Using a case-study approach to improve the Madden-Julian oscillation in the Hadley Centre model
Klingaman, N. and Woolnough, S. (2014) Using a case-study approach to improve the Madden-Julian oscillation in the Hadley Centre model. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 140 (685). pp. 2491-2505. ISSN 1477-870X
To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.2314
In its default configuration, the Hadley Centre climate model (GA2.0) simulates roughly one-half the observed level of Madden–Julian oscillation activity, with MJO events often lasting fewer than seven days. We use initialised, climate-resolution hindcasts to examine the sensitivity of the GA2.0 MJO to a range of changes in sub-grid parameterisations and model configurations. All 22 changes are tested for two cases during the Years of Tropical Convection. Improved skill comes only from (a) disabling vertical momentum transport by convection and (b) increasing mixing entrainment and detrainment for deep and mid-level convection. These changes are subsequently tested in a further 14 hindcast cases; only (b) consistently improves MJO skill, from 12 to 22 days. In a 20-year integration, (b) produces near-observed levels of MJO activity, but propagation through the Maritime Continent remains weak. With default settings, GA2.0 produces precipitation too readily, even in anomalously dry columns. Implementing (b) decreases the efficiency of convection, permitting instability to build during the suppressed MJO phase and producing a more favourable environment for the active phase. The distribution of daily rain rates is more consistent with satellite data; default entrainment produces 6–12 mm/day too frequently. These results are consistent with recent studies showing that greater sensitivity of convection to moisture improves the representation of the MJO.