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Application of the Pseudo-Global Warming Approach in a Kilometer-Resolution Climate Simulation of the Tropics
  • Christoph Heim,
  • David Leutwyler,
  • Christoph Schär
Christoph Heim
ETH Zürich

Corresponding Author:christoph.heim@env.ethz.ch

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David Leutwyler
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Christoph Schär
ETH Zurich
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Clouds over tropical oceans are an important factor in Earth’s response to increased greenhouse gas concentrations, but their representation in climate models is challenging due to the small-scale nature of the involved convective processes. We perform two 4-year-long simulations at kilometer-resolution (3.3 km horizontal grid spacing) with the limited-area model COSMO over the tropical Atlantic on a 9000x7000 km2 domain: A control simulation under current climate conditions driven by the ERA5 reanalysis, and a climate change scenario simulation using the Pseudo-Global Warming (PGW) approach. We compare these results to the changes projected in the CMIP6 scenario ensemble. We find a good representation of the annual cycle of albedo, in particular for trade-wind clouds, even compared to the ERA5 reanalysis. Also, the vertical structure and annual cycle of the marine intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is accurately simulated, and the simulation does not suffer from the double ITCZ problem commonly present in global climate models (GCMs). The ITCZ responds to warming through a vertical extension and intensification primarily at high levels, as well as a slight southward extension of the annual mean ITCZ, while the narrowing typically seen in GCMs is not visible.