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Performance of the OPA/ARPEGE-T21 global ocean-atmosphere coupled model

Guilyardi, E. and Madec, G. (1997) Performance of the OPA/ARPEGE-T21 global ocean-atmosphere coupled model. Climate Dynamics, 13 (2). pp. 149-165. ISSN 1432-0894

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s003820050157


The climatology of the OPA/ARPEGE-T21 coupled general circulation model (GCM) is presented. The atmosphere GCM has a T21 spectral truncation and the ocean GCM has a 2°×1.5° average resolution. A 50-year climatic simulation is performed using the OASIS coupler, without flux correction techniques. The mean state and seasonal cycle for the last 10 years of the experiment are described and compared to the corresponding uncoupled experiments and to climatology when available. The model reasonably simulates most of the basic features of the observed climate. Energy budgets and transports in the coupled system, of importance for climate studies, are assessed and prove to be within available estimates. After an adjustment phase of a few years, the model stabilizes around a mean state where the tropics are warm and resemble a permanent ENSO, the Southern Ocean warms and almost no sea-ice is left in the Southern Hemisphere. The atmospheric circulation becomes more zonal and symmetric with respect to the equator. Once those systematic errors are established, the model shows little secular drift, the small remaining trends being mainly associated to horizontal physics in the ocean GCM. The stability of the model is shown to be related to qualities already present in the uncoupled GCMs used, namely a balanced radiation budget at the top-of-the-atmosphere and a tight ocean thermocline.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:5885

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