Energy Research at the University of Washington

UW Today: Remote clouds responsible for climate models’ glitch in tropical rainfall, Frierson and Hwang quoted

It seems counterintuitive that clouds over the Southern Ocean, which circles Antarctica, would cause rain in Zambia or the tropical island of Java. But new research finds that one of the most persistent biases in global climate models – a phantom band of rainfall just south of the equator that does not occur in reality – is caused by poor simulation of the cloud cover thousands of miles farther to the south.

University of Washington atmospheric scientists hope their results help explain why global climate models mistakenly duplicate the inter-tropical convergence zone, a band of heavy rainfall in the northern tropics, on the other side of the equator. The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read the full article in UW Today: http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/03/11/remote-clouds-responsible-for-...