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CMIP5 model biases in the climatological mean state of the western Pacific warm pool

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Abstract

Biases in coupled general circulation models represent important limits for climate prediction. Based on historical runs of 26 coupled climate models of the Fifth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, the error of the climatological mean of the western Pacific warm pool (WPWP) is investigated. The results show that simulation of the morphology of the WPWP is significantly influenced by ocean currents. The upper-ocean heat budget analysis also indicates that heat advection plays a key role in determining the shape of the WPWP during the simulation. For the shrinkage of the tropical region and south section of smaller WPWPs, both the zonal heat advection bias caused by zonal ocean currents bias and meridional heat advection bias caused by the meridional sea temperature gradient bias are the crucial factors, while for the extension of larger WPWPs, the zonal heat advection bias is more important. For the northern section of WPWPs, the horizontal heat advection biases are still responsible for the shrinkage and extension in the region from 4°N to 7°N, while in the north of 7°N, the biases of WPWP are related to that of short wave radiation. In addition, in the equator and south section of the WPWP, the advective feedback plays a key role in the development of biases.

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programs Working Group on Coupled Modelling for their roles in making available the CMIP3 and CMIP5 multi-model datasets, and we thank the climate modeling groups (listed in Table 1 of this paper) for producing and making available their model output.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41676007), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2017YFA0604102), the Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (No. 41421005), and NSFC–Shandong Joint Fund for Marine Science Research Centers (No. U1406401).

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Correspondence to Yuxing Yang.

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Yang, Y., Wang, F. & Zheng, J. CMIP5 model biases in the climatological mean state of the western Pacific warm pool. Theor Appl Climatol 140, 533–545 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03099-2

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