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Klein S. A., Y. Zhang, D. Zelinka, R. Pincus, J. Boyle and P. J. Gleckler (February 2013): Are climate model simulations of clouds improving? An evaluation using the ISCCP simulator. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118 (3), 1329-1342. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50141

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The annual cycle climatology of cloud amount, cloud-top pressure, and optical thickness in two generations of climate models is compared to satellite observations to identify changes over time in the fidelity of simulated clouds. In more recent models, there is widespread reduction of a bias associated with too many highly reflective clouds, with the best models having eliminated this bias. With increased amounts of clouds with lesser reflectivity, the compensating errors that permit models to simulate the time-mean radiation balance have been reduced. Errors in cloud amount as a function of height or climate regime on average show little or no improvement, although greater improvement can be found in individual models.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50141