Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis

Victoria, Canada

Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis

Victoria, Canada
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McLandress C.,University of Toronto | Jonsson A.I.,University of Toronto | Plummer D.A.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Reader M.C.,University of Victoria | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Climate | Year: 2010

A version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model that is coupled to an ocean is used to investigate the separate effects of climate change and ozone depletion on the dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) stratosphere. This is achieved by performing three sets of simulations extending from 1960 to 2099: 1) greenhouse gases (GHGs) fixed at 1960 levels and ozone depleting substances (ODSs) varying in time, 2) ODSs fixed at 1960 levels and GHGs varying in time, and 3) both GHGs and ODSs varying in time. The response of various dynamical quantities to the GHG and ODS forcings is shown to be additive; that is, trends computed from the sum of the first two simulations are equal to trends from the third. Additivity is shown to hold for the zonal mean zonal wind and temperature, the mass flux into and out of the stratosphere, and the latitudinally averaged wave drag in SH spring and summer, as well as for final warming dates. Ozone depletion and recovery causes seasonal changes in lower-stratosphere mass flux, with reduced polar downwelling in the past followed by increased downwelling in the future in SH spring, and the reverse in SH summer. These seasonal changes are attributed to changes in wave drag caused by ozone-induced changes in the zonal mean zonal winds. Climate change, on the other hand, causes a steady decrease in wave drag during SH spring, which delays the breakdown of the vortex, resulting in increased wave drag in summer. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

Zickfeld K.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Eby M.,University of Victoria | Damon Matthews H.,Concordia University at Montréal | Schmittner A.,Oregon State University | Weaver A.J.,University of Victoria
Journal of Climate | Year: 2011

Coupled climate-carbon models have shown the potential for large feedbacks between climate change, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and global carbon sinks. Standard metrics of this feedback assume that the response of land and ocean carbon uptake to CO2 (concentration-carbon cycle feedback) and climate change (climate-carbon cycle feedback) combine linearly. This study explores the linearity in the carbon cycle response by analyzing simulations with an earth system model of intermediate complexity [the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model (UVic ESCM)]. The results indicate that the concentration-carbon and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks do not combine linearly to the overall carbon cycle feedback. In this model, the carbon sinks on land and in the ocean are less efficient when exposed to the combined effect of elevated CO2 and climate change than to the linear combination of the two. The land accounts for about 80% of the nonlinearity, with the ocean accounting for the remaining 20%. On land, this nonlinearity is associated with the different response of vegetation and soil carbon uptake to climate in the presence or absence of the CO2 fertilization effect. In the ocean, the nonlinear response is caused by the interaction of changes in physical properties and anthropogenic CO2. These findings suggest that metrics of carbon cycle feedback that postulate linearity in the system's response may not be adequate. © 2011 American Meteorological Society.

McLandress C.,University of Toronto | Shepherd T.G.,University of Toronto | Scinocca J.F.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Plummer D.A.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Climate | Year: 2011

The separate effects of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) and greenhouse gases (GHGs) on forcing circulation changes in the Southern Hemisphere extratropical troposphere are investigated using a version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM) that is coupled to an ocean. Circulation-related diagnostics include zonalwind, tropopause pressure, Hadley cellwidth, jet location, annularmode index, precipitation,wave drag, and eddy fluxes ofmomentumand heat.As expected, the tropospheric response to theODS forcing occurs primarily in austral summer, with past (1960-99) and future (2000-99) trends of opposite sign, while the GHG forcing produces more seasonally uniform trends with the same sign in the past and future. In summer the ODS forcing dominates past trends in all diagnostics,while the two forcings contribute nearly equally but oppositely to future trends. TheODS forcing produces a past surface temperature response consisting of cooling over eastern Antarctica, and is the dominant driver of past summertime surface temperature changes when the model is constrained by observed sea surface temperatures. For all diagnostics, the response to the ODS and GHG forcings is additive; that is, the linear trend computed from the simulations using the combined forcings equals (within statistical uncertainty) the sum of the linear trends fromthe simulations using the two separate forcings. Space-time spectra of eddy fluxes and the spatial distribution of transient wave drag are examined to assess the viability of several recently proposed mechanisms for the observed poleward shift in the tropospheric jet. © 2011 American Meteorological Society.

