An atmosphere-ocean regional climate model for the Mediterranean area: Assessment of a present climate simulation

Vincenzo Artale, Sandro Calmanti, Adriana Carillo, Alessandro Dell'Aquila, Marine Herrmann, Giovanna Pisacane, Paolo M. Ruti, Gianmaria Sannino, Maria Vittoria Struglia, Filippo Giorgi, Xunqiang Bi, Jeremy S. Pal, Sara Rauscher

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112 Citations (Scopus)


We present an atmosphere-ocean regional climate model for the Mediterranean basin, called the PROTHEUS system, composed by the regional climate model RegCM3 as the atmospheric component and by a regional configuration of the MITgcm model as the oceanic component. The model is applied to an area encompassing the Mediterranean Sea and compared to a stand-alone version of its atmospheric component. An assessment of the model performances is done by using available observational datasets. Despite a persistent bias, the PROTHEUS system is able to capture the inter-annual variability of seasonal sea surface temperature (SST) and also the fine scale spatio-temporal evolution of observed SST anomalies, with spatial correlation as high as 0.7 during summer. The close inspection of a 10-day strong wind event during the summer of 2000 proves the capability of the PROTHEUS system to correctly describe the daily evolution of SST under strong air-sea interaction conditions. As a consequence of the model's skill in reproducing observed SST and wind fields, we expect a reliable estimation of air-sea fluxes. The model skill in reproducing climatological land surface fields is in line with that of state of the art regional climate models. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721 - 740
Number of pages20
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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