AbstractIn this study, observed cloud liquid water path (LWP) trends from the Multisensor Advanced Climatology of Liquid Water Path (MAC-LWP) dataset (1988–2014) are compared to trends computed from the temporally coincident records of 16 global climate models (GCMs) participating in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). For many regions, observed trend magnitudes are several times larger than the corresponding model mean trend magnitudes. Muted model mean trends are thought to be the result of cancellation effects arising from differing interannual variability characteristics and differences in model physics–dynamics. In most regions, the majority of modeled trends were statistically consistent with the observed trends. This was thought to be because of large estimated errors in both the observations and the models due to interannual variability. Over the southern oceans (south of 40°S latitude), general agreement between the observed trend and virtually all GCM trends is also found (about 1–2 g m−2 decade−1). Observed trends are also compared to those from the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP). Like the CMIP5 models, the majority of modeled AMIP trends were statistically consistent with the observed trends. It was also found that, in regions where the AMIP model mean time series better captures observed interannual variability, it tends to better capture the magnitude of the observed trends.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 21, 2017
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