Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 2, 197-212, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
11 Nov 2009
Simulated pre-industrial climate in Bergen Climate Model (version 2): model description and large-scale circulation features
O. H. Otterå1,2, M. Bentsen1,2, I. Bethke1,2, and N. G. Kvamstø2,3 1Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Thormøhlensgt. 47, 5006 Bergen, Norway
2Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Allégt. 55, 5007 Bergen, Norway
3Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Allégt. 70, 5007 Bergen, Norway
Abstract. The Bergen Climate Model (BCM) is a fully-coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea-ice model that provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth's past, present, and future climate. Here, a pre-industrial multi-century simulation with an updated version of BCM is described and compared to observational data. The model is run without any form of flux adjustments and is stable for several centuries. The simulated climate reproduces the general large-scale circulation in the atmosphere reasonably well, except for a positive bias in the high latitude sea level pressure distribution. Also, by introducing an updated turbulence scheme in the atmosphere model a persistent cold bias has been eliminated. For the ocean part, the model drifts in sea surface temperatures and salinities are considerably reduced compared to earlier versions of BCM. Improved conservation properties in the ocean model have contributed to this. Furthermore, by choosing a reference pressure at 2000 m and including thermobaric effects in the ocean model, a more realistic meridional overturning circulation is simulated in the Atlantic Ocean. The simulated sea-ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere is in general agreement with observational data except for summer where the extent is somewhat underestimated. In the Southern Hemisphere, large negative biases are found in the simulated sea-ice extent. This is partly related to problems with the mixed layer parametrization, causing the mixed layer in the Southern Ocean to be too deep, which in turn makes it hard to maintain a realistic sea-ice cover here. However, despite some problematic issues, the pre-industrial control simulation presented here should still be appropriate for climate change studies requiring multi-century simulations.

Citation: Otterå, O. H., Bentsen, M., Bethke, I., and Kvamstø, N. G.: Simulated pre-industrial climate in Bergen Climate Model (version 2): model description and large-scale circulation features, Geosci. Model Dev., 2, 197-212, doi:10.5194/gmd-2-197-2009, 2009.
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