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Understanding Arctic Surface Temperature Differences in Reanalyses
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Author and Affiliation:
Cullather, Richard(Maryland Univ., Earth System and Interdisciplinary Center, College Park, MD, United States)
Zhao, Bin(Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Shuman, Christopher(Maryland Univ. Baltimore County, Cryospheric Sciences Lab., Baltimore, MD, United States)
Nowicki, Sophie(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Abstract: Reanalyses in the Arctic are widely used for model evaluation and for understanding contemporary climate change. Nevertheless, differences among reanalyses in fundamental meteorological variables including surface air temperature are large. For example, the 1980-2009 mean surface air temperature for the north polar cap (70ÂdegN-90ÂdegN) among global reanalyses span a range of 2.4 K, which approximates the average warming trend from these reanalyses over the 30-year period of 2.1 K. Understanding these differences requires evaluation over the three principal surface domains of the Arctic: glaciated land, the unglaciated terrestrial surface, and sea ice/ocean. An examination is conducted of contemporary global reanalyses of the ECMWF Interim project, NASA MERRA, MERRA-2, JRA-55, and NOAA CFSR using available in situ data and assessments of the surface energy budget. Overly-simplistic representations of the Greenland Ice Sheet surface are found to be associated with local warm air temperature biases in winter. A review of progress made in the development of the MERRA-2 land-ice representation is presented. Large uncertainty is also found in temperatures over the Arctic tundra and boreal forest zone. But a key focus of temperature differences for northern high latitudes is the Arctic Ocean. Near-surface air temperature differences over the Arctic Ocean are found to be related to discrepancies in sea ice and sea surface temperature boundary data, which are severely compromised in current reanalyses. Issues with the modeled representation of sea ice cover are an additional factor in reanalysis temperature trends. Differences in the representation of the surface energy budget among the various reanalyses are also reviewed.
Publication Date: Dec 11, 2017
Document ID:
20170012176
(Acquired Jan 03, 2018)
Subject Category: GEOSCIENCES (GENERAL); STATISTICS AND PROBABILITY
Report/Patent Number: GC53E-0933, GSFC-E-DAA-TN50436
Document Type: Oral/Visual Presentation
Meeting Information: AGU Fall Meeting; 11-15 Dec. 2017; New Orleans, LA; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Geophysical Union; Washington, DC, United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NNG17HP01C; NNX17AE79A; NNX15AT34A
Financial Sponsor: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD, United States
Organization Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD, United States
Description: 1p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Public use permitted
NASA Terms: ARCTIC OCEAN; ARCTIC REGIONS; SURFACE TEMPERATURE; TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS; METEOROLOGICAL PARAMETERS; MELTING; OCEAN SURFACE; CLIMATE MODELS; GREENLAND; LAND ICE; WINTER; ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE; TRENDS
Other Descriptors: ARCTIC; SURFACE TEMPERATUR
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