Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie

Hamburg, Germany

Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie

Hamburg, Germany
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Hedemann C.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Mauritsen T.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Jungclaus J.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Marotzke J.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2017

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Earth's surface warmed more slowly than climate models simulated. This surface-warming hiatus is attributed by some studies to model errors in external forcing, while others point to heat rearrangements in the ocean caused by internal variability, the timing of which cannot be predicted by the models. However, observational analyses disagree about which ocean region is responsible. Here we show that the hiatus could also have been caused by internal variability in the top-of-atmosphere energy imbalance. Energy budgeting for the ocean surface layer over a 100-member historical ensemble reveals that hiatuses are caused by energy-flux deviations as small as 0.08 W m â '2, which can originate at the top of the atmosphere, in the ocean, or both. Budgeting with existing observations cannot constrain the origin of the recent hiatus, because the uncertainty in observations dwarfs the small flux deviations that could cause a hiatus. The sensitivity of these flux deviations to the observational dataset and to energy budget choices helps explain why previous studies conflict, and suggests that the origin of the recent hiatus may never be identified. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

Langen P.L.,Copenhagen University | Graversen R.G.,University of Stockholm | Mauritsen T.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Journal of Climate | Year: 2012

When climate is forced by a doubling of CO 2, a number of feedback processes are induced, such as changes of water vapor, clouds, and surface albedo. Here the CO 2 forcing and concomitant feedbacks are studied individually using a general circulation model coupled to an aquaplanet mixed layer ocean. A technique for fixing the radiative effects of moisture and clouds by reusing these variables from 1 × CO 2 and 2 × CO 2 equilibriumclimates in the model's radiation code allows for a detailed decomposition of forcings, feedbacks, and responses. The cloud feedback in this model is found to have a weak global average effect and surface albedo feedbacks have been eliminated. As in previous studies, the water vapor feedback is found to approximately double climate sensitivity, but while its radiative effect is strongly amplified at low latitudes, the resulting response displays about the same degree of polar amplification as the full all-feedbacks experiment. In fact, atmospheric energy transports are found to change in a way that yields the same meridional pattern of response as when the water vapor feedback is turned off. The authors conclude that while the water vapor feedback does not in itself lead to polar amplification by increasing the ratio of high- to low-latitude warming, it does double climate sensitivity both at low and high latitudes. A polar amplification induced by other feedbacks in the system, such as the Planck and lapse rate feedbacks here, is thus strengthened in the sense of increasing the difference in high- and low-latitude warming. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.

Gassmann A.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2011

C-grid discretizations based on a hexagonal or triangular mesh can be investigated with the help of a planar trivariate coordinate system, where the vector components are either defined tangentially (hexagonal C-grid) or perpendicularly (triangular C-grid) to the coordinate lines. Inspecting the Helmholtz decomposition of a vector in case of the linearly dependent trivariate coordinate description reveals insights into the structure and stencil of the discretized divergence and vorticity on such grids. From a vector Laplacian, which is consistent with the Helmholtz decomposition, a general formulation for the inner product operator at grid edges can be derived. Thus, the vector reconstruction of the tangential wind for the Coriolis term in the shallow water equations can be given even for a slightly distorted tesselation as present on icosahedral spherical grids.Furthermore, a rigorous comparison of the triangular and the hexagonal C-grid linear shallow water equations is performed from a theoretical and also from an experimental viewpoint. It turns out that the additional degree of freedom in the height field in the triangular C-grid case compared to the hexagonal C-grid is responsible for the decoupling of divergence values on upward and downward directed triangles. This problem occurs especially for small Rossby deformation radii, and practically requires additional explicit diffusion. In contrast, the hexagonal C-grid discretization has remarkable similarity to the quadrilateral C-grid case in the wave dispersion properties and eigenvector structure. Numerical experiments performed with that option proved resilent. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Jungclaus J.H.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Koenigk T.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2010

