The Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas Low in CMIP5 Climate Models
Hosking, J.S., Orr, A., Marshall, G.J., Turner, J. and Phillips, T. 2013. The influence of the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas Low on the Climate of West Antarctica and it representation in coupled climate model simulations. Journal of Climate 26: 6633-6648.
In describing their findings, the five UK researchers with the British Antarctic Survey report that (1) "investigation of 17 CMIP5 climate models run with historical forcing showed that the majority of the models have statistically significant and systematic biases," that (2) "a few of the models even simulate an ABSL longitudinal migration that is the reverse of reality," and that (3) "the majority of them show a significant bias in at least one winter month" that "is more or less evenly split in terms of negative and positive biases."
"The implications of this," in the words of Hosking et al., are that "the majority of CMIP5 models will have a correspondingly poor representation of West Antarctic climate due to difficulties in representing the ABSL annual cycle, particularly its longitudinal position." In addition, they note that "Turner et al. (2013) showed that the majority of the CMIP5 models have a seasonal cycle of sea ice extent that differs markedly from the observations," and that Zunz et al. (2012) showed that the CMIP5 multi-model mean underestimates (overestimates) the sea ice extent in the ABS and Ross Sea sectors over the period from 1979 to 2005 in February (September), which are the months where the sea ice cover reaches its minimum (maximum)."
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