The Outlook for Modeling Clouds (Adequately) … is Still Cloudy

Published September 26, 2013

A new study highlights some of the details, revealing that there is “only very modest improvement in the simulated cloud climatology in CMIP5 compared with CMIP3,” and that even this slightest of improvements “is mainly a result of careful model tuning rather than an accurate fundamental representation of cloud processes in the models”… Read More

Modeling Temperature, Sea Level Pressure and Precipitation: CMIP5 vs. CMIP3 (24 Sep 2013)
Which set of models does the better job? How about neither, as Bhend and Whetton say they “find no improvement from CMIP3 to CMIP5 with respect to consistency of simulated local trends per degree warming in near-surface temperature, SLP, and precipitation with the observed change.” Or as they also more bluntly put it, “recent model development has not significantly altered our understanding and description of long-term regional change in these variables”… Read More

Plastic Responses of an Arid-Zone Passerine to Summer Warming (24 Sep 2013)
The species is well prepared to “live long and prosper” in a global warming scenario… Read More

Roots of Norway Spruce Trees Growing in CO2-Enriched Air (24 Sep 2013)
The above-ground biomass of Norway spruce saplings rose by about 12% in response to a doubling of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration, while their below-ground biomass rose by a more-than-three-times-larger 37%. Interestingly, none of this growth enhancement occurred in primary roots. Instead, it all occurred in secondary and fine roots… Read More

A Multiplicity of Model Biases in NCEP’s Climate Forecast System: How Do They Propagate in Modeling the Indian Summer Monsoon? (25 Sep 2013)
Once significant biases worm their way into the innards of today’s complex climate models, they are extremely difficult to expel… Read More

24 CMIP5 Global Climate Models Applied to the Tibetan Plateau (25 Sep 2013)
How well do they replicate its historical (1961-2005) temperature and precipitation? Not very well. For temperature “the majority of the models have cold biases,” while for precipitation “the simulations of all models overestimate the observations in climatological annual means by 62.0%-183.0%,” and “only half of the 24 GCMs are able to reproduce the observed seasonal pattern,” including “the sharp contrast between dry winters and wet summers”… Read More

Plastic Responses of a Marine Picoplankton to Ocean Acidification (25 Sep 2013)
The four scientists who conducted this study conclude that “as CO2 levels increase, O. tauri will grow and photosynthesize faster, and have larger cells with a higher C/N ratio than contemporary cells,” with the result that “Ostreococcus, along with other green algae and cyanobacteria, are likely to increase in abundance in high-CO2 conditions” with concomitant benefits for the biosphere… Read More