2012 .

(37 publications)

A. Arakelian and F. Codron. Southern Hemisphere Jet Variability in the IPSL GCM at Varying Resolutions. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 69:3788-3799, December 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

J.-B. Madeleine, F. Forget, E. Millour, T. Navarro, and A. Spiga. The influence of radiatively active water ice clouds on the Martian climate. Geophysical Research Letters, 39:L23202, December 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Radiatively active water ice clouds (RAC) play a key role in shaping the thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere. In this paper, RAC are implemented in the LMD Mars Global Climate Model (GCM) and the simulated temperatures are compared to Thermal Emission Spectrometer observations over a full year. RAC change the temperature gradients and global dynamics of the atmosphere and this change in dynamics in turn implies large-scale adiabatic temperature changes. Therefore, clouds have both a direct and indirect effect on atmospheric temperatures. RAC successfully reduce major GCM temperature biases, especially in the regions of formation of the aphelion cloud belt where a cold bias of more than 10 K is corrected. Departures from the observations are however seen in the polar regions, and highlight the need for better modeling of cloud formation and evolution.

C. Nam, S. Bony, J.-L. Dufresne, and H. Chepfer. The too few, too bright tropical low-cloud problem in CMIP5 models. Geophysical Research Letters, 39:L21801, November 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Previous generations of climate models have been shown to under-estimate the occurrence of tropical low-level clouds and to over-estimate their radiative effects. This study analyzes outputs from multiple climate models participating in the Fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) using the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project Observations Simulator Package (COSP), and compares them with different satellite data sets. Those include CALIPSO lidar observations, PARASOL mono-directional reflectances and CERES radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere. We show that current state-of-the-art climate models predict overly bright low-clouds, even for a correct low-cloud cover. The impact of these biases on the Earth' radiation budget, however, is reduced by compensating errors. Those include the tendency of models to under-estimate the low-cloud cover and to over-estimate the occurrence of mid- and high-clouds above low-clouds. Finally, we show that models poorly represent the dependence of the vertical structure of low-clouds on large-scale environmental conditions. The implications of this too few, too bright low-cloud problem for climate sensitivity and model development are discussed.

J.-L. Lacour, C. Risi, L. Clarisse, S. Bony, D. Hurtmans, C. Clerbaux, and P.-F. Coheur. Mid-tropospheric δD observations from IASI/MetOp at high spatial and temporal resolution. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 12:10817-10832, November 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

In this paper we retrieve atmospheric HDO, H2O concentrations and their ratio δD from IASI radiances spectra. Our method relies on an existing radiative transfer model (Atmosphit) and an optimal estimation inversion scheme, but goes further than our previous work by explicitly considering correlations between the two species. A global HDO and H2O a priori profile together with a covariance matrix were built from daily LMDz-iso model simulations of HDO and H2O profiles over the whole globe and a whole year. The retrieval parameters are described and characterized in terms of errors. We show that IASI is mostly sensitive to δD in the middle troposphere and allows retrieving δD for an integrated 3-6 km column with an error of 38 on an individual measurement basis. We examine the performance of the retrieval to capture the temporal (seasonal and short-term) and spatial variations of δD for one year of measurement at two dedicated sites (Darwin and Izaña) and a latitudinal band from -60deg to 60deg for a 15 day period in January. We report a generally good agreement between IASI and the model and indicate the capabilities of IASI to reproduce the large scale variations of δD (seasonal cycle and latitudinal gradient) with good accuracy. In particular, we show that there is no systematic significant bias in the retrieved δD values in comparison with the model, and that the retrieved variability is similar to the one in the model even though there are certain local differences. Moreover, the noticeable differences between IASI and the model are briefly examined and suggest modeling issues instead of retrieval effects. Finally, the results further reveal the unprecedented capabilities of IASI to capture short-term variations in δD, highlighting the added value of the sounder for monitoring hydrological processes.

D. Konsta, H. Chepfer, and J.-L. Dufresne. A process oriented characterization of tropical oceanic clouds for climate model evaluation, based on a statistical analysis of daytime A-train observations. Climate Dynamics, 39:2091-2108, November 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

This paper aims at characterizing how different key cloud properties (cloud fraction, cloud vertical distribution, cloud reflectance, a surrogate of the cloud optical depth) vary as a function of the others over the tropical oceans. The correlations between the different cloud properties are built from 2 years of collocated A-train observations (CALIPSO-GOCCP and MODIS) at a scale close to cloud processes; it results in a characterization of the physical processes in tropical clouds, that can be used to better understand cloud behaviors, and constitute a powerful tool to develop and evaluate cloud parameterizations in climate models. First, we examine a case study of shallow cumulus cloud observed simultaneously by the two sensors (CALIPSO, MODIS), and develop a methodology that allows to build global scale statistics by keeping the separation between clear and cloudy areas at the pixel level (250, 330 m). Then we build statistical instantaneous relationships between the cloud cover, the cloud vertical distribution and the cloud reflectance. The vertical cloud distribution indicates that the optically thin clouds (optical thickness 1.5) dominate the boundary layer over the trade wind regions. Optically thick clouds (optical thickness 3.4) are composed of high and mid-level clouds associated with deep convection along the ITCZ and SPCZ and over the warm pool, and by stratocumulus low level clouds located along the East coast of tropical oceans. The cloud properties are analyzed as a function of the large scale circulation regime. Optically thick high clouds are dominant in convective regions (CF 80 %), while low level clouds with low optical thickness (3.5) are present in regimes of subsidence but in convective regimes as well, associated principally to low cloud fractions (CF 50 %). A focus on low-level clouds allows us to quantify how the cloud optical depth increases with cloud top altitude and with cloud fraction.

