Fettweis, Xavier[Université de Liège - ULg > Département de géographie > Topoclimatologie >]
Erpicum, Michel[Université de Liège - ULg > Département de géographie > Topoclimatologie >]
COST733 Final Workshop
du 22 novembre 2010 au 24 novembre 2010
[en] General Circulation Models ; Greenland ; Atmospheric circulation ; Atmospheric circulation type classification ; COST733
[en] Future projections of the Greenland ice sheet melt are mainly based on General Circulation Model (GCM) outputs. The atmospheric circulation type classification offers a unique opportunity for validating the GCM-based circulations. Six GCMs used in the last IPCC report are analysed here. A correlation-based classification is constructed for each model using daily geopotential height at 500 hPa over Greenland. It is applied to a dataset combining the GCM-based outputs (20C3M scenario) for the current climate and the NCEP-NCAR 1 reanalysis data over the period 1961-1990 allowing a direct comparison for each circulation type. Most of the analysed models are able to reproduce the main circulation types, but they fail to reproduce their frequencies because they underestimate the climate variability. In addition, some biases in the mean geopotential height remain. However, we use our atmospheric circulation type classification for analysing future projections made by GCMs. As for the 20th century climate, a combined classification is made integrating reanalysis data over 1971-1990, GCM-based outputs over 1971-1990 (using 20C3M scenario) and GCM-based outputs over 2046-2065 and 2081-2100 (using A1B scenario). No new circulation types are individualised knowing that the main changes are just a general increase of the geopotential height. Furthermore, the changes in frequency observed between the 20th century climate and the first future period (2046-2065) are of the same order than the uncertainties of the models for simulating the current climate by comparison with the reanalysis data. Therefore, the circulation type classification is a useful tool to give a precise analysis of the atmospheric circulation simulated by GCMs knowing that most of downscaling techniques are dependent on the general circulation simulated by the GCMs.