Comparison and assessment of large-scale surface temperature in climate model simulations

Barata, Raquel; Prado, Raquel; Sansó, Bruno

We present a data-driven approach to assess and compare the behavior of large-scale spatial averages of surface temperature in climate model simulations and in observational products. We rely on univariate and multivariate dynamic linear model (DLM) techniques to estimate both long-term and seasonal changes in temperature. The residuals from the DLM analyses capture the internal variability of the climate system and exhibit complex temporal autocorrelation structure. To characterize this internal variability, we explore the structure of these residuals using univariate and multivariate autoregressive (AR) models. As a proof of concept that can easily be extended to other climate models, we apply our approach to one particular climate model (MIROC5). Our results illustrate model versus data differences in both long-term and seasonal changes in temperature. Despite differences in the underlying factors contributing to variability, the different types of simulation yield very similar spectral estimates of internal temperature variability. In general, we find that there is no evidence that the MIROC5 model systematically underestimates the amplitude of observed surface temperature variability on multi-decadal timescales – a finding that has considerable relevance regarding efforts to identify anthropogenic “fingerprints” in observational surface temperature data. Our methodology and results present a novel approach to obtaining data-driven estimates of climate variability for purposes of model evaluation.

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Zitierform:

Barata, Raquel / Prado, Raquel / Sansó, Bruno: Comparison and assessment of large-scale surface temperature in climate model simulations. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Raquel Barata et al.

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