Journal article

Precipitation projections in the tropical Pacific are sensitive to different types of SST bias adjustment

Jaclyn N Brown, Richard J Matear, Josephine R Brown, Jack Katzfey



Many coupled climate models suffer from large sea surface temperature (SST) biases in the tropical Pacific, and for this reason studies have used a combination of observed SSTs and model-generated SST warming patterns to obtain climate projections. However, the existence of biases in the present-day coupled model SSTs implies that SST future warming patterns may also be biased. Models with large biases in tropical Pacific SST simulate warming that does not align with the observed