Original paper

UTLS temperature validation of MPI-ESM decadal hindcast experiments with GPS radio occultations

Schmidt, Torsten; Schoon, Lena; Dobslaw, Henryk; Matthes, Katja; Thomas, Maik; Wickert, Jens

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 6 (2016), p. 673 - 683

38 references

published: Dec 21, 2016
published online: Jul 16, 2015
manuscript accepted: Jun 12, 2015
manuscript revision received: Jan 23, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Nov 29, 2014
manuscript received: Mar 15, 2014

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2015/0601

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Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) temperature data are used to validate MPI-ESM (Max Planck Institute – Earth System Model) decadal hindcast experiments in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) region between 300 hPa and 10 hPa (8 km and 32 km) for the time period between 2002 and 2011. The GPSRO dataset is unique since it is very precise, calibration independent and covers the globe better than the usual radiosonde dataset. In addition it is vertically finer resolved than any of the existing satellite temperature measurements available for the UTLS and provides now a unique one decade long temperature validation dataset. The initialization of the MPI-ESM decadal hindcast runs mostly increases the skill of the atmospheric temperatures when compared to uninitialized climate projections with very high skill scores for lead-year one, and gradually decreases for the later lead-years. A comparison between two different initialization sets (b0, b1) of the low-resolution (LR) MPI-ESM shows increased skills in b1-LR in most parts of the UTLS in particular in the tropics. The medium resolution (MR) MPI-ESM initializations are characterized by reduced temperature biases in the uninitialized runs as compared to observations and a better capturing of the high latitude northern hemisphere interannual polar vortex variability as compared to the LR model version. Negative skills are found for the b1-MR hindcasts however in the regions around the mid-latitude tropospheric jets on both hemispheres and in the vicinity of the tropical tropopause in comparison to the b1-LR variant. It is interesting to highlight that none of the model experiments can reproduce the observed positive temperature trend in the tropical tropopause region since 2001 as seen by GPSRO data.


decadal hindcast experimentsMPI-ESMradio occultationUTLS temperature