R. D. Field, C. Risi, G. A. Schmidt, J. Worden, A. Voulgarakis, A. N. LeGrande, A. H. Sobel, and R. J. Healy. A Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer HDO/H2O retrieval simulator for climate models. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 12:10485-10504, November 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Retrievals of the isotopic composition of water vapor from the Aura Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) have unique value in constraining moist processes in climate models. Accurate comparison between simulated and retrieved values requires that model profiles that would be poorly retrieved are excluded, and that an instrument operator be applied to the remaining profiles. Typically, this is done by sampling model output at satellite measurement points and using the quality flags and averaging kernels from individual retrievals at specific places and times. This approach is not reliable when the model meteorological conditions influencing retrieval sensitivity are different from those observed by the instrument at short time scales, which will be the case for free-running climate simulations. In this study, we describe an alternative, “categorical” approach to applying the instrument operator, implemented within the NASA GISS ModelE general circulation model. Retrieval quality and averaging kernel structure are predicted empirically from model conditions, rather than obtained from collocated satellite observations. This approach can be used for arbitrary model configurations, and requires no agreement between satellite-retrieved and model meteorology at short time scales. To test this approach, nudged simulations were conducted using both the retrieval-based and categorical operators. Cloud cover, surface temperature and free-tropospheric moisture content were the most important predictors of retrieval quality and averaging kernel structure. There was good agreement between the δD fields after applying the retrieval-based and more detailed categorical operators, with increases of up to 30 over the ocean and decreases of up to 40 over land relative to the raw model fields. The categorical operator performed better over the ocean than over land, and requires further refinement for use outside of the tropics. After applying the TES operator, ModelE had δD biases of -8 over ocean and -34 over land compared to TES δD, which were less than the biases using raw model δD fields.

Y. Sane, M. Bonazzola, C. Rio, P. Chambon, T. Fiolleau, I. Musat, F. Hourdin, R. Roca, J.-Y. Grandpeix, and A. Diedhiou. An analysis of the diurnal cycle of precipitation over Dakar using local rain-gauge data and a general circulation model. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138:2182-2195, October 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

S. C. Sherwood and C. Risi. The HDO/H2O relationship in tropospheric water vapor in an idealized last-saturation model. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D19205, October 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Previous model studies have shown that the isotopic composition of tropospheric water vapor is sensitive to atmospheric water transport processes, but compositional information is difficult to interpret due to the complexity of the models. Here an attempt is made to clarify the sensitivity by computing the relationship between tropospheric HDO (via δD) and H2O (via specific humidity q) in an idealized model atmosphere based on a “last-saturation” framework that includes convection coupled to a steady large-scale circulation with prescribed horizontal mixing. Multiple physical representations of convection and mixing allow key structural as well as parametric uncertainties to be explored. This model has previously been shown to reproduce the essential aspects of the humidity distribution. Variations ofδD or qindividually are dominated by local dynamics, but their relationship is preserved advectively, thus revealing conditions in regions of convection. The model qualitatively agrees with satellite observations, and reproduces some parametric sensitivities seen in previous GCM experiments. Sensitivity to model assumptions is greatest in the upper troposphere, apparently because in-situ evaporation and condensation processes in convective regions are more dominant in the budget there. In general, vapor recycling analogous to that in continental interiors emerges as the crucial element in explaining whyδD exceeds that predicted by a simple Rayleigh process; such recycling involves coexistent condensation sinks and convective moisture sources, induced respectively by (for example) waves and small-scale convective mixing. The relative humidity distribution is much less sensitive to such recycling.

A. A. Mrowiec, C. Rio, A. M. Fridlind, A. S. Ackerman, A. D. Del Genio, O. M. Pauluis, A. C. Varble, and J. Fan. Analysis of cloud-resolving simulations of a tropical mesoscale convective system observed during TWP-ICE: Vertical fluxes and draft properties in convective and stratiform regions. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D19201, October 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We analyze three cloud-resolving model simulations of a strong convective event observed during the TWP-ICE campaign, differing in dynamical core, microphysical scheme or both. Based on simulated and observed radar reflectivity, simulations roughly reproduce observed convective and stratiform precipitating areas. To identify the characteristics of convective and stratiform drafts that are difficult to observe but relevant to climate model parameterization, independent vertical wind speed thresholds are calculated to capture 90% of total convective and stratiform updraft and downdraft mass fluxes. Convective updrafts are fairly consistent across simulations (likely owing to fixed large-scale forcings and surface conditions), except that hydrometeor loadings differ substantially. Convective downdraft and stratiform updraft and downdraft mass fluxes vary notably below the melting level, but share similar vertically uniform draft velocities despite differing hydrometeor loadings. All identified convective and stratiform downdrafts contain precipitation below 10 km and nearly all updrafts are cloudy above the melting level. Cold pool properties diverge substantially in a manner that is consistent with convective downdraft mass flux differences below the melting level. Despite differences in hydrometeor loadings and cold pool properties, convective updraft and downdraft mass fluxes are linearly correlated with convective area, the ratio of ice in downdrafts to that in updrafts is 0.5 independent of species, and the ratio of downdraft to updraft mass flux is 0.5-0.6, which may represent a minimum evaporation efficiency under moist conditions. Hydrometeor loading in stratiform regions is found to be a fraction of hydrometeor loading in convective regions that ranges from 10% (graupel) to 90% (cloud ice). These findings may lead to improved convection parameterizations.

I. Tobin, S. Bony, and R. Roca. Observational Evidence for Relationships between the Degree of Aggregation of Deep Convection, Water Vapor, Surface Fluxes, and Radiation. Journal of Climate, 25:6885-6904, October 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

F. Brient and S. Bony. How may low-cloud radiative properties simulated in the current climate influence low-cloud feedbacks under global warming? Geophysical Research Letters, 39:L20807, October 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The influence of cloud modelling uncertainties on the projection of the tropical low-cloud response to global warming is explored by perturbing model parameters of the IPSL-CM5A climate model in a range of configurations (realistic general circulation model, aqua-planet, single-column model). While the positive sign and the mechanism of the low-cloud response to climate warming predicted by the model are robust, the amplitude of the response can vary considerably depending on the model tuning parameters. Moreover, the strength of the low-cloud response to climate change exhibits a strong correlation with the strength of the low-cloud radiative effects simulated in the current climate. We show that this correlation primarily results from a local positive feedback (referred to as the beta feedback) between boundary-layer cloud radiative cooling, relative humidity and low-cloud cover. Based on this correlation and observational constraints, it is suggested that the strength of the tropical low-cloud feedback predicted by the IPSL-CM5A model in climate projections might be overestimated by about fifty percent.

