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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 10 | Copyright
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 4339-4357, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-4339-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Methods for assessment of models 26 Oct 2018

Methods for assessment of models | 26 Oct 2018

The TropD software package (v1): standardized methods for calculating tropical-width diagnostics

Ori Adam1, Kevin M. Grise2, Paul Staten3, Isla R. Simpson4, Sean M. Davis5,6, Nicholas A. Davis5,6, Darryn W. Waugh7, Thomas Birner8,a, and Alison Ming9 Ori Adam et al.
  • 1Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 2University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • 3Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 6Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 7Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 8Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 9British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
  • acurrently at: Meteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

Abstract. Observational and modeling studies suggest that Earth's tropical belt has widened over the late 20th century and will continue to widen throughout the 21st century. Yet, estimates of tropical-width variations differ significantly across studies. This uncertainty, to an unknown degree, is partly due to the large variety of methods used in studies of the tropical width. Here, methods for eight commonly used metrics of the tropical width are implemented in the Tropical-width Diagnostics (TropD) code package in the MATLAB programming language. To consolidate the various methods, the operations used in each of the implemented methods are reduced to two basic calculations: finding the latitude of a zero crossing and finding the latitude of a maximum. A detailed description of the methods implemented in the code and of the code syntax is provided, followed by a method sensitivity analysis for each of the metrics. The analysis provides information on how to reduce the methodological component of the uncertainty associated with fundamental aspects of the calculations, such as monthly vs. seasonal averaging biases, grid dependence, sensitivity to noise, and sensitivity to threshold criteria.

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Due to incoherent methodologies, estimates of tropical width variations differ significantly across studies. Here, methods for eight commonly-used metrics of the tropical width are implemented in the Tropical-width Diagnostics (TropD) code package. The method compilation and analysis provide tools and information which help reduce the methodological component of the uncertainty associated with calculations of the tropical width.
Due to incoherent methodologies, estimates of tropical width variations differ significantly...
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