Temperature and humidity biases in global climate models and their impact on climate feedbacks
Article first published online: 25 SEP 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 18, September 2007
How to Cite
2007), Temperature and humidity biases in global climate models and their impact on climate feedbacks, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L18704, doi:10.1029/2007GL030429., and (
- Issue published online: 25 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 25 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 11 JUL 2007
- Manuscript Received: 2 MAY 2007
- climate model;
- climate feedback
 A comparison of AIRS and reanalysis temperature and humidity profiles to those simulated from climate models reveals large biases. The model simulated temperatures are systematically colder by 1–4 K throughout the troposphere. On average, current models also simulate a large moist bias in the free troposphere (more than 100%) but a dry bias in the boundary layer (up to 25%). While the overall pattern of biases is fairly common from model to model, the magnitude of these biases is not. In particular, the free tropospheric cold and moist bias varies significantly from one model to the next. In contrast, the response of water vapor and tropospheric temperature to a surface warming is shown to be remarkably consistent across models and uncorrelated to the bias in the mean state. We further show that these biases, while significant, have little direct impact on the models' simulation of water vapor and lapse-rate feedbacks.