M. Guimberteau, K. Laval, A. Perrier, and J. Polcher. Global effect of irrigation and its impact on the onset of the Indian summer monsoon. Climate Dynamics, 39:1329-1348, September 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

In a context of increased demand for food and of climate change, the water consumptions associated with the agricultural practice of irrigation focuses attention. In order to analyze the global influence of irrigation on the water cycle, the land surface model ORCHIDEE is coupled to the GCM LMDZ to simulate the impact of irrigation on climate. A 30-year simulation which takes into account irrigation is compared with a simulation which does not. Differences are usually not significant on average over all land surfaces but hydrological variables are significantly affected by irrigation over some of the main irrigated river basins. Significant impacts over the Mississippi river basin are shown to be contrasted between eastern and western regions. An increase in summer precipitation is simulated over the arid western region in association with enhanced evapotranspiration whereas a decrease in precipitation occurs over the wet eastern part of the basin. Over the Indian peninsula where irrigation is high during winter and spring, a delay of 6 days is found for the mean monsoon onset date when irrigation is activated, leading to a significant decrease in precipitation during May to July. Moreover, the higher decrease occurs in June when the water requirements by crops are maximum, exacerbating water scarcity in this region. A significant cooling of the land surfaces occurs during the period of high irrigation leading to a decrease of the land-sea heat contrast in June, which delays the monsoon onset.

R. T. Clancy, B. J. Sandor, M. J. Wolff, M. D. Smith, F. Lefèvre, J.-B. Madeleine, F. Forget, S. L. Murchie, F. P. Seelos, K. D. Seelos, H. A. Nair, A. D. Toigo, D. Humm, D. M. Kass, A. Kleinböhl, and N. Heavens. Extensive MRO CRISM observations of 1.27 μm O2 airglow in Mars polar night and their comparison to MRO MCS temperature profiles and LMD GCM simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 117:E00J10, August 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The Martian polar night distribution of 1.27 μm (0-0) band emission from O2 singlet delta [O2(1Δg)] is determined from an extensive set of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectral Mapping (CRISM) limb scans observed over a wide range of Mars seasons, high latitudes, local times, and longitudes between 2009 and 2011. This polar nightglow reflects meridional transport and winter polar descent of atomic oxygen produced from CO2 photodissociation. A distinct peak in 1.27 μm nightglow appears prominently over 70-90NS latitudes at 40-60 km altitudes, as retrieved for over 100 vertical profiles of O2(1Δg) 1.27 μm volume emission rates (VER). We also present the first detection of much (×80 20) weaker 1.58 μm (0-1) band emission from Mars O2(1Δg). Co-located polar night CRISM O2(1Δg) and Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) (McCleese et al., 2008) temperature profiles are compared to the same profiles as simulated by the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) general circulation/photochemical model (e.g., Lefèvre et al., 2004). Both standard and interactive aerosol LMD simulations (Madeleine et al., 2011a) underproduce CRISM O2(1Δg) total emission rates by 40%, due to inadequate transport of atomic oxygen to the winter polar emission regions. Incorporation of interactive cloud radiative forcing on the global circulation leads to distinct but insufficient improvements in modeled polar O2(1Δg) and temperatures. The observed and modeled anti-correlations between temperatures and 1.27 μm band VER reflect the temperature dependence of the rate coefficient for O2(1Δg) formation, as provided in Roble (1995).

J.-E. Lee, C. Risi, I. Fung, J. Worden, R. A. Scheepmaker, B. Lintner, and C. Frankenberg. Asian monsoon hydrometeorology from TES and SCIAMACHY water vapor isotope measurements and LMDZ simulations: Implications for speleothem climate record interpretation. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D15112, August 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Observations show that heavy oxygen isotope composition in precipitation (δ18Op) increases from coastal southeastern (SE) China to interior northwestern (NW) China during the wet season, contradicting expectations from simple Rayleigh distillation theory. Here we employ stable isotopes of precipitation and vapor from satellite measurements and climate model simulations to characterize the moisture processes that control Asian monsoon precipitation and relate these processes to speleothem paleoclimate records. We find that δ18Op is low over SE China as a result of local and upstream condensation and that δ18Op is high over NW China because of evaporative enrichment of 18O as raindrops fall through dry air. We show that δ18Op at cave sites over southern China is weakly correlated with upstream precipitation in the core of the Indian monsoon region rather than local precipitation, but it is well-correlated with the δ18Op over large areas of southern and central China, consistent with coherent speleothem δ18Op variations over different parts of China. Previous studies have documented high correlations between speleothem δ18Op and millennial timescale climate forcings, and we suggest that the high correlation between insolation and speleothem δ18Op in southern China reflects the variations of hydrologic processes over the Indian monsoon region on millennial and orbital timescales. The δ18Op in the drier part (north of 30degN) of China, on the other hand, has consistently negative correlations with local precipitation and may capture local hydrologic processes related to changes in the extent of the Hadley circulation.

