reference : Analyzing ENSO teleconnections in CMIP models as a measure of model fidelity in simulating precipitation

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract The accurate representation of precipitation is a recurring issue in climate models. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) precipitation teleconnections provide a test bed for comparison of modeled to observed precipitation. The simulation quality for the atmospheric component of models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) phase 5 (CMIP5) is assessed here, using the ensemble of runs driven by observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Simulated seasonal precipitation teleconnection patterns are compared to observations during 1979–2005 and to the ensemble of CMIP phase 3 (CMIP3). Within regions of strong observed teleconnections (equatorial South America, the western equatorial Pacific, and a southern section of North America), there is little improvement in the CMIP5 ensemble relative to CMIP3 in amplitude and spatial correlation metrics of precipitation. Spatial patterns within each region exhibit substantial departures from observations, with spatial correlation coefficients typically less than 0.5. However, the atmospheric models do considerably better in other measures. First, the amplitude of the precipitation response (root-mean-square deviation over each region) is well estimated by the mean of the amplitudes from the individual models. This is in contrast with the amplitude of the multimodel ensemble mean, which is systematically smaller (by about 30%–40%) in the selected teleconnection regions. Second, high intermodel agreement on teleconnection sign provides a good predictor for high model agreement with observed teleconnections. The ability of the model ensemble to yield amplitude and sign measures that agree with the observed signal for ENSO precipitation teleconnections lends supporting evidence for the use of corresponding measures in global warming projections.
Author Baird Langenbrunner; J. David Neelin
DOI 10.1175/jcli-d-12-00542.1
Issue 13
Journal Journal of Climate
Keywords El Nino,ENSO,Teleconnections,Climate models,Ensembles,Model evaluation/performance
Pages 4431-4446
Title Analyzing ENSO teleconnections in CMIP models as a measure of model fidelity in simulating precipitation
Volume 26
Year 2013
Bibliographic identifiers
.reference_type 0
_record_number 20886
_uuid 3c2004f1-4f51-4b84-8ec0-64a5e2c3a790