Climate Change Research ›› 2016, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (4): 276-285.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2015.204

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Performance of Chinese Climate Models in Simulating Arctic Sea-Ice in CMIP5 Experiments

Zhu Qingzhao, Wen Xinyu   

  1. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2015-11-19 Revised:2016-01-10 Online:2016-07-30 Published:2016-07-30


The performance of six Chinese climate models in simulating Arctic sea-ice in CMIP5 are revisited to investigate their uncertainty in future climate projections. We re-estimate all CMIP5 models using two indicators and suggest six “good” (G6) out of 40 models in reproducing Arctic sea-ice: CESM1-BGC, HadGEM2-CC, IPSL-CM5A-LR, MPI-ESM-LR, MPI-ESM-MR, MRI-CGCM3. However, it is found that Chinese models cannot well reproduce observed sea-ice extent in the past decades (BCC-CSM1-1, BCC-CSM1-1-m, FGOALS-g2) and also fail to predict Arctic climate compared to the multi-model ensemble (MME) mean around 2050s. FGOALS-g2 (BCC-CSM1-1, BCC-CSM1-1-m) significantly overestimated (underestimated) the current extent of Arctic sea-ice and present a larger (smaller) sea-ice extent than MME mean in the future. FIO-ESM well estimated the current Arctic sea-ice extent but fail in predicting it in future, with a huge bias of the sensitivity to the warming surface. Relatively, BNU-ESM and FGOALS-s2 successfully reproduce the current Arctic sea-ice extent and predict an Arctic climate close to CMIP5 MME mean in 2050s. BNU-ESM, with the smallest bias in simulating Arctic sea-ice, is considered as the best one among the six Chinese models. Furthermore, we would expect a significant improvement of Chinese climate models in simulating Arctic sea-ice in the next phase of CMIP experiments, so that smaller biases in projecting not only local climate but also remote responses that close to CMIP MME mean projections could be expected.

Key words: CMIP5, Arctic sea-ice, climate assessment, global warming, climate model

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