An ensemble of AMIP simulations with prescribed land surface temperatures

Duncan Ackerley, Robin Chadwick, Dietmar Dommenget, Paola Petrelli

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11 Citations (Scopus)


General circulation models (GCMs) are routinely run under Atmospheric Modelling Intercomparison Project (AMIP) conditions with prescribed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and sea ice concentrations (SICs) from observations. These AMIP simulations are often used to evaluate the role of the land and/or atmosphere in causing the development of systematic errors in such GCMs. Extensions to the original AMIP experiment have also been developed to evaluate the response of the global climate to increased SSTs (prescribed) and carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP). None of these international modelling initiatives has undertaken a set of experiments where the land conditions are also prescribed, which is the focus of the work presented in this paper. Experiments are performed initially with freely varying land conditions (surface temperature, and soil temperature and moisture) under five different configurations (AMIP, AMIP with uniform 4&thinsp;K added to SSTs, AMIP SST with quadrupled CO2, AMIP SST and quadrupled CO2 without the plant stomata response, and increasing the solar constant by 3.3&thinsp;%). Then, the land surface temperatures from the free land experiments are used to perform a set of <q>AMIP prescribed land</q> (PL) simulations, which are evaluated against their free land counterparts. The PL simulations agree well with the free land experiments, which indicates that the land surface is prescribed in a way that is consistent with the original free land configuration. Further experiments are also performed with different combinations of SSTs, CO2 concentrations, solar constant and land conditions. For example, SST and land conditions are used from the AMIP simulation with quadrupled CO2 in order to simulate the atmospheric response to increased CO2 concentrations without the surface temperature changing. The results of all these experiments have been made publicly available for further analysis. The main aims of this paper are to provide a description of the method used and an initial validation of these AMIP prescribed land experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3865-3881
Number of pages17
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2018


  • climate feedback
  • climate feedbacks
  • radiative forcing

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