GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Role of clouds in equatorial Pacific climate

equatorial Pacific plays a key role in regulating the Earth’s climate by
affecting global surface air temperature trend, variability, and weather
extremes. Despite its climatic importance, simulations of tropical Pacific mean
climate and variability remain unsatisfactory. Convection and clouds are
inherent players in the system and may be key in shaping the climatology and
variability of the equatorial Pacific. Deficiencies in representation of
convection and clouds are likely among the root causes in long-standing GCM
biases in equatorial Pacific such as the
narrow cold SST biases along the equator and the double ITCZ problems. We are
currently exploring the sensitivity of simulated equatorial climate to detailed
processes in convection and clouds
parameterization with a goal towards better understanding of the relevant
processes and systematic model bias reduction. This project will also help us
to better understand future climate change in both the equatorial Pacific and
around the globe