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Volume 10, issue 6 | Copyright
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

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 Verena Schenzinger et al.
  • 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.

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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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