Validation of newly designed regional earth system model (RegESM) for Mediterranean Basin

Ufuk Utku Turuncoglu, Gianmaria Sannino

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Abstract

We present a validation analysis of a regional earth system model system (RegESM) for the Mediterranean Basin. The used configuration of the modeling system includes two active components: a regional climate model (RegCM4) and an ocean modeling system (ROMS). To assess the performance of the coupled modeling system in representing the climate of the basin, the results of the coupled simulation (C50E) are compared to the results obtained by a standalone atmospheric simulation (R50E) as well as several observation datasets. Although there is persistent cold bias in fall and winter, which is also seen in previous studies, the model reproduces the inter-annual variability and the seasonal cycles of sea surface temperature (SST) in a general good agreement with the available observations. The analysis of the near-surface wind distribution and the main circulation of the sea indicates that the coupled model can reproduce the main characteristics of the Mediterranean Sea surface and intermediate layer circulation as well as the seasonal variability of wind speed and direction when it is compared with the available observational datasets. The results also reveal that the simulated near-surface wind speed and direction have poor performance in the Gulf of Lion and surrounding regions that also affects the large positive SST bias in the region due to the insufficient horizontal resolution of the atmospheric component of the coupled modeling system. The simulated seasonal climatologies of the surface heat flux components are also consistent with the CORE.2 and NOCS datasets along with the overestimation in net long-wave radiation and latent heat flux (or evaporation, E), although a large observational uncertainty is found in these variables. Also, the coupled model tends to improve the latent heat flux by providing a better representation of the air–sea interaction as well as total heat flux budget over the sea. Both models are also able to reproduce the temporal evolution of the inter-annual anomaly of surface air temperature and precipitation (P) over defined sub-regions. The Mediterranean water budget (E, P and E–P) estimates also show that the coupled model has high skill in the representation of water budget of the Mediterranean Sea. To conclude, the coupled model reproduces climatological land surface fields and the sea surface variables in the range of observation uncertainty and allow studying air–sea interaction and main regional climate characteristics of the basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2919 - 2947
Number of pages29
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume48
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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