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          Institute: MPI für Meteorologie     Collection: Ocean in the Earth System     Display Documents

ID: 527687.0, MPI für Meteorologie / Ocean in the Earth System
Sensitivity of ENSO characteristics to a new interactive flux correction scheme in a coupled GCM
Authors:Kroeger, J.; Kucharski, F.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2011
Title of Journal:Climate Dynamics
Start Page:119
End Page:137
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:A fast coupled global climate model (CGCM) is used to study the sensitivity of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) characteristics to a new interactive flux correction scheme. With no flux correction applied our CGCM reveals typical bias in the background state: for instance, the cold tongue in the tropical east Pacific becomes too cold, thus degrading atmospheric sensitivity to variations of sea surface temperature (SST). Sufficient atmospheric sensitivity is essential to ENSO. Our adjustment scheme aims to sustain atmospheric sensitivity by counteracting the SST drift in the model. With reduced bias in the forcing of the atmosphere, the CGCM displays ENSO-type variability that otherwise is absent. The adjustment approach employs a one-way anomaly coupling from the ocean to the atmosphere: heat fluxes seen by the ocean are based on full SST, while heat fluxes seen by the atmosphere are based on anomalies of SST. The latter requires knowledge of the model's climatological SST field, which is accumulated interactively in the spin-up phase ("training"). Applying the flux correction already during the training period (by utilizing the evolving SST climatology) is necessary for efficiently reducing the bias. The combination of corrected fluxes seen by the atmosphere and uncorrected fluxes seen by the ocean implies a restoring mechanism that counteracts the bias and allows for long stable integrations in our CGCM. A suite of sensitivity runs with varying training periods is utilized to study the effect of different levels of bias in the background state on important ENSO properties. Increased duration of training amplifies the coupled sensitivity in our model and leads to stronger amplitudes and longer periods of the Nino3. 4 index, increased emphasis of warm events that is reflected in enhanced skewness, and more pronounced teleconnections in the Pacific. Furthermore, with longer training durations we observe a mode switch of ENSO in our model that closely resembles the observed mode switch related to the mid-1970s "climate shift". © 2010 The Author(s).
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:Carola Kauhs
Affiliations:MPI für Meteorologie/Ocean in the Earth System
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