Climate Dynamics

, Volume 51, Issue 7–8, pp 2681–2694 | Cite as

Impact of chlorophyll bias on the tropical Pacific mean climate in an earth system model

  • Hyung-Gyu Lim
  • Jong-Yeon ParkEmail author
  • Jong-Seong KugEmail author


Climate modeling groups nowadays develop earth system models (ESMs) by incorporating biogeochemical processes in their climate models. The ESMs, however, often show substantial bias in simulated marine biogeochemistry which can potentially introduce an undesirable bias in physical ocean fields through biogeophysical interactions. This study examines how and how much the chlorophyll bias in a state-of-the-art ESM affects the mean and seasonal cycle of tropical Pacific sea-surface temperature (SST). The ESM used in the present study shows a sizeable positive bias in the simulated tropical chlorophyll. We found that the correction of the chlorophyll bias can reduce the ESM’s intrinsic cold SST mean bias in the equatorial Pacific. The biologically-induced cold SST bias is strongly affected by seasonally-dependent air–sea coupling strength. In addition, the correction of chlorophyll bias can improve the annual cycle of SST by up to 25%. This result suggests a possible modeling approach in understanding the two-way interactions between physical and chlorophyll biases by biogeophysical effects.


Phytoplankton Climate model bias Biogeochemical model Biogeophysical feedback GFDL-ESM Air–sea coupling CMIP5 



This study was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMIPA 2015-1041 and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1A2B3011511). H.-G. Lim is supported by Hyundai Motor Chung Mong-Koo Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Environmental Science and EngineeringPohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)PohangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences ProgramPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics LaboratoryPrincetonUSA

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