Changes in meridional heat transports, carried either by the atmosphere (HTRA) or by the ocean (HTRO), have been proposed to explain the decadal to multidecadal climate variations in the Arctic. On the other hand, model simulations indicate that, at high northern latitudes, variations in HTRA and HTRO are strongly coupled and may even compensate each other. A multi-century control integration with the Max Planck Institute global atmosphere-ocean model is analyzed to investigate the relative role of the HTRO and HTRA variations in shaping the Arctic climate and the consequences of their possible compensation. In the simulation, ocean heat transport anomalies modulate sea ice cover and surface heat fluxes mainly in the Barents Sea/Kara Sea region and the atmosphere responds with a modified pressure field. In response to positive HTRO anomalies there are negative HTRA anomalies associated with an export of relatively warm air southward to Western Siberia and a reduced inflow of heat over Alaska and northern Canada. While the compensation mechanism is prominent in this model, its dominating role is not constant over long time scales. The presence or absence of the compensation is determined mainly by the atmospheric circulation in the Pacific sector of the Arctic where the two leading large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns determine the lateral fluxes with varying contributions. The degree of compensation also determines the heat available to modulate the large-scale Arctic climate. The combined effect of atmospheric and oceanic contributions has to be considered to explain decadal-scale warming or cooling trends. © The Author(s) 2009.

Smith D.M.,UK Met Office | Eade R.,UK Met Office | Pohlmann H.,UK Met Office | Pohlmann H.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2013

There are two main approaches for dealing with model biases in forecasts made with initialized climate models. In full-field initialization, model biases are removed during the assimilation process by constraining the model to be close to observations. Forecasts drift back towards the model's preferred state, thereby re-establishing biases which are then removed with an a posterior lead-time dependent correction diagnosed from a set of historical tests (hindcasts). In anomaly initialization, the model is constrained by observed anomalies and deviates from its preferred climatology only by the observed variability. In theory, the forecasts do not drift, and biases may be removed based on the difference between observations and independent model simulations of a given period. Both approaches are currently in use, but their relative merits are unclear. Here we compare the skill of each approach in comprehensive decadal hindcasts starting each year from 1960 to 2009, made using the Met Office decadal prediction system. Both approaches are more skilful than climatology in most regions for temperature and some regions for precipitation. On seasonal timescales, full-field initialized hindcasts of regional temperature and precipitation are significantly more skilful on average than anomaly initialized hindcasts. Teleconnections associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation are stronger with the full-field approach, providing a physical basis for the improved precipitation skill. Differences in skill on multi-year timescales are generally not significant. However, anomaly initialization provides a better estimate of forecast skill from a limited hindcast set. © 2013 Crown Copyright.

Stevens B.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Journal of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2010

Mixing processes at cloud boundaries are thought to play a critical role in determining cloud lifetime, spatial extent and cloud microphysical structure. High-fidelity direct numerical simulations by Mellado (J. Fluid Mech., 2010, this issue, vol. 660, pp. 5-36) show, for the first time, the character and potency of a curious instability that may arise as a result of molecular mixing processes at cloud boundaries, an instability which until now has been thought by many to control the distribution of climatologically important cloud regimes. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Stacke T.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Hagemann S.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2012

In this study we present the development of the dynamical wetland extent scheme (DWES) and evaluate its skill to represent the global wetland distribution. The DWES is a simple, global scale hydrological scheme that solves the water balance of wetlands and estimates their extent dynamically. The extent depends on the balance of water flows in the wetlands and the slope distribution within the grid cells. In contrast to most models, the DWES is not directly calibrated against wetland extent observations. Instead, wetland affected river discharge data are used to optimise global parameters of the model. The DWES is not a complete hydrological model by itself but implemented into the Max Planck Institute Hydrology Model (MPI-HM). However, it can be transferred into other models as well. For present climate, the model evaluation reveals a good agreement for the spatial distribution of simulated wetlands compared to different observations on the global scale. The best results are achieved for the Northern Hemisphere where not only the wetland distribution pattern but also their extent is simulated reasonably well by the DWES. However, the wetland fraction in the tropical parts of South America and Central Africa is strongly overestimated. The simulated extent dynamics correlate well with monthly inundation variations obtained from satellites for most locations. Also, the simulated river discharge is affected by wetlands resulting in a delay and mitigation of peak flows. Compared to simulations without wetlands, we find locally increased evaporation and decreased river flow into the oceans due to the implemented wetland processes. In summary, the evaluation demonstrates the DWES ability to simulate the distribution of wetlands and their seasonal variations for most regions. Thus, the DWES can provide hydrological boundary conditions for wetland related studies. In future applications, the DWES may be implemented into an Earth system model to study feedbacks between wetlands and climate. © 2012 Author(s). CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Mikolajewicz U.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Climate of the Past | Year: 2011

