Modelling Southern Ocean Climate
Bodas-Salcedo, A., Williams, K.D., Ringer, M.A., Beau, I., Cole, J.N.S., Dufresne, J.-L., Koshiro, T., Stevens, B., Wang, Z. and Yokohata, T. 2014. Origins of the solar radiation biases over the Southern Ocean in CFMIP2 models. Journal of Climate 27: 41-56.
In an attempt to promote progress in modelling these important aspects of Earth's climate system, Bodas-Salcedo et al. "studied the role of clouds in the Southern Ocean's solar radiation budget in the atmosphere-only simulations of the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project phase 2 (CFMIP2)," noting that the clouds of this region "may have a leading role in controlling the solar radiation that is absorbed by the climate system in those latitudes."
The international team of ten researchers from six different countries concluded from their several analyses that the midlevel cloud regime "is the main contributor to reflected shortwave radiation biases." And, therefore, they suggest that "improving the simulation of these cloud types should help reduce the biases in the simulation of the solar radiation budget in the Southern Ocean in climate models."
The final conclusions of Bodas-Salcedo et al. are that (1) future work should "focus on quantifying the role of these clouds in the radiation budget over the Southern Ocean," and that (2) "this should help elucidate the relative contribution of these situations to the solar radiation budget over the Southern Ocean." And these statements clearly indicate that we are still not at the point where we have an acceptable working model of the Southern Ocean that adequately portrays its impact on earth's global climate.
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