High resolution simulations for present and past climatestates with the earth system model "EC-Earth"

Christian.Stepanek [ at ] awi.de


The development of the third installment of the climate model EC-Earth is nearing its completion. The quality of EC-Earth simulations in the current state is analysed in comparison to a number of other climate models that are currently in use at the Alfred Wegener Institute’s Climate Sciences Department. By varying a set of greenhouse gases and orbital parameters, four scenarios of Present Day, Pre-Industrial, Last Interglacial and Mid-Holocene climate are designed. EC-Earth is set up and applied to simulate these climate scenarios. In conjunction with observational data, reanalysis data and proxy based climate reconstructions, these simulations are used to measure the quality of EC-Earth climate simulations. The variables examined for this purpose are land and sea surface temperature, air temperature, precipitation, and sea ice concentration. Furthermore, the ability of EC-Earth to reproduce global ocean currents and known climate patterns, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation, is checked in order to gain insight into the variability of the simulated climate. EC-Earth is found to be in an advanced state of development with a rough setup process but mostly stable simulations. Both Present Day climate and paleoclimates are reproduced more accurately than in other climate models that are in use at Alfred Wegener Institute. Remaining issues to be solved are underestimated strength of important ocean currents and a high latitude warm bias in Present Day simulations.

Item Type
Thesis (Master)
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Research Networks
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Not peer-reviewed
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Eprint ID
Cite as
Streffing, J. (2017): High resolution simulations for present and past climatestates with the earth system model "EC-Earth" , Master thesis, Technische Universität Braunschweig.


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