An Investigation of the Initial Development of the Double-ITCZ Warm SST Biases in the CCSM

Hailong Liu, Minghua Zhang, Wuyin Lin
2012 Journal of Climate  
This paper investigates the initial development of the double ITCZ in the Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3) in the central Pacific. Starting from a resting initial condition of the ocean in January, the model developed a warm bias of sea surface temperature (SST) in the central Pacific from 58S to 108S in the first three months. This initial bias is caused by excessive surface shortwave radiation that is also present in the standalone atmospheric model. The initial bias is
more » ... amplified by biases in both surface latent heat flux and horizontal heat transport in the upper ocean. These biases are caused by the responses of surface winds to SST bias and the thermocline structure to surface wind curls. This study also showed that the warming biases in surface solar radiation and latent heat fluxes are seasonally offset by cooling biases from reduced solar radiation after the austral summer due to cloud responses and in the austral fall due to enhanced evaporation when the maximum SST is closest to the equator. The warming biases from the dynamic heat transport by ocean currents however stay throughout all seasons once they are developed, which are eventually balanced by enhanced energy exchange and penetration of solar radiation below the mixed layer. It was also shown that the equatorial cold tongue develops after the warm biases in the south-central Pacific, and the overestimation of surface shortwave radiation recurs in the austral summer in each year. The results provide a case study on the physical processes leading to the development of the double ITCZ. Applicability of the results in other models is discussed.
doi:10.1175/2011jcli4001.1 fatcat:eepjkvhcuzagdbgzomj4huk4me