A regional ocean general circulation model of the Mediterranean is used to study the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum. The atmospheric forcing for these simulations has been derived from simulations with an atmospheric general circulation model, which in turn was forced with surface conditions from a coarse resolution earth system model. The model is successful in reproducing the general patterns of reconstructed sea surface temperature anomalies with the strongest cooling in summer in the northwestern Mediterranean and weak cooling in the Levantine, although the model underestimates the extent of the summer cooling in the western Mediterranean. However, there is a strong vertical gradient associated with this pattern of summer cooling, which makes the comparison with reconstructions complicated. The exchange with the Atlantic is decreased to roughly one half of its present value, which can be explained by the shallower Strait of Gibraltar as a consequence of lower global sea level. This reduced exchange causes a strong increase of salinity in the Mediterranean in spite of reduced net evaporation. © 2011 Author(s).

Pierrehumbert R.T.,University of Chicago | Abbot D.S.,University of Chicago | Voigt A.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Koll D.,Harvard University
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences | Year: 2011

The Neoproterozoic is a time of transition between the ancient microbial world and the Phanerozoic, marked by a resumption of extreme carbon isotope fluctuations and glaciation after a billion-year absence. The carbon cycle disruptions are probably accompanied by changes in the stock of oxidants and connect to glaciations via changes in the atmospheric greenhouse gas content. Two of the glaciations reach low latitudes and may have been Snowball events with near-global ice cover. This review deals primarily with the Cryogenian portion of the Neoproterozoic, during which these glaciations occurred. The initiation and deglaciation of Snowball states are discussed in light of a suite of general circulation model simulations designed to facilitate intercomparison between different models. Snow cover and the nature of the frozen surface emerge as key factors governing initiation and deglaciation. The most comprehensive model discussed confirms the possibility of initiating a Snowball event with a plausible reduction of CO2. Deglaciation requires a combination of elevated CO2 and tropical dust accumulation, aided by some cloud warming. The cause of Neoproterozoic biogeochemical turbulence, and its precise connection with Snowball glaciations, remains obscure. Copyright © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Ansorge C.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie | Mellado J.P.,Max Planck Institute For Meteorologie
Boundary-Layer Meteorology | Year: 2014

Direct numerical simulation of the turbulent Ekman layer over a smooth wall is used to investigate bulk properties of a planetary boundary layer under stable stratification. Our simplified configuration depends on two non-dimensional parameters: a Richardson number characterizing the stratification and a Reynolds number characterizing the turbulence scale separation. This simplified configuration is sufficient to reproduce global intermittency, a turbulence collapse, and the decoupling of the surface from the outer region of the boundary layer. Global intermittency appears even in the absence of local perturbations at the surface; the only requirement is that large-scale structures several times wider than the boundary-layer height have enough space to develop. Analysis of the mean velocity, turbulence kinetic energy, and external intermittency is used to investigate the large-scale structures and corresponding differences between stably stratified Ekman flow and channel flow. Both configurations show a similar transition to the turbulence collapse, overshoot of turbulence kinetic energy, and spectral properties. Differences in the outer region resulting from the rotation of the system lead, however, to the generation of enstrophy in the non-turbulent patches of the Ekman flow. The coefficient of the stability correction function from Monin-Obukhov similarity theory is estimated as β ≈ 5.7 in agreement with atmospheric observations, theoretical considerations, and results from stably stratified channel flows. Our results demonstrate the applicability of this set-up to atmospheric problems despite the intermediate Reynolds number achieved in our simulations. © 2014 The Author(s).

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