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Michael, J. - P. (2010). ENSO Fidelity in Two Coupled Models. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: This study examines the fidelity of the ENSO simulation in two coupled model integrations and compares this with available global ocean data assimilation. The two models are CAM-HYCOM coupled model developed by the HYCOM Consortium and CCSM3.0. The difference between the two climate models is in the use of different ocean general circulation model (OGCM). The hybrid isopycnal-sigma-pressure coordinate ocean model Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) replaces the ocean model Parallel Ocean Program (POP) of the CCSM3.0. In both, the atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) is used. In this way the coupled systems are compared in a controlled setting so that the effects of the OGCM may be obtained. Henceforth the two models will be referred to as CAM-HYCOM and CAM-POP respectively. Comparison of 200 years of model output is used discarding the first 100 years to account for spin-up issues. Both models (CAM-HYCOM and CAM-POP) are compared to observational data for duration, intensity, and global impacts of ENSO. Based on the analysis of equatorial SST, thermocline depth, wind stress and precipitation, ENSO in the CAM-HYCOM model is weaker and farther east than observations while CAM-POP is zonal and extends west of the international dateline. CAM-POP also has an erroneous biennial cycle of the equatorial pacific SSTs. The analysis of the subsurface ocean advective terms highlights the problems of the model simulations.