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Simulation of the global hydrological cycle in the CCSM Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3): Mean features

TitleSimulation of the global hydrological cycle in the CCSM Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3): Mean features
Publication TypeManual Entry
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHack, J. J., J. M. Caron, S. G. Yeager, K. W. Oleson, M. M. Holland, J. E. Truesdale, and P. J. Rasch
Journal of Climate

The seasonal and annual climatological behavior of selected components of the hydrological cycle are presented from coupled and uncoupled configurations of the atmospheric component of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) Community Atmosphere Model version 3 (CAM3). The formulations of processes that play a role in the hydrological cycle are significantly more complex when compared with earlier versions of the atmospheric model. Major features of the simulated hydrological cycle are compared against available observational data. and the strengths and weaknesses are discussed in the context of specified sea Surface temperature and fully coupled model simulations. The magnitude of the CAM3 hydrological cycle is weaker than in earlier versions of the model, and is more consistent with observational estimates. Major features of the exchange of water with the surface, and the vertically integrated storage of water in the atmosphere. are generally well captured on seasonal and longer time scales. The water cycle response to ENSO events is also very realistic. The simulation, however, continues to exhibit a number of long-standing biases, such as a tendency to produce double ITCZ-Iike structures in the deep Tropics. and to overestimate precipitation rates poleward of the extratropical storm tracks. The lower-tropospheric dry bias, associated with the parameterized treatment of convection, also remains a simulation deficiency. Several of these biases are exacerbated when the atmosphere is coupled to fully interactive surface models, although the larger-scale behavior of the hydrological cycle remains nearly identical to Simulations with prescribed distributions of sea surface temperature and sea ice.

Citation Key159