Christian J.R.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Christian J.R.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Changes in ocean chemistry and climate induced by anthropogenic CO2 affect a broad range of ocean biological and biogeochemical processes; these changes are already well underway. Direct effects of CO2 (e.g. on pH) are prominent among these, but climate model simulations with historical greenhouse gas forcing suggest that physical and biological processes only indirectly forced by CO2 (via the effect of atmospheric CO2 on climate) begin to show anthropogenically-induced trends as early as the 1920s. Dates of emergence of a number of representative ocean fields from the envelope of natural variability are calculated for global means and for spatial 'fingerprints' over a number of geographic regions. Emergence dates are consistent among these methods and insensitive to the exact choice of regions, but are generally earlier with more spatial information included. Emergence dates calculated for individual sampling stations are more variable and generally later, but means across stations are generally consistent with global emergence dates. The last sign reversal of linear trends calculated for periods of 20 or 30 years also functions as a diagnostic of emergence, and is generally consistent with other measures. The last sign reversal among 20 year trends is found to be a conservative measure (biased towards later emergence), while for 30 year trends it is found to have an early emergence bias, relative to emergence dates calculated by departure from the preindustrial mean. These results are largely independent of emission scenario, but the latest-emerging fields show a response to mitigation. A significant anthropogenic component of ocean variability has been present throughout the modern era of ocean observation. Copyright: © 2014 James R. Christian.

Sillmann J.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research | Donat M.G.,University of New South Wales | Fyfe J.C.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Zwiers F.W.,Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2014

The discrepancy between recent observed and simulated trends in global mean surface temperature has provoked a debate about possible causes and implications for future climate change projections. However, little has been said in this discussion about observed and simulated trends in global temperature extremes. Here we assess trend patterns in temperature extremes and evaluate the consistency between observed and simulated temperature extremes over the past four decades (1971-2010) in comparison to the recent 15 years (1996-2010). We consider the coldest night and warmest day in a year in the observational dataset HadEX2 and in the current generation of global climate models (CMIP5). In general, the observed trends fall within the simulated range of trends, with better consistency for the longer period. Spatial trend patterns differ for the warm and cold extremes, with the warm extremes showing continuous positive trends across the globe and the cold extremes exhibiting a coherent cooling pattern across the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes that has emerged in the recent 15 years and is not reproduced by the models. This regional inconsistency between models and observations might be a key to understanding the recent hiatus in global mean temperature warming. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Swart N.C.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Fyfe J.C.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Gillett N.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Marshall G.J.,British Antarctic Survey
Journal of Climate | Year: 2015

This paper examines trends in the southern annular mode (SAM) and the strength, position, and width of the Southern Hemisphere surface westerly wind jet in observations, reanalyses, and models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). First the period over 1951-2011 is considered, and it is shown that there are differences in the SAM and jet trends between the CMIP5 models, the Hadley Centre gridded SLP (HadSLP2r) dataset, and the Twentieth Century Reanalysis. The relationships between these trends demonstrate that the SAM index cannot be used to directly infer changes in any one kinematic property of the jet. The spatial structure of the observed trends in SLP and zonal winds is shown to be largest, but also most uncertain, in the southeastern Pacific. To constrain this uncertainty six reanalyses are included and compared with station-based observations of SLP. The CMIP5 mean SLP trends generally agree well with the direct observations, despite some climatological biases, while some reanalyses exhibit spuriously large SLP trends. Similarly, over the more reliable satellite era the spatial pattern of CMIP5 SLP trends is in excellent agreement with HadSLP2r, whereas several reanalyses are not. Then surface winds are compared with a satellite-based product, and it is shown that the CMIP5 mean trend is similar to observations in the core region of the westerlies, but that several reanalyses overestimate recent trends. The authors caution that studies examining the impact of wind changes on the Southern Ocean could be biased by these spuriously large trends in reanalysis products. © 2015 American Meteorological Society.

Sigmond M.,University of Toronto | Scinocca J.F.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Journal of Climate | Year: 2010

Employing a comprehensive atmospheric general circulation model, the authors have shown in a previous study that the time-mean Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter circulation response to a CO2 doubling perturbation depends significantly on parameterized orographic gravity wave drag (OGWD) parameter settings, which are essentially related to the strength of OGWD. A possible implication is that aspects of the greenhouse gas-induced circulation response could depend directly on the formulation and internal parameters settings of the OGWD scheme. Such a result would further heighten the importance of OGWD parameterizations for climate studies and have far-reaching implications for modeled projections of future climate change. In this study the causal relationship between OGWD and changes in time-mean NH wintertime circulation response to CO2 doubling is investigated. This is accomplished by introducing a methodology that allows one to hold the OGWD forcing fixed to its 1 × CO2 value when CO2 is doubled. Employing this methodology for perturbation experiments with different strengths of OGWD, the authors find that the changes in OGWD forcing due to CO2 doubling have essentially no impact on the time-mean zonal-mean zonal wind response. The primary conclusion is that the OGWD influence is limited to its impact on the 1 × CO2 basic-state climatology, which defines the propagation characteristics of resolved waves. Different strengths of OGWD result in control basic states with different refractive properties for the resolved waves. It is shown that the action of resolved waves, as well as their sensitivity to such differences in the control climatology, explains essentially all of the NH wintertime circulation sensitivity identified here and in a previous study. Implications for climate change projections and climate-model development are discussed. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

