Original paper

Validation of MPI-ESM Decadal Hindcast Experiments with Terrestrial Water Storage Variations as Observed by the GRACE Satellite Mission

Zhang, Liangjing; Dobslaw, Henryk; Dahle, Christoph; Sasgen, Ingo; Thomas, Maik

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 6 (2016), p. 685 - 694

44 references

published: Dec 21, 2016
published online: Aug 31, 2015
manuscript accepted: Apr 25, 2015
manuscript revision received: Apr 21, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Jul 31, 2014
manuscript received: Feb 28, 2014

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2015/0596

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Time-variations in the gravity field as observed by the GRACE mission provide for the first time quantitative estimates of the terrestrial water storage (TWS) at monthly resolution over one decade (2002–2011). TWS from GRACE is applied here to validate three different ensemble sets of decadal hindcasts performed with the coupled climate model MPI-ESM within the German research project MiKlip. Those experiments differ in terms of the applied low (LR) and medium (MR) spatial resolution configuration of MPI-ESM, as well as by the applied ensemble initialization strategy, where ocean-only (b0) is replaced by atmosphere and ocean (b1) anomaly initialization. Moderately positive skill scores of the initialized hindcasts are obtained both with respect to the zero anomaly forecast and the uninitialized projections in particular for lead year 1 in moderate to high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Skill scores gradually increase when moving from b0-LR to b1-LR, and less prominent also for b1-LR to b1-MR, thereby documenting improvements of the MPI-ESM decadal climate prediction system during the most recent years.


decadal climate hindcast validationGRACE satellite dataterrestrial water storagesnow masssoil moisture