New methods to simulate Southern Ocean clouds

Southern ocean beneath grey skies

Climate model evaluation using satellite simulators: A like for like methodology

Modelling clouds and their influence is a significant challenge. Most cloud processes happen at scales far smaller than can be simulated by a climate model such as the NZ Earth System Model (NZESM).

This project will expand on two existing Deep South Challenge projects, focussing on the evaluation and improvement of the NZESM with specific reference to clouds in the Southern Ocean.

This project will couple a satellite simulator (which replicates what a satellite would “see” of a given cloud distribution) to the NZESM and will apply advanced data analysis to the results, to assess satellite measurements of different kinds of clouds. The information produced will help us understand how the NZESM may be misrepresenting clouds, and will help improve the representation of clouds in the model.

Project contact: Adrian McDonald, University of Canterbury
Project budget: $149,800
Project duration: July 2016 – June 2017

This project in the media:
New Zealand's Next Top Model, New Zealand Geographic
Breaking the ice, NIWA

Research and findings:
Climate Model Evaluation of Southern Ocean Cloud using Observational data and the COSP Satellite Simulator, Simon Parsons et al, Presentation at AMOS Conference, Canberra
A Self-Organizing map classification of ISCCP satellite data: A regional assessment, Adrian McDonald and Simon Parsons, European Geophysical Union General Assembly, Vienna



Return to the Earth System Modelling and Prediction programme page
Check out the full list of Deep South Challenge projects


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