The impact of equilibrating hemispheric albedos on tropical performance in the HadGEM2-ES coupled climate model

Article


Haywood, Jim M., Jones, Andy, Dunstone, Nick, Milton, Sean, Vellinga, Michael, Bodas-Salcedo, Alejandro, Hawcroft, Matt, Kravitz, Ben, Cole, Jason, Watanabe, Shingo and Stephens, Graeme. 2016. "The impact of equilibrating hemispheric albedos on tropical performance in the HadGEM2-ES coupled climate model." Geophysical Research Letters. 43 (1), pp. 395-403. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL066903
Article Title

The impact of equilibrating hemispheric albedos on tropical performance in the HadGEM2-ES coupled climate model

ERA Journal ID1874
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHaywood, Jim M. (Author), Jones, Andy (Author), Dunstone, Nick (Author), Milton, Sean (Author), Vellinga, Michael (Author), Bodas-Salcedo, Alejandro (Author), Hawcroft, Matt (Author), Kravitz, Ben (Author), Cole, Jason (Author), Watanabe, Shingo (Author) and Stephens, Graeme (Author)
Journal TitleGeophysical Research Letters
Journal Citation43 (1), pp. 395-403
Number of Pages9
Year2016
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0094-8276
1944-8007
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL066903
Web Address (URL)https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/2015GL066903
Abstract

The Earth's hemispheric reflectances are equivalent to within ± 0.2 Wm-2, even though the Northern Hemisphere contains a greater proportion of higher reflectance land areas, because of greater cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. This equivalence is unlikely to be by chance, but the reasons are open to debate. Here we show that equilibrating hemispheric albedos in the Hadley Centre Global Environment Model version 2-Earth System coupled climate model significantly improves what have been considered longstanding and apparently intractable model biases. Monsoon precipitation biases over all continental land areas, the penetration of monsoon rainfall across the Sahel, the West African monsoon 'jump', and indicators of hurricane frequency are all significantly improved. Mechanistically, equilibrating hemispheric albedos improves the atmospheric cross-equatorial energy transport and increases the supply of tropical atmospheric moisture to the Hadley cell. We conclude that an accurate representation of the cross-equatorial energy transport appears to be critical if tropical performance is to be improved.

Keywordscouple climate models, HadGEM2-ES, hemispheric albedo, hurricane frequency, tropical precipitation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370199. Atmospheric sciences not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Exeter, United Kingdom
Met Office, United Kingdom
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, United States
Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Canada
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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