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Spread of model climate sensitivity linked to double-Intertropical Convergence...

Tian, B. (2015), Spread of model climate sensitivity linked to double-Intertropical Convergence Zone bias, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 4133-4141, doi:10.1002/2015GL064119.

Despite decades of climate research and model development, two outstanding problems still plague the latest global climate models (GCMs): the double-Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) bias and the 2 5°C spread of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). Here we show that the double-ITCZ bias and ECS in 44 GCMs from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phases 3/5 are negatively correlated. The models with weak (strong) double-ITCZ biases have high (low)-ECS values of ~4.1(2.2)°C. This indicates that the double-ITCZ bias is a new emergent constraint for ECS based on which ECS might be in the higher end of its range (~4.0°C) and most models might have underestimated ECS. In addition, we argue that the double-ITCZ bias can physically affect both cloud and water vapor feedbacks (thus ECS) and is a more easily measured emergent constraint for ECS than previous ones. It can be used as a performance metric for evaluating and comparing different GCMs.

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Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Energy & Water Cycle Program (EWCP)
Climate Variability and Change Program
Atmospheric Dynamics and Precipitation Program (ADP)
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