Simulating the Southwestern Indian Ocean's Seychelles Dome
Nagura, M., Sasaki, W., Tozuka, T., Luo, J.-J., Behera, S. and Yamagata, T. 2013. Longitudinal biases in the Seychelles Dome simulated by 35 ocean-atmosphere coupled general circulation models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118: 1-16.
Hoping to find some improvement in this regard over the following four years, Nagura et al. (2013) examined model biases associated with the Scychelles Dome using state-of-the-art ocean-atmosphere coupled general circulation models (CGCMs), "including those from phase five of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5)." In doing so, the six scientists report that (1) several of the tested models "erroneously produce an upwelling dome in the eastern half of the basin, whereas the observed Seychelles Dome is located in the southwestern tropical Indian Ocean," that (2) "the annual mean Ekman pumping velocity in these models is found to be almost zero in the southern off-equatorial region," which "is inconsistent with observations, in which Ekman upwelling acts as the main cause of the Seychelles Dome," and that (3) "in the models reproducing an eastward-displaced dome, easterly biases are prominent along the equator in boreal summer and fall, which result in shallow thermocline biases along the Java and Sumatra coasts via Kelvin wave dynamics and a spurious upwelling dome in the region."
In a revealing final assessment of their findings, Nagura et al. conclude that "compared to the CMIP3 models, the CMIP5 models are even worse in simulating the dome longitudes." So in a slight departure from what has become somewhat of a recurring theme in reviewing CMIP3 vs. CMIP5 models, it appears that the new models are even worse than the old ones.
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