Assessment of the tropical Indo-Pacific climate in the SINTEX CGCM

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S. Gualdi
A. Navarra
E. Guilyardi
P. Delecluse


A new coupled GCM (SINTEX) has been developed. The model is formed by the atmosphere model ECHAM-4 and the ocean model ORCA. The atmospheric and oceanic components are coupled through OASIS. The domain is global and no flux correction is applied. In this study, we describe the ability of the coupled model to simulate
the main features of the observed climate and its dominant modes of variability in the tropical Indo-Pacific. Three long experiments have been performed with different horizontal resolution of the atmospheric component in order to assess a possible impact of the atmosphere model resolution onto the simulated climate. Overall, the mean state is captured reasonably well, though the simulated SST tends to be too warm in the tropical Eastern
Pacific and there is a model tendency to produce a double ITCZ. The model gives also a realistic representation of the temperature structure at the equator in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. The slope and the structure of the equatorial thermocline are well reproduced. Compared to the observations, the simulated annual cycle appears to be underestimated in the eastern equatorial Pacific, whereas a too pronounced seasonal variation is found in the Central Pacific. The main basic features of the interannual variability in the tropical Indo-Pacific region are reasonably well reproduced by the model. In the Indian Ocean, the characteristics of the simulated interannual variability are very similar to the results found from the observations. In the Pacific, the modelled ENSO variability appears to be slightly weaker and the simulated period a bit shorter than in the observations. Our results suggest that, both the simulated mean state and interannual variability are generally improved when the horizontal resolution of the atmospheric mode component is increased.

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How to Cite
Gualdi, S., Navarra, A., Guilyardi, E. and Delecluse, P. (2003) “Assessment of the tropical Indo-Pacific climate in the SINTEX CGCM”, Annals of Geophysics, 46(1). doi: 10.4401/ag-3385.

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