Process‐Based Intercomparison of Water Isotope‐Enabled Models and Reanalysis Nudging Effects

martin.werner [ at ]


The products from the Stable Water Isotope Intercomparison Group, Phase 2, are currently used for numerous studies, allowing water isotope model-data comparisons with various isotope-enabled atmospheric general circulation model (AGCMs) outputs. However, the simulations under this framework were performed using different parameterizations and forcings. Therefore, a uniform experimental design with state-of-the-art AGCMs is required to interpret isotope observations rigorously. Here, we evaluate the outputs from three isotope-enabled numerical models nudged by three different reanalysis products and investigate the ability of the isotope-enabled AGCMs to reproduce the spatial and temporal patterns of water isotopic composition observed at the surface and in the atmospheric airborne water. Through correlation analyses at various spatial and temporal scales, we found that the model's performance depends on the model or reanalysis we use, the observations we compare, and the vertical levels we select. Moreover, we employed the stable isotope mass balance method to conduct decomposition analyses on the ratio of isotopic changes in the atmosphere. Our goal was to elucidate the spread in simulated atmospheric column δ18O, which is influenced by factors such as evaporation, precipitation, and horizontal moisture flux. Satisfying the law of conservation of water isotopes, this budget method is expected to explain various fractionation phenomena in atmospheric meteorological and climatic events. It also aims to highlight the spreads in modeled isotope results among different experiments using multiple models and reanalyses, which are primarily dominated by uncertainties in moisture flux and precipitation, respectively.

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DOI 10.1029/2023jd038719

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Bong, H. , Cauquoin, A. , Okazaki, A. , Chang, E. , Werner, M. , Wei, Z. , Yeo, N. and Yoshimura, K. (2024): Process‐Based Intercomparison of Water Isotope‐Enabled Models and Reanalysis Nudging Effects , Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 129 (1) . doi: 10.1029/2023jd038719

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