Abrupt Climate Change Simulations
Wan, X., Chang, P., Jackson, C.S., Ji, L. and Li, M. 2011. Plausible effect of climate model bias on abrupt climate change simulations in Atlantic sector. Deep-Sea Research II 58: 1904-1913.
In their own investigation of the subject, Wan et al., as they describe it, "show that the bias in the eastern equatorial Atlantic has a major effect on sea-surface temperature (SST) response to a rapid change in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)." This they do by (1) exemplifying the problem "through an inter-model comparison study of tropical Atlantic response to an abrupt change in [the] AMOC using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Coupled Climate Model (CM2.1) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model (CCSM3)," and by (2) dissecting the oceanic mechanisms responsible for the difference in the models' SST responses.
The four researchers say their results demonstrate that the different SST responses of the two models "is plausibly attributed to systematic differences in the simulated tropical Atlantic ocean circulation." The ultimate implication of Wan et al.'s findings is, in their words, that "in order to accurately simulate past abrupt climate changes and project future changes, the bias in climate models must be reduced." But if "little or no progress" on this problem has been made in the tropical Atlantic "over the past decades," as noted by the four of them, the outlook is not very promising for such a positive development any time soon.
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