J. Browse, K. S. Carslaw, S. R. Arnold, K. Pringle, and O. Boucher. The scavenging processes controlling the seasonal cycle in Arctic sulphate and black carbon aerosol. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 12:6775-6798, August 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The seasonal cycle in Arctic aerosol is typified by high concentrations of large aged anthropogenic particles transported from lower latitudes in the late Arctic winter and early spring followed by a sharp transition to low concentrations of locally sourced smaller particles in the summer. However, multi-model assessments show that many models fail to simulate a realistic cycle. Here, we use a global aerosol microphysics model (GLOMAP) and surface-level aerosol observations to understand how wet scavenging processes control the seasonal variation in Arctic black carbon (BC) and sulphate aerosol. We show that the transition from high wintertime concentrations to low concentrations in the summer is controlled by the transition from ice-phase cloud scavenging to the much more efficient warm cloud scavenging in the late spring troposphere. This seasonal cycle is amplified further by the appearance of warm drizzling cloud in the late spring and summer boundary layer. Implementing these processes in GLOMAP greatly improves the agreement between the model and observations at the three Arctic ground-stations Alert, Barrow and Zeppelin Mountain on Svalbard. The SO4 model-observation correlation coefficient (R) increases from: -0.33 to 0.71 at Alert (82.5deg N), from -0.16 to 0.70 at Point Barrow (71.0deg N) and from -0.42 to 0.40 at Zeppelin Mountain (78deg N). The BC model-observation correlation coefficient increases from -0.68 to 0.72 at Alert and from -0.42 to 0.44 at Barrow. Observations at three marginal Arctic sites (Janiskoski, Oulanka and Karasjok) indicate a far weaker aerosol seasonal cycle, which we show is consistent with the much smaller seasonal change in the frequency of ice clouds compared to higher latitude sites. Our results suggest that the seasonal cycle in Arctic aerosol is driven by temperature-dependent scavenging processes that may be susceptible to modification in a future climate.

R. Roca, R. Guzman, J. Lemond, J. Meijer, L. Picon, and H. Brogniez. Tropical and Extra-Tropical Influences on the Distribution of Free Tropospheric Humidity Over the Intertropical Belt. Surveys in Geophysics, 33:565-583, July 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Free tropospheric humidity (FTH) is a key parameter of the radiation budget of the Earth. In particular, its distribution over the intertropical belt has been identified as an important contributor to the water vapour feedback. Idealized radiative transfer computations are performed to underscore the need to consider the whole probability distribution function (PDF) rather than the arithmetical mean of the FTH. The analysis confirmed the overwhelming role of the dry end of the PDF in the radiative perturbation of the top of atmosphere longwave budget. The physical and dynamical processes responsible for the maintenance of this dry part of the FTH distribution are reviewed, and the lateral mixing between the tropics and the extra-tropics is revealed as a major element of the dry air dynamics. The evolution of this lateral mixing in the framework of the global warming is discussed, and perspectives of work are listed as a mean of a conclusion.

J. H. Jiang, H. Su, C. Zhai, V. S. Perun, A. Del Genio, L. S. Nazarenko, L. J. Donner, L. Horowitz, C. Seman, J. Cole, A. Gettelman, M. A. Ringer, L. Rotstayn, S. Jeffrey, T. Wu, F. Brient, J.-L. Dufresne, H. Kawai, T. Koshiro, M. Watanabe, T. S. LÉCuyer, E. M. Volodin, T. Iversen, H. Drange, M. D. S. Mesquita, W. G. Read, J. W. Waters, B. Tian, J. Teixeira, and G. L. Stephens. Evaluation of cloud and water vapor simulations in CMIP5 climate models using NASA A-Train satellite observations. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D14105, July 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Using NASA's A-Train satellite measurements, we evaluate the accuracy of cloud water content (CWC) and water vapor mixing ratio (H2O) outputs from 19 climate models submitted to the Phase 5 of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), and assess improvements relative to their counterparts for the earlier CMIP3. We find more than half of the models show improvements from CMIP3 to CMIP5 in simulating column-integrated cloud amount, while changes in water vapor simulation are insignificant. For the 19 CMIP5 models, the model spreads and their differences from the observations are larger in the upper troposphere (UT) than in the lower or middle troposphere (L/MT). The modeled mean CWCs over tropical oceans range from 3% to 15× of the observations in the UT and 40% to 2× of the observations in the L/MT. For modeled H2Os, the mean values over tropical oceans range from 1% to 2× of the observations in the UT and within 10% of the observations in the L/MT. The spatial distributions of clouds at 215 hPa are relatively well-correlated with observations, noticeably better than those for the L/MT clouds. Although both water vapor and clouds are better simulated in the L/MT than in the UT, there is no apparent correlation between the model biases in clouds and water vapor. Numerical scores are used to compare different model performances in regards to spatial mean, variance and distribution of CWC and H2O over tropical oceans. Model performances at each pressure level are ranked according to the average of all the relevant scores for that level.

S. Verma, O. Boucher, M. Shekar Reddy, H. C. Upadhyaya, P. Le Van, F. S. Binkowski, and O. P. Sharma. Tropospheric distribution of sulphate aerosols mass and number concentration during INDOEX-IFP and its transport over the Indian Ocean: a GCM study. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 12:6185-6196, July 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The sulphate aerosols mass and number concentration during the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) Intensive Field Phase-1999 (INDOEX-IFP) has been simulated using an interactive chemistry GCM. The model considers an interactive scheme for feedback from chemistry to meteorology with internally resolving microphysical properties of aerosols. In particular, the interactive scheme has the ability to predict both particle mass and number concentration for the Aitken and accumulation modes as prognostic variables. <BR /><BR /> On the basis of size distribution retrieved from the observations made along the cruise route during IFP-1999, the model successfully simulates the order of magnitude of aerosol number concentration. The results show the southward migration of minimum concentrations, which follows ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) migration. Sulphate surface concentration during INDOEX-IFP at Kaashidhoo (73.46deg E, 4.96deg N) gives an agreement within a factor of 2 to 3. The measured aerosol optical depth (AOD) from all aerosol species at KCO was 0.37 0.11 while the model simulated sulphate AOD ranged from 0.05 to 0.11. As sulphate constitutes 29% of the observed AOD, the model predicted values of sulphate AOD are hence fairly close to the measured values. The model thus has capability to predict the vertically integrated column sulphate burden. Furthermore, the model results indicate that Indian contribution to the estimated sulphate burden over India is more than 60% with values upto 40% over the Arabian Sea.

