Are climate model simulations of clouds improving? An evaluation using the ISCCP simulator
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume 118, Issue 3, pages 1329–1342, 16 February 2013
How to Cite
2013), Are climate model simulations of clouds improving? An evaluation using the ISCCP simulator, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 1329–1342, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50141., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 1 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 7 JAN 2013 05:47PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 18 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 25 JUL 2012
- climate models;
- satellite simulator
 The annual cycle climatology of cloud amount, cloud-top pressure, and optical thickness in two generations of climate models is compared to satellite observations to identify changes over time in the fidelity of simulated clouds. In more recent models, there is widespread reduction of a bias associated with too many highly reflective clouds, with the best models having eliminated this bias. With increased amounts of clouds with lesser reflectivity, the compensating errors that permit models to simulate the time-mean radiation balance have been reduced. Errors in cloud amount as a function of height or climate regime on average show little or no improvement, although greater improvement can be found in individual models.