, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 451-467

The Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis global coupled model and its climate

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 A global, three-dimensional climate model, developed by coupling the CCCma second-generation atmospheric general circulation model (GCM2) to a version of the GFDL modular ocean model (MOM1), forms the basis for extended simulations of past, current and projected future climate. The spin-up and coupling procedures are described, as is the resulting climate based on a 200 year model simulation with constant atmospheric composition and external forcing. The simulated climate is systematically compared to available observations in terms of mean climate quantities and their spatial patterns, temporal variability, and regional behavior. Such comparison demonstrates a generally successful reproduction of the broad features of mean climate quantities, albeit with local discrepancies. Variability is generally well-simulated over land, but somewhat underestimated in the tropical ocean and the extratropical storm-track regions. The modelled climate state shows only small trends, indicating a reasonable level of balance at the surface, which is achieved in part by the use of heat and freshwater flux adjustments. The control simulation provides a basis against which to compare simulated climate change due to historical and projected greenhouse gas and aerosol forcing as described in companion publications.

Received: 24 September 1998 / Accepted: 8 October 1999