The American monsoon system in HadGEM3 and UKESM1

García-Franco, Jorge L.; Gray, Lesley J.; Osprey, Scott

The simulated climate of the American monsoon system (AMS) in the UK models HadGEM3 GC3.1 (GC3) and the Earth system model UKESM1 is assessed and compared to observations and reanalysis. We evaluate the pre-industrial control, AMIP and historical experiments of UKESM1 and two configurations of GC3: a low (inline-formula M1inlinescrollmathml normal 1.875 × normal 1.25 70pt11ptsvg-formulamathimgbdb32dc99310c2ee337fe29b7278523b wcd-1-349-2020-ie00001.svg70pt11ptwcd-1-349-2020-ie00001.png ) and a medium (inline-formula M2inlinescrollmathml normal 0.83 × normal 0.56 64pt11ptsvg-formulamathimg5f1d05708f1efae66fa2d694af42ccfa wcd-1-349-2020-ie00002.svg64pt11ptwcd-1-349-2020-ie00002.png ) resolution. The simulations show a good representation of the seasonal cycle of temperature in monsoon regions, although the historical experiments overestimate the observed summer temperature in the Amazon, Mexico and Central America by more than 1.5 K. The seasonal cycle of rainfall and general characteristics of the North American monsoon of all the simulations agree well with observations and reanalysis, showing a notable improvement from previous versions of the HadGEM model. The models reasonably simulate the bimodal regime of precipitation in southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean known as the midsummer drought, although with a stronger-than-observed difference between the two peaks of precipitation and the dry period. Austral summer biases in the modelled Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), cloud cover and regional temperature patterns are significant and influence the simulated regional rainfall in the South American monsoon. These biases lead to an overestimation of precipitation in southeastern Brazil and an underestimation of precipitation in the Amazon. The precipitation biases over the Amazon and southeastern Brazil are greatly reduced in the AMIP simulations, highlighting that the Atlantic sea surface temperatures are key for representing precipitation in the South American monsoon. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections, of precipitation and temperature, to the AMS are reasonably simulated by all the experiments. The precipitation responses to the positive and negative phase of ENSO in subtropical America are linear in both pre-industrial and historical experiments. Overall, the biases in UKESM1 and the low-resolution configuration of GC3 are very similar for precipitation, ITCZ and Walker circulation; i.e. the inclusion of Earth system processes appears to make no significant difference for the representation of the AMS rainfall. In contrast, the medium-resolution HadGEM3 N216 simulation outperforms the low-resolution simulations due to improved SSTs and circulation.

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García-Franco, Jorge L. / Gray, Lesley J. / Osprey, Scott: The American monsoon system in HadGEM3 and UKESM1. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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