J.-Y. Grandpeix and J.-P. Lafore. Reply to “Comments on `A Density Current Parameterization Coupled with Emanuel's Convection Scheme. Part I: The Models”'. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 69:2090-2096, June 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

O. Boucher, P. R. Halloran, E. J. Burke, M. Doutriaux-Boucher, C. D. Jones, J. Lowe, M. A. Ringer, E. Robertson, and P. Wu. Reversibility in an Earth System model in response to CO2 concentration changes. Environmental Research Letters, 7(2):024013, June 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We use the HadGEM2-ES Earth System model to examine the degree of reversibility of a wide range of components of the Earth System under idealized climate change scenarios where the atmospheric CO2 concentration is gradually increased to four times the pre-industrial level and then reduced at a similar rate from several points along this trajectory. While some modelled quantities respond almost immediately to the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, others exhibit a time lag relative to the change in CO2. Most quantities also exhibit a lag relative to the global-mean surface temperature change, which can be described as a hysteresis behaviour. The most surprising responses are from low-level clouds and ocean stratification in the Southern Ocean, which both exhibit hysteresis on timescales longer than expected. We see no evidence of critical thresholds in these simulations, although some of the hysteresis phenomena become more apparent above 2 × CO2 or 3 × CO2. Our findings have implications for the parametrization of climate impacts in integrated assessment and simple climate models and for future climate studies of geoengineering scenarios.

S. Rossignol, L. Chiappini, E. Perraudin, C. Rio, S. Fable, R. Valorso, and J. F. Doussin. Development of a parallel sampling and analysis method for the elucidation of gas/particle partitioning of oxygenated semi-volatile organics: a limonene ozonolysis study. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 5:1459-1489, June 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The gas/particle partitioning behaviour of the semi-volatile fraction of secondary organic matter and the associated multiphase chemistry are key features to accurately evaluate climate and health impacts of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). However, today, the partitioning of oxygenated secondary species is rarely assessed in experimental SOA studies and SOA modelling is still largely based on estimated partitioning data. This paper describes a new analytical approach, solvent-free and easy to use, to explore the chemical composition of the secondary organic matter at a molecular scale in both gas and particulate phases. The method is based on thermal desorption (TD) of gas and particulate samples, coupled with gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS), with derivatisation on sampling supports. Gaseous compounds were trapped on Tenax TA adsorbent tubes pre-coated with pentafluorobenzylhydroxylamine (PFBHA) or N-Methyl-N-(t-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA). Particulate samples were collected onto quartz or Teflon-quartz filters and subsequently subjected to derivatisation with PFBHA or MTBSTFA before TD-GC/MS analysis. Method development and validation are presented for an atmospherically relevant range of organic acids and carbonyl and hydroxyl compounds. Application of the method to a limonene ozonolysis experiment conducted in the EUPHORE simulation chamber under simulated atmospheric conditions of low concentrations of limonene precursor and relative humidity, provides an overview of the method capabilities. Twenty-five compounds were positively or tentatively identified, nine being in both gaseous and particulate phases; and twelve, among them tricarboxylic acids, hydroxyl dicarboxylic acids and oxodicarboxylic acids, being detected for the first time.

C. Déandreis, Y. Balkanski, J. L. Dufresne, and A. Cozic. Radiative forcing estimates of sulfate aerosol in coupled climate-chemistry models with emphasis on the role of the temporal variability. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 12:5583-5602, June 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

This paper describes the impact on the sulfate aerosol radiative effects of coupling the radiative code of a global circulation model with a chemistry-aerosol module. With this coupling, temporal variations of sulfate aerosol concentrations influence the estimate of aerosol radiative impacts. Effects of this coupling have been assessed on net fluxes, radiative forcing and temperature for the direct and first indirect effects of sulfate. <BR /><BR /> The direct effect respond almost linearly to rapid changes in concentrations whereas the first indirect effect shows a strong non-linearity. In particular, sulfate temporal variability causes a modification of the short wave net fluxes at the top of the atmosphere of +0.24 and +0.22 W m-2 for the present and preindustrial periods, respectively. This change is small compared to the value of the net flux at the top of the atmosphere (about 240 W m-2). The effect is more important in regions with low-level clouds and intermediate sulfate aerosol concentrations (from 0.1 to 0.8 μg (SO4) m-3 in our model). <BR /><BR /> The computation of the aerosol direct radiative forcing is quite straightforward and the temporal variability has little effect on its mean value. In contrast, quantifying the first indirect radiative forcing requires tackling technical issues first. We show that the preindustrial sulfate concentrations have to be calculated with the same meteorological trajectory used for computing the present ones. If this condition is not satisfied, it introduces an error on the estimation of the first indirect radiative forcing. Solutions are proposed to assess radiative forcing properly. In the reference method, the coupling between chemistry and climate results in a global average increase of 8% in the first indirect radiative forcing. This change reaches 50% in the most sensitive regions. However, the reference method is not suited to run long climate simulations. We present other methods that are simpler to implement in a coupled chemistry/climate model and that offer the possibility to assess radiative forcing.

J.-B. Madeleine, F. Forget, A. Spiga, M. J. Wolff, F. Montmessin, M. Vincendon, D. Jouglet, B. Gondet, J.-P. Bibring, Y. Langevin, and B. Schmitt. Aphelion water-ice cloud mapping and property retrieval using the OMEGA imaging spectrometer onboard Mars Express. Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 117:E00J07, May 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Mapping of the aphelion clouds over the Tharsis plateau and retrieval of their particle size and visible opacity are made possible by the OMEGA imaging spectrometer aboard Mars Express. Observations cover the period from MY26 Ls = 330deg to MY29 Ls = 180deg and are acquired at various local times, ranging from 8 AM to 6 PM. Cloud maps of the Tharsis region constructed using the 3.1 μm ice absorption band reveal the seasonal and diurnal evolution of aphelion clouds. Four distinct types of clouds are identified: morning hazes, topographically controlled hazes, cumulus clouds and thick hazes. The location and time of occurrence of these clouds are analyzed and their respective formation process is discussed. An inverse method for retrieving cloud particle size and opacity is then developed and can only be applied to thick hazes. The relative error of these measurements is less than 30% for cloud particle size and 20% for opacity. Two groups of particles can be distinguished. The first group is found over flat plains and is composed of relatively small particles, ranging in size from 2 to 3.5 μm. The second group is characterized by particle sizes of 5 μm which appear to be quite constant over Ls and local time. It is found west of Ascraeus and Pavonis Mons, and near Lunae Planum. These regions are preferentially exposed to anabatic winds, which may control the formation of these particles and explain their distinct properties. The water ice column is equal to 2.9 pr.μm on average, and can reach 5.2 pr.μm in the thickest clouds of Tharsis.

