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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-82
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model experiment description paper 06 Jun 2018

Model experiment description paper | 06 Jun 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) contribution to CMIP6: investigating the causes and consequences of polar amplification

Doug M. Smith1, James A. Screen2, Clara Deser3, Judah Cohen4, John C. Fyfe5, Javier García-Serrano6,7, Thomas Jung8,9, Vladimir Kattsov10, Daniela Matei11, Rym Msadek12, Yannick Peings13, Michael Sigmond5, Jinro Ukita14, Jin-Ho Yoon15, and Xiangdong Zhang16 Doug M. Smith et al.
  • 1Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
  • 2College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK
  • 3Climate and Global Dynamics, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO 80305, USA
  • 4Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Lexington, MA, USA
  • 5Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2Y2, Canada
  • 6Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 7Group of Meteorology, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 8Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 9University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 10Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory, Roshydromet, Russia
  • 11Max-Plank-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
  • 12CERFACS/CNRS, UMR 5318, Toulouse, France
  • 13Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, USA
  • 14Institute of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan
  • 15Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering, Gwangju, South Korea
  • 16International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks AK 9775, USA

Abstract. Polar amplification – the phenomenon that external radiative forcing produces a larger change in surface temperature at high latitudes than the global average – is a key aspect of anthropogenic climate change, but its causes and consequences are not fully understood. The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) contribution to the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6, Eyring et al. 2016) seeks to improve our understanding of this phenomenon through a coordinated set of numerical model experiments documented here. In particular, PAMIP will address the following primary questions:

1. What are the relative roles of local sea ice and remote sea surface temperature changes in driving polar amplification?

2. How does the global climate system respond to changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice?

These issues will be addressed with multi-model simulations that are forced with different combinations of sea ice and/or sea surface temperatures representing present day, pre-industrial and future conditions. The use of three time periods allows the signals of interest to be diagnosed in multiple ways. Lower priority tier experiments are proposed to investigate additional aspects and provide further understanding of the physical processes. These experiments will address the following specific questions: What role does ocean-atmosphere coupling play in the response to sea ice? How and why does the atmospheric response to Arctic sea ice depend on the pattern of sea ice forcing? How and why does the atmospheric response to Arctic sea ice depend on the model background state? What are the roles of local sea ice and remote sea surface temperature in polar amplification, and the response to sea ice, over the recent period since 1979? How does the response to sea ice evolve on decadal and longer timescales?

A key goal of PAMIP is to determine the real world situation using imperfect climate models. Although the experiments proposed here form a coordinated set, we anticipate a large spread across models. However, this spread will be exploited by seeking emergent constraints in which model uncertainty may be reduced by using an observable quantity that physically explains the inter-model spread. In summary, PAMIP will improve our understanding of the physical processes that drive polar amplification and its global climate impacts, thereby reducing the uncertainties in future projections and predictions of climate change and variability.

Doug M. Smith et al.
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Doug M. Smith et al.
Doug M. Smith et al.
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The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) is an endorsed contribution to the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). It will investigate the causes and global consequences of polar amplification through coordinated multi-model numerical experiments. This paper documents the experimental protocol.
The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) is an endorsed contribution to the...
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