Clouds at Barbados are representative of clouds across the trade wind regions in observations and climate models. Medeiros, B. & Nuijens, L. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(22):E3062-E3070, 2016.
Clouds at Barbados are representative of clouds across the trade wind regions in observations and climate models [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Trade wind regions cover most of the tropical oceans, and the prevailing cloud type is shallow cumulus. These small clouds are parameterized by climate models, and changes in their radiative effects strongly and directly contribute to the spread in estimates of climate sensitivity. This study investigates the structure and variability of these clouds in observations and climate models. The study builds upon recent detailed model evaluations using observations from the island of Barbados. Using a dynamical regimes framework, satellite and reanalysis products are used to compare the Barbados region and the broader tropics. It is shown that clouds in the Barbados region are similar to those across the trade wind regions, implying that observational findings from the Barbados Cloud Observatory are relevant to clouds across the tropics. The same methods are applied to climate models to evaluate the simulated clouds. The models generally capture the cloud radiative effect, but underestimate cloud cover and show an array of cloud vertical structures. Some models show strong biases in the environment of the Barbados region in summer, weakening the connection between the regional biases and those across the tropics. Even bearing that limitation in mind, it is shown that covariations of cloud and environmental properties in the models are inconsistent with observations. The models tend to misrepresent sensitivity to moisture variations and inversion characteristics. These model errors are likely connected to cloud feedback in climate projections, and highlight the importance of the representation of shallow cumulus convection.
@article{Medeiros:2016pnas,
	Abstract = {Trade wind regions cover most of the tropical oceans, and the prevailing cloud type is shallow cumulus. These small clouds are parameterized by climate models, and changes in their radiative effects strongly and directly contribute to the spread in estimates of climate sensitivity. This study investigates the structure and variability of these clouds in observations and climate models. The study builds upon recent detailed model evaluations using observations from the island of Barbados. Using a dynamical regimes framework, satellite and reanalysis products are used to compare the Barbados region and the broader tropics. It is shown that clouds in the Barbados region are similar to those across the trade wind regions, implying that observational findings from the Barbados Cloud Observatory are relevant to clouds across the tropics. The same methods are applied to climate models to evaluate the simulated clouds. The models generally capture the cloud radiative effect, but underestimate cloud cover and show an array of cloud vertical structures. Some models show strong biases in the environment of the Barbados region in summer, weakening the connection between the regional biases and those across the tropics. Even bearing that limitation in mind, it is shown that covariations of cloud and environmental properties in the models are inconsistent with observations. The models tend to misrepresent sensitivity to moisture variations and inversion characteristics. These model errors are likely connected to cloud feedback in climate projections, and highlight the importance of the representation of shallow cumulus convection.},
	Author = {Medeiros, Brian and Nuijens, Louise},
	Date-Added = {2020-10-15 16:27:21 -0600},
	Date-Modified = {2020-10-15 16:27:21 -0600},
	Doi = {10.1073/pnas.1521494113},
	Eprint = {http://www.pnas.org/content/113/22/E3062.full.pdf},
	Journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
	Number = {22},
	Pages = {E3062-E3070},
	Title = {Clouds at {B}arbados are representative of clouds across the trade wind regions in observations and climate models},
	Url = {http://www.pnas.org/content/113/22/E3062.abstract},
	Volume = {113},
	Year = {2016},
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