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Comparisons of satellites liquid water estimates to ECMWF and GMAO analyses,...

Li, J. F., D. E. Waliser, C. Woods, J. Teixeira, J. Bacmeister, J. Chern, B.-W. Shen, A. Tompkins, W.-K. Tao, and M. Köhler (2008), Comparisons of satellites liquid water estimates to ECMWF and GMAO analyses, 20th century IPCC AR4 climate simulations, and GCM simulations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L19710, doi:10.1029/2008GL035427.

To assess the fidelity of general circulation models (GCMs) in simulating cloud liquid water, liquid water path (LWP) retrievals from several satellites with passive sensors and the vertically-resolved liquid water content (LWC) from the CloudSat are used. Comparisons are made with ECMWF and MERRA analyses, GCM simulations utilized in the IPCC 4th Assessment, and three GCM simulations. There is considerable disagreement amongst the LWP estimates and amongst the modeled values. The LWP from GCMs are much larger than the observed estimates and the two analyses. The largest values in the CloudSat LWP occur over the boundary-layer stratocumulus regions; this feature is not as evident in the analyses or models. Better agreement is found between the two analyses and CloudSat LWP when cases with surface precipitation are excluded. The upward vertical extent of LWC from the GCMs and analyses is greater than CloudSat estimates. The issues of representing LWC and precipitation consistently between satellite-derived and model values are discussed.

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