Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Subtropical Eastern North Pacific SST Bias in Earth System Models

TitleSubtropical Eastern North Pacific SST Bias in Earth System Models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume126
Number8
Abstract / Summary

This study systematically evaluates the warm sea surface temperature (SST) bias in the Subtropical Eastern North Pacific, a problem plaguing most Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 models, using the Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 1 (E3SM). In the model at its standard resolution (1° atmosphere, 30–60 km ocean), the SST bias, exceeding several degrees, is mainly concentrated along the coast between 25°N and 40°N. In the high-resolution (0.25° atmosphere, 18–6 km ocean) version of the model, the nearshore SST bias improves considerably with a better representation of coastal upwelling. However, the offshore SST bias, approximately centered at 125°W and 25°N, is relatively stronger in the high-resolution version. To better understand the offshore warm bias in the model, a mixed-layer heat budget analysis is performed. While errors in surface radiative fluxes occur at both resolutions, positive biases in horizontal heat advection also play a role in the SST bias at high-resolution. Analysis of HighResMIP models indicates that the shift in the location of the prominent SST bias from nearshore to offshore with an increase in model spatial resolution, is not native to E3SM alone.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2021jc017359
DOI10.1029/2021jc017359
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Year of Publication: 2021
Volume: 126
Number: 8
Publication Date: 07/2021

This study systematically evaluates the warm sea surface temperature (SST) bias in the Subtropical Eastern North Pacific, a problem plaguing most Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 models, using the Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 1 (E3SM). In the model at its standard resolution (1° atmosphere, 30–60 km ocean), the SST bias, exceeding several degrees, is mainly concentrated along the coast between 25°N and 40°N. In the high-resolution (0.25° atmosphere, 18–6 km ocean) version of the model, the nearshore SST bias improves considerably with a better representation of coastal upwelling. However, the offshore SST bias, approximately centered at 125°W and 25°N, is relatively stronger in the high-resolution version. To better understand the offshore warm bias in the model, a mixed-layer heat budget analysis is performed. While errors in surface radiative fluxes occur at both resolutions, positive biases in horizontal heat advection also play a role in the SST bias at high-resolution. Analysis of HighResMIP models indicates that the shift in the location of the prominent SST bias from nearshore to offshore with an increase in model spatial resolution, is not native to E3SM alone.

DOI: 10.1029/2021jc017359
Citation:
Balaguru, K, L Van Roekel, L Leung, and M Veneziani.  2021.  "Subtropical Eastern North Pacific SST Bias in Earth System Models."  Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 126(8).  https://doi.org/10.1029/2021jc017359.