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    Internal variability in simulated and observed tropical tropospheric temperature trends

    Suárez-Gutiérrez, Laura and Li, Chao and Thorne, Peter and Marotzke, Jochem (2017) Internal variability in simulated and observed tropical tropospheric temperature trends. Geophysical Research Letters, 44. pp. 5709-5719. ISSN 0094-8276

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    We explore the extent to which internal variability can reconcile discrepancies between observed and simulated warming in the upper tropical troposphere. We compare all extant radiosondebased estimates for the period 1958–2014 to simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 multimodel ensemble and the 100 realization Max Planck Institute large ensemble. We consider annual mean temperatures and all available 30-and 15-year trends. Most observed trends fall within the ensemble spread for most of the record, and trends calculated over 15-year periods show better agreement than 30-year trends, with generally larger discrepancies for the older observational products. The simulated amplification of surface warming aloft in the troposphere is consistent with observations, and the linear correlation between surface and simultaneous tropospheric warming trends decreases with trend length. We conclude that trend differences between observations and simulations of tropical tropospheric temperatures are dominated by observational uncertainty and chaotic internal variability rather than by systematic errors in model performance.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: internal variability; tropical troposphere warming; temperature trends; comparing simulations to observations; CMIP5; MIP-ESM large ensemble; radiosonde;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 8963
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Peter Thorne
    Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 17:18
    Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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