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Two-way coupling of an ENSO model to the global climate model CLIMBER-3a
Goelzer, H.; Levermann, A.; Rahmstorf, S. (2009). Two-way coupling of an ENSO model to the global climate model CLIMBER-3a. Ocean Modelling 29(1): 94-101.
In: Ocean Modelling. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 1463-5003; e-ISSN 1463-5011, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 231883 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    EMIC; ENSO; Coupled model

Authors  Top 
  • Goelzer, H., more
  • Levermann, A.
  • Rahmstorf, S.

    We present a model study that investigates to what extent it is possible to introduce ENSO variability to an Earth system Model of Intermediate Complexity (EMIC). The Zebiak-Cane ENSO model is dynamically coupled to the EMIC CLIMBER-3a, which by itself exhibits no interannual or multidecadal variability. ENSO variability is introduced to CLIMBER-3a by adding ENSO-related sea surface temperature anomalies to the upper layers of the model ocean. For the other coupling direction, changes in the mean CLIMBER-3a climate on decadal time scales are used to change the background state of the ENSO model, achieving a two-way coupling. We compare typical ENSO-related patterns of a fully coupled pre-industrial model run to reanalysis data and point out the possibilities and limitations of this model configuration. Although introduced ENSO-related SST anomalies and other related variables like the Southern Oscillation Index are well reproduced by the EMIC in the forcing domain, teleconnections to other regions are damped, especially in meridional direction. The reason for this limitation is the atmospheric model, which does not sufficiently resolve the necessary transport mechanisms. Despite this limitation the presented coupling method may still be a useful tool in combination with higher resolution atmospheric models as being in development for the successor model CLIMBER-3 and possibly other EMICs.

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