Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 2157-2168, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-2157-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Methods for assessment of models
08 Jun 2017
Defining metrics of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in global climate models
Verena Schenzinger1, Scott Osprey2,1, Lesley Gray1, and Neal Butchart3 1Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Physics, Oxford, UK
3Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, Devon, UK
Abstract. As the dominant mode of variability in the tropical stratosphere, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) has been subject to extensive research. Though there is a well-developed theory of this phenomenon being forced by wave–mean flow interaction, simulating the QBO adequately in global climate models still remains difficult. This paper presents a set of metrics to characterize the morphology of the QBO using a number of different reanalysis datasets and the FU Berlin radiosonde observation dataset. The same metrics are then calculated from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 and Chemistry-Climate Model Validation Activity 2 simulations which included a representation of QBO-like behaviour to evaluate which aspects of the QBO are well captured by the models and which ones remain a challenge for future model development.

Citation: Schenzinger, V., Osprey, S., Gray, L., and Butchart, N.: Defining metrics of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in global climate models, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 2157-2168, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-2157-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is a pattern of winds in the equatorial stratosphere that has been observed for the past 60 years. It is thought to have long-range influences, e.g. on the Northern Hemisphere winter polar vortex and therefore Europe's winter weather. Since its period is about 2 years, being able to predict the QBO might also improve weather forecasting. Using a set of characteristic metrics, this paper examines how reliable current climate models are in simulating the QBO.
The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is a pattern of winds in the equatorial stratosphere that...
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