L. Kerber, J. W. Head, J.-B. Madeleine, F. Forget, and L. Wilson. The dispersal of pyroclasts from ancient explosive volcanoes on Mars: Implications for the friable layered deposits. Icarus, 219:358-381, May 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A number of voluminous, fine-grained, friable deposits have been mapped on Mars. The modes of origin for these deposits are debated. The feasibility for an origin by volcanic airfall for the friable deposits is tested using a global circulation model to simulate the dispersal of pyroclasts from candidate source volcanoes near each deposit. It is concluded that the Medusae Fossae Formation and Electris deposits are easily formed through volcanic processes, and that the Hellas deposits and south polar pitted deposits could have some contribution from volcanic sources in specific atmospheric regimes. The Arabia and Argyre deposits are not well replicated by modeled pyroclast dispersal, suggesting that these deposits were most likely emplaced by other means.

J. L. Fastook, J. W. Head, D. R. Marchant, F. Forget, and J.-B. Madeleine. Early Mars climate near the Noachian-Hesperian boundary: Independent evidence for cold conditions from basal melting of the south polar ice sheet (Dorsa Argentea Formation) and implications for valley network formation. Icarus, 219:25-40, May 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Currently, and throughout much of the Amazonian, the mean annual surface temperatures of Mars are so cold that basal melting does not occur in ice sheets and glaciers and they are cold-based. The documented evidence for extensive and well-developed eskers (sediment-filled former sub-glacial meltwater channels) in the south circumpolar Dorsa Argentea Formation is an indication that basal melting and wet-based glaciation occurred at the South Pole near the Noachian-Hesperian boundary. We employ glacial accumulation and ice-flow models to distinguish between basal melting from bottom-up heat sources (elevated geothermal fluxes) and top-down induced basal melting (elevated atmospheric temperatures warming the ice). We show that under mean annual south polar atmospheric temperatures (-100 degC) simulated in typical Amazonian climate experiments and typical Noachian-Hesperian geothermal heat fluxes (45-65 mW/m2), south polar ice accumulations remain cold-based. In order to produce significant basal melting with these typical geothermal heat fluxes, the mean annual south polar atmospheric temperatures must be raised from today's temperature at the surface (-100 degC) to the range of -50 to -75 degC. This mean annual polar surface atmospheric temperature range implies lower latitude mean annual temperatures that are likely to be below the melting point of water, and thus does not favor a “warm and wet” early Mars. Seasonal temperatures at lower latitudes, however, could range above the melting point of water, perhaps explaining the concurrent development of valley networks and open basin lakes in these areas. This treatment provides an independent estimate of the polar (and non-polar) surface temperatures near the Noachian-Hesperian boundary of Mars history and implies a cold and relatively dry Mars climate, similar to the Antarctic Dry Valleys, where seasonal melting forms transient streams and permanent ice-covered lakes in an otherwise hyperarid, hypothermal climate.

N. Huneeus, F. Chevallier, and O. Boucher. Estimating aerosol emissions by assimilating observed aerosol optical depth in a global aerosol model. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 12:4585-4606, May 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

This study estimates the emission fluxes of a range of aerosol species and one aerosol precursor at the global scale. These fluxes are estimated by assimilating daily total and fine mode aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) into a global aerosol model of intermediate complexity. Monthly emissions are fitted homogenously for each species over a set of predefined regions. The performance of the assimilation is evaluated by comparing the AOD after assimilation against the MODIS observations and against independent observations. The system is effective in forcing the model towards the observations, for both total and fine mode AOD. Significant improvements for the root mean square error and correlation coefficient against both the assimilated and independent datasets are observed as well as a significant decrease in the mean bias against the assimilated observations. These improvements are larger over land than over ocean. The impact of the assimilation of fine mode AOD over ocean demonstrates potential for further improvement by including fine mode AOD observations over continents. The Angström exponent is also improved in African, European and dusty stations. The estimated emission flux for black carbon is 15 Tg yr-1, 119 Tg yr-1 for particulate organic matter, 17 Pg yr-1 for sea salt, 83 TgS yr-1 for SO2 and 1383 Tg yr-1 for desert dust. They represent a difference of +45 %, +40 %, +26 %, +13 % and -39 % respectively, with respect to the a priori values. The initial errors attributed to the emission fluxes are reduced for all estimated species.

M. Zhang, C. S. Bretherton, P. N. Blossey, S. Bony, F. Brient, and J.-C. Golaz. The CGILS experimental design to investigate low cloud feedbacks in general circulation models by using single-column and large-eddy simulation models. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 4:M12001, April 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A surrogate climate change is designed to investigate low cloud feedbacks in the northeastern Pacific by using Single Column Models (SCMs), Cloud Resolving Models (CRMs), and Large Eddy Simulation models (LES), as part of the CGILS study (CFMIP-GASS Intercomparison of LES and SCM models). The constructed large-scale forcing fields, including subsidence and advective tendencies, and their perturbations in the warmer climate are shown to compare well with conditions in General Circulation Models (GCMs), but they are free from the impact of any GCM parameterizations. The forcing fields in the control climate are also shown to resemble the mean conditions in the ECMWF-Interim Reanalysis. Applications of the forcing fields in SCMs are presented. It is shown that the idealized design can offer considerable insight into the mechanisms of cloud feedbacks in the models. Caveats and advantages of the design are also discussed.

