AbstractPrecipitation and column water vapor data from 13 CMIP5 models and observational datasets are used to analyze atmospheric moisture recycling rate from 1988 to 2008. The comparisons between the observations and model simulations suggest that most CMIP5 models capture two main characteristics of recycling rate: (1) long-term decreasing trend of global-average maritime recycling rate (atmospheric recycling rate over ocean within 60°S-60°N) and (2) dominant spatial patterns of the temporal variations of recycling rate (i.e., increasing in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and decreasing in sub-tropical region). All models except one successfully simulate not only the long-term trend but also inter-annual variability of column water vapor. The simulations of precipitation are relatively poor especially over the relatively short time scales, which lead to the discrepancy of recycling rate between the observations and the CMIP5 models. Comparisons of spatial patterns also suggest that the CMIP5 models simulate column water vapor better than precipitation. Our comparative studies indicate the scope for improvements in the simulations of precipitation especially for the relatively short time scale variations to better simulate the recycling rate of atmospheric moisture, an important indicator of climate change.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jan 2, 2018
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