Southern Ocean albedo, inter-hemispheric energy transports and the double ITCZ: global impacts of biases in a coupled model

Hawcroft, M. and Haywood, J. M. and Collins, M. and Jones, A. and Jones, A. C. and Stephens, G. (2017) Southern Ocean albedo, inter-hemispheric energy transports and the double ITCZ: global impacts of biases in a coupled model. Climate Dynamics, 48 (7-8). pp. 2279-2295. ISSN 0930-7575


A causal link has been invoked between inter-hemispheric albedo, cross-equatorial energy transport and the double-Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) bias in climate models. Southern Ocean cloud biases are a major determinant of inter-hemispheric albedo biases in many models, including HadGEM2-ES, a fully coupled model with a dynamical ocean. In this study, targeted albedo corrections are applied in the Southern Ocean to explore the dynamical response to artificially reducing these biases. The Southern Hemisphere jet increases in strength in response to the increased tropical-extratropical temperature gradient, with increased energy transport into the mid-latitudes in the atmosphere, but no improvement is observed in the double-ITCZ bias or atmospheric cross-equatorial energy transport, a finding which supports other recent work. The majority of the adjustment in energy transport in the tropics is achieved in the ocean, with the response further limited to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the frequently argued teleconnection between the Southern Ocean and tropical precipitation biases is muted. Further experiments in which tropical longwave biases are also reduced do not yield improvement in the representation of the tropical atmosphere. These results suggest that the dramatic improvements in tropical precipitation that have been shown in previous studies may be a function of the lack of dynamical ocean and/or the simplified hemispheric albedo bias corrections applied in that work. It further suggests that efforts to correct the double ITCZ problem in coupled models that focus on large-scale energetic controls will prove fruitless without improvements in the representation of atmospheric processes. © 2016, The Author(s).

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 06:15
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2019 05:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: albedo; climate models; energy transport; ITCZ; Southern Ocean; climate modeling; intertropical convergence zone; precipitation (climatology); Southern Hemisphere; teleconnection; transport process
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
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