Article

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 459-472

Evaluation of an ensemble of Arctic regional climate models: spatiotemporal fields during the SHEBA year

  • A. RinkeAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Email author 
  • , K. DethloffAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
  • , J. J. CassanoAffiliated withCooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado
  • , J. H. ChristensenAffiliated withDanish Meteorological Institute
  • , J. A. CurryAffiliated withSchool of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • , P. DuAffiliated withDepartment of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Quebec
  • , E. GirardAffiliated withDepartment of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Quebec
  • , J.-E. HaugenAffiliated withNorwegian Meteorological Institute
  • , D. JacobAffiliated withMax Planck Institute for Meteorology
    • , C. G. JonesAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchRossby Centre, SMHI
    • , M. KøltzowAffiliated withNorwegian Meteorological Institute
    • , R. LapriseAffiliated withDepartment of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Quebec
    • , A.H. LynchAffiliated withSchool of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University
    • , S. PfeiferAffiliated withMax Planck Institute for Meteorology
    • , M. C. SerrezeAffiliated withCooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado
    • , M. J. ShawAffiliated withCooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado
    • , M. TjernströmAffiliated withDepartment of Meteorology, Stockholm University
    • , K. WyserAffiliated withAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchRossby Centre, SMHI
    • , M. ŽagarAffiliated withDepartment of Meteorology, Stockholm University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Simulations of eight different regional climate models (RCMs) have been performed for the period September 1997–September 1998, which coincides with the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) project period. Each of the models employed approximately the same domain covering the western Arctic, the same horizontal resolution of 50 km, and the same boundary forcing. The models differ in their vertical resolution as well as in the treatments of dynamics and physical parameterizations. Both the common features and differences of the simulated spatiotemporal patterns of geopotential, temperature, cloud cover, and long-/shortwave downward radiation between the individual model simulations are investigated. With this work, we quantify the scatter among the models and therefore the magnitude of disagreement and unreliability of current Arctic RCM simulations. Even with the relatively constrained experimental design we notice a considerable scatter among the different RCMs. We found the largest across-model scatter in the 2 m temperature over land, in the surface radiation fluxes, and in the cloud cover which implies a reduced confidence level for these variables.