McLandress C.,University of Toronto | Plummer D.A.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Shepherd T.G.,University of Reading
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2014

This note describes a simple procedure for removing unphysical temporal discontinuities in ERA-Interim upper stratospheric global mean temperatures in March 1985 and August 1998 that have arisen due to changes in satellite radiance data used in the assimilation. The derived temperature adjustments (offsets) are suitable for use in stratosphere-resolving chemistry-climate models that are nudged (relaxed) to ERA-Interim winds and temperatures. Simulations using a nudged version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM) show that the inclusion of the temperature adjustments produces temperature time series that are devoid of the large jumps in 1985 and 1998. Due to its strong temperature dependence, the simulated upper stratospheric ozone is also shown to vary smoothly in time, unlike in a nudged simulation without the adjustments where abrupt changes in ozone occur at the times of the temperature jumps. While the adjustments to the ERA-Interim temperatures remove significant artefacts in the nudged CMAM simulation, spurious transient effects that arise due to water vapour and persist for about 5 yr after the 1979 switch to ERA-Interim data are identified, underlining the need for caution when analysing trends in runs nudged to reanalyses. © 2014 Author(s). CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Boer G.J.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Arora V.K.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

Emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere affect the carbon budgets of the land and ocean as biogeochemical processes react to increased CO2 concentrations. Biogeochemical processes also react to changes in temperature and other climate parameters. This behavior is characterized in terms of carbon-concentration and carbon-climate feedback parameters. The results of this study include 1) the extension of the direct carbon feedback formalism of Boer and Arora to include results from radiatively coupled simulations, as well as those from the biogeochemically coupled and fully coupled simulations used in earlier analyses; 2) a brief analysis of the relationship between this formalism and the integrated feedback formalism of Friedlingstein et al.; 3) the feedback analysis of simulations based on each of the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5; 4) a comparison of the effects of specifying atmospheric CO2 concentrations or CO2 emissions; and 5) the quantification of the relative importance of the two feedback mechanisms in terms of their cumulative contribution to the change in atmospheric CO2. Feedback results are broadly in agreement with earlier studies in that carbon-concentration feedback is negative for the atmosphere and carbon-climate feedback is positive. However, the magnitude and evolution of feedback behavior depends on the formalism employed, the scenario considered, and the specification of CO2 from emissions or as atmospheric concentrations. Both feedback parameters can differ by factors of two or more, depending on the scenario and on the specification of CO2 emissions or concentrations. While feedback results are qualitatively useful and illustrative of carbon budget behavior, they apply quantitatively to particular scenarios and cases.

Boer G.J.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Kharin V.V.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis | Merryfield W.J.,Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2013

The "potential predictability" of the climate system is the upper limit of available forecast skill and can be characterized by the ratio p of the predictable variance to the total variance. While the potential predictability of the actual climate system is unknown its analog q may be obtained for a model of the climate system. The usual correlation skill score r and the mean square skill score M are functions of p in the case of actual forecasts and potential correlation ρ and potential mean square skill score M are the same functions of q in the idealized model context. In the large ensemble limit the connection between model-based potential predictability and skill scores is particularly straightforward with q = p2 = M. Decadal predictions of annual mean temperature produced with the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis coupled climate model are analyzed for information on decadal climate predictability and actual forecast skill. Initialized forecast results are compared with the results of uninitialized climate simulations. Model-based values of potential predictability q and potential correlation skill ρ are obtained and ρ is compared with the actual forecast correlation skill r. The skill of externally forced and internally generated components of the variability are separately estimated. As expected, ρ > r and both decline with forecast range τ, at least for the first five years. The decline of skill is associated mainly with the decline of the skill of the internally generated component. The potential and actual skill of a forecast of time-averaged temperature depends on the averaging period. The skill of uninitialized simulations is low for short averaging times and increases as averaging time increases. By contrast, skill is high at short averaging times for forecasts initialized from observations and declines as averaging times increase to about three years, then increases somewhat at longer averaging times. The skills of the initialized forecasts and uninitialized simulations begin to converge for longer averaging times. The potential correlation skill ρ of the externally forced component of temperature is largest at tropical latitudes and the skill of the internally generated component is largest over the North Atlantic, parts of the Southern Ocean and to some extent the North Pacific. Potential skill over extratropical land is somewhat weaker than over oceans. The distribution of actual correlation skill r is broadly similar to that of potential skill for the externally forced component but less so for the internally generated component. Differences in potential and actual skill suggest where improvements in the forecast system might be found. © 2013 Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada as represented by the Minister of the Environment.

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