST anomalies, with spatial correlation as high as 0.7 during summer. The close inspection of a 10-day strong wind event during the summer of 2000 proves the capability of the PROTHEUS system to correctly describe the daily evolution of SST under strong air–sea interaction conditions. As a consequence of the model’s skill in reproducing observed SST and wind fields, we expect a reliable estimation of air–sea fluxes. The model skill in reproducing climatological land surface fields is in line with that of state of the art regional climate models.