Exploiting spectrally resolved satellite observations to assess the performance of climate models

Della Fera, Stefano (2023) Exploiting spectrally resolved satellite observations to assess the performance of climate models, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Il futuro della terra, cambiamenti climatici e sfide sociali, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10886.
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The accurate representation of the Earth Radiation Budget by General Circulation Models (GCMs) is a fundamental requirement to provide reliable historical and future climate simulations. In this study, we found reasonable agreement between the integrated energy fluxes at the top of the atmosphere simulated by 34 state-of-the-art climate models and the observations provided by the Cloud and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES) mission on a global scale, but large regional biases have been detected throughout the globe. Furthermore, we highlighted that a good agreement between simulated and observed integrated Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) fluxes may be obtained from the cancellation of opposite-in-sign systematic errors, localized in different spectral ranges. To avoid this and to understand the causes of these biases, we compared the observed Earth emission spectra, measured by the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) in the period 2008-2016, with the synthetic radiances computed on the basis of the atmospheric fields provided by the EC-Earth GCM. To this purpose, the fast σ-IASI radiative transfer model was used, after its validation and implementation in EC-Earth. From the comparison between observed and simulated spectral radiances, a positive temperature bias in the stratosphere and a negative temperature bias in the middle troposphere, as well as a dry bias of the water vapor concentration in the upper troposphere, have been identified in the EC-Earth climate model. The analysis has been performed in clear-sky conditions, but the feasibility of its extension in the presence of clouds, whose impact on the radiation represents the greatest source of uncertainty in climate models, has also been proven. Finally, the analysis of simulated and observed OLR trends indicated good agreement and provided detailed information on the spectral fingerprints of the evolution of the main climate variables.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Della Fera, Stefano
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Earth Radiation Budget, Radiative Transfer Model, Global Circulation Models, Outgoing Longwave Radiation, Spectrally resolved radiances, Earth emission spectrum, Climate Models performance, Earth Energy Imbalance
Data di discussione
21 Giugno 2023

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