The impact of equilibrating hemispheric albedos on tropical performance in the HadGEM2-ES coupled climate model

Haywood, Jim M. and Jones, Andy and Dunstone, Nick and Milton, Sean and Vellinga, Michael and Bodas-Salcedo, Alejandro and Hawcroft, Matt and Kravitz, Ben and Cole, Jason and Watanabe, Shingo and Stephens, Graeme (2016) The impact of equilibrating hemispheric albedos on tropical performance in the HadGEM2-ES coupled climate model. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (1). pp. 395-403. ISSN 0094-8276

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Abstract

The Earth's hemispheric reflectances are equivalent to within ± 0.2 Wm-2, even though the Northern Hemisphere contains a greater proportion of higher reflectance land areas, because of greater cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. This equivalence is unlikely to be by chance, but the reasons are open to debate. Here we show that equilibrating hemispheric albedos in the Hadley Centre Global Environment Model version 2-Earth System coupled climate model significantly improves what have been considered longstanding and apparently intractable model biases. Monsoon precipitation biases over all continental land areas, the penetration of monsoon rainfall across the Sahel, the West African monsoon 'jump', and indicators of hurricane frequency are all significantly improved. Mechanistically, equilibrating hemispheric albedos improves the atmospheric cross-equatorial energy transport and increases the supply of tropical atmospheric moisture to the Hadley cell. We conclude that an accurate representation of the cross-equatorial energy transport appears to be critical if tropical performance is to be improved.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 July 2013 - 5 Sept 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences (1 July 2013 - 5 Sept 2019)
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 23:15
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 05:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: couple climate models, HadGEM2-ES, hemispheric albedo, hurricane frequency, tropical precipitation
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040199 Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066903
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35935

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