G. Tremoy, F. Vimeux, S. Mayaki, I. Souley, O. Cattani, C. Risi, G. Favreau, and M. Oi. A 1-year long δ18O record of water vapor in Niamey (Niger) reveals insightful atmospheric processes at different timescales. Geophysical Research Letters, 39:L08805, April 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We present a 1-year long representative δ18O record of water vapor (δ18Ov) in Niamey (Niger) using the Wavelength Scanned-Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (WS-CRDS). We explore how local and regional atmospheric processes influence δ18Ov variability from seasonal to diurnal scale. At seasonal scale, δ18Ov exhibits a W-shape, associated with the increase of regional convective activity during the monsoon and the intensification of large scale subsidence North of Niamey during the dry season. During the monsoon season, δ18Ov records a broad range of intra-seasonal modes in the 25-40-day and 15-25-day bands that could be related to the well-known modes of the West African Monsoon (WAM). Strong δ18Ov modulations are also seen at the synoptic scale (5-9 days) during winter, driven by tropical-extra-tropical teleconnections through the propagation of a baroclinic wave train-like structure and intrusion of air originating from higher altitude and latitude. δ18Ov also reveals a significant diurnal cycle, which reflects mixing process between the boundary layer and the free atmosphere during the dry season, and records the propagation of density currents associated with meso-scale convective systems during the monsoon season.

H. Bellenger and J. P. Duvel. The event-to-event variability of the boreal winter MJO. Geophysical Research Letters, 39:L08701, April 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

During boreal winters, perturbations of the convection by the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) peak over three basins distributed in longitude south of the Equator: the eastern Indian Ocean (IO), the south of the Maritime Continent (MC) and the western Pacific Ocean (PO). We use the observed Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) and low-level wind to identify and characterize all wintertime MJO events between 1979 and 2010. There is a large event-to-event variability with some MJO events organized at the planetary-scale having their amplitude well distributed over the 3 basins and some showing only basin-scale organization with a convective perturbation peaking over one or two basins. The average of the MJO amplitude for the three basins shows an intriguing decadal variability consistent for both OLR and low-level wind. The disparity between the 3 basins is dominated by an alternation between MJO amplitude peaking on either the Indian or the Pacific Ocean. This Indo-Pacific alternation, depicted by an Indo-Pacific Index (IPI), is partly related to ENSO. In El Niño conditions, there is not only an extension of the MJO perturbation further east, but also an increase of the MJO perturbation over the western Pacific and a diminution of the MJO perturbation over the eastern Indian Ocean.

H. Zhang, Z. Wang, Z. Wang, Q. Liu, S. Gong, X. Zhang, Z. Shen, P. Lu, X. Wei, H. Che, and L. Li. Simulation of direct radiative forcing of aerosols and their effects on East Asian climate using an interactive AGCM-aerosol coupled system. Climate Dynamics, 38:1675-1693, April 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

An interactive system coupling the Beijing Climate Center atmospheric general circulation model (BCC_AGCM2.0.1) and the Canadian Aerosol Module (CAM) with updated aerosol emission sources was developed to investigate the global distributions of optical properties and direct radiative forcing (DRF) of typical aerosols and their impacts on East Asian climate. The simulated total aerosol optical depth (AOD), single scattering albedo, and asymmetry parameter were generally consistent with the ground-based measurements. Under all-sky conditions, the simulated global annual mean DRF at the top of the atmosphere was -2.03 W m-2 for all aerosols including sulfate, organic carbon (OC), black carbon (BC), dust, and sea salt; the global annual mean DRF was -0.23 W m-2 for sulfate, BC, and OC aerosols. The sulfate, BC, and OC aerosols led to decreases of 0.58deg and 0.14 mm day-1 in the JJA means of surface temperature and precipitation rate in East Asia. The differences of land-sea surface temperature and surface pressure were reduced in East Asian monsoon region due to these aerosols, thus leading to the weakening of East Asian summer monsoon. Atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic were affected due to the three types of aerosol, and the southward motion between 15degN and 30degN in lower troposphere was increased, which slowed down the northward transport of moist air carried by the East Asian summer monsoon, and moreover decreased the summer monsoon precipitation in south and east China.

C. Risi, D. Noone, J. Worden, C. Frankenberg, G. Stiller, M. Kiefer, B. Funke, K. Walker, P. Bernath, M. Schneider, S. Bony, J. Lee, D. Brown, and C. Sturm. Process-evaluation of tropospheric humidity simulated by general circulation models using water vapor isotopic observations: 2. Using isotopic diagnostics to understand the mid and upper tropospheric moist bias in the tropics and subtropics. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D05304, March 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Evaluating the representation of processes controlling tropical and subtropical tropospheric relative humidity (RH) in atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) is crucial to assess the credibility of predicted climate changes. GCMs have long exhibited a moist bias in the tropical and subtropical mid and upper troposphere, which could be due to the mis-representation of cloud processes or of the large-scale circulation, or to excessive diffusion during water vapor transport. The goal of this study is to use observations of the water vapor isotopic ratio to understand the cause of this bias. We compare the three-dimensional distribution of the water vapor isotopic ratio measured from space and ground to that simulated by several versions of the isotopic GCM LMDZ. We show that the combined evaluation of RH and of the water vapor isotopic composition makes it possible to discriminate the most likely cause of RH biases. Models characterized either by an excessive vertical diffusion, an excessive convective detrainment or an underestimated in situ cloud condensation will all produce a moist bias in the free troposphere. However, only an excessive vertical diffusion can lead to a reversed seasonality of the free tropospheric isotopic composition in the subtropics compared to observations. Comparing seven isotopic GCMs suggests that the moist bias found in many GCMs in the mid and upper troposphere most frequently results from an excessive diffusion during vertical water vapor transport. This study demonstrates the added value of water vapor isotopic measurements for interpreting shortcomings in the simulation of RH by climate models.

C. Risi, D. Noone, J. Worden, C. Frankenberg, G. Stiller, M. Kiefer, B. Funke, K. Walker, P. Bernath, M. Schneider, D. Wunch, V. Sherlock, N. Deutscher, D. Griffith, P. O. Wennberg, K. Strong, D. Smale, E. Mahieu, S. Barthlott, F. Hase, O. GarcíA, J. Notholt, T. Warneke, G. Toon, D. Sayres, S. Bony, J. Lee, D. Brown, R. Uemura, and C. Sturm. Process-evaluation of tropospheric humidity simulated by general circulation models using water vapor isotopologues: 1. Comparison between models and observations. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D05303, March 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The goal of this study is to determine how H2O and HDO measurements in water vapor can be used to detect and diagnose biases in the representation of processes controlling tropospheric humidity in atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs). We analyze a large number of isotopic data sets (four satellite, sixteen ground-based remote-sensing, five surface in situ and three aircraft data sets) that are sensitive to different altitudes throughout the free troposphere. Despite significant differences between data sets, we identify some observed HDO/H2O characteristics that are robust across data sets and that can be used to evaluate models. We evaluate the isotopic GCM LMDZ, accounting for the effects of spatiotemporal sampling and instrument sensitivity. We find that LMDZ reproduces the spatial patterns in the lower and mid troposphere remarkably well. However, it underestimates the amplitude of seasonal variations in isotopic composition at all levels in the subtropics and in midlatitudes, and this bias is consistent across all data sets. LMDZ also underestimates the observed meridional isotopic gradient and the contrast between dry and convective tropical regions compared to satellite data sets. Comparison with six other isotope-enabled GCMs from the SWING2 project shows that biases exhibited by LMDZ are common to all models. The SWING2 GCMs show a very large spread in isotopic behavior that is not obviously related to that of humidity, suggesting water vapor isotopic measurements could be used to expose model shortcomings. In a companion paper, the isotopic differences between models are interpreted in terms of biases in the representation of processes controlling humidity.

S. Brachet, F. Codron, Y. Feliks, M. Ghil, H. Le Treut, and E. Simonnet. Atmospheric Circulations Induced by a Midlatitude SST Front: A GCM Study. Journal of Climate, 25:1847-1853, March 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

M. Berkelhammer, C. Risi, N. Kurita, and D. C. Noone. The moisture source sequence for the Madden-Julian Oscillation as derived from satellite retrievals of HDO and H2O. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 117:D03106, February 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A number of competing theories to explain the initiation mechanism, longevity and propagation characteristics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) have been developed from observational analysis of the tropical climate and minimal dynamical models. Using the isotopic composition of atmospheric moisture from paired satellite retrievals of H2O and HDO from the boundary layer and mid troposphere, we identify the different sources of moisture that feed MJO convection during its life cycle. These fluxes are then associated with specific dynamical processes. The HDO/H2O isotope ratio data show that during the early phase of the MJO, the mid-troposphere is dominated by moisture evaporated from the ocean surface that was transported vertically undergoing minimal distillation. The contribution from the evaporative source diminishes during early convective activity but reappears during the peak of MJO activity along with an isotopically depleted flux, which is hypothesized to originate from easterly convergence. The contribution of different moisture sources as shown from the HDO/H2O data is consistent with model results where the sustaining of deep convection requires a feedback between convergence, precipitation strength and evaporation. In the wake of an MJO event, the weak vertical isotopic gradient, depletion in boundary layer δD and the uniquely moist and depleted vapor in the mid troposphere all point toward a prominent presence of moisture originated from rainfall re-evaporation, which confirms the prediction that the transition from convective to stratiform rains is important to the moisture budget of the MJO.

C. Shi, V. Daux, Q.-B. Zhang, C. Risi, S.-G. Hou, M. Stievenard, M. Pierre, Z. Li, and V. Masson-Delmotte. Reconstruction of southeast Tibetan Plateau summer climate using tree ring δ18O: moisture variability over the past two centuries. Climate of the Past, 8:205-213, February 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A tree-ring δ18O chronology of Linzhi spruce, spanning from AD 1781 to 2005, was developed in Bomi, Southeast Tibetan Plateau (TP). During the period with instrumental data (AD 1961-2005), this record is strongly correlated with regional CRU (Climate Research Unit) summer cloud data, which is supported by a precipitation δ18O simulation conducted with the isotope-enabled atmospheric general circulation model LMDZiso. A reconstruction of a regional summer cloud index, based upon the empirical relationship between cloud and diurnal temperature range, was therefore achieved. This index reflects regional moisture variability in the past 225 yr. The climate appears drier and more stable in the 20th century than previously. The drying trend in late 19th century of our reconstruction is consistent with a decrease in the TP glacier accumulation recorded in ice cores. An exceptional dry decade is documented in the 1810s, possibly related to the impact of repeated volcanic eruptions on monsoon flow.

F. Couvreux, C. Rio, F. Guichard, M. Lothon, G. Canut, D. Bouniol, and A. Gounou. Initiation of daytime local convection in a semi-arid region analysed with high-resolution simulations and AMMA observations. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138:56-71, January 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

F. Codron. Ekman heat transport for slab oceans. Climate Dynamics, 38:379-389, January 2012. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

A series of schemes designed to include various representations of the Ekman-driven heat fluxes in slab-ocean models is introduced. They work by computing an Ekman mass flux, then deducing heat fluxes by the surface flow and an opposite deep return flow. The schemes differ by the computation of the return flow temperature: either diagnosed from the SST or given by an active second layer. Both schemes conserve energy, and use as few parameters as possible. Simulations in an aquaplanet setting show that the schemes reproduce well the structure of the meridional heat transport by the ocean. Compared to a diffusive slab-ocean, the simulated SST is more flat in the tropics, and presents a relative minimum at the equator, shifting the ITCZ into the summer hemisphere. In a realistic setting with continents, the slab model simulates correctly the mean state in many regions, especially in the tropics. The lack of other dynamical features, such as barotropic gyres, means that an optimal mean-state in regions such as the mid-latitudes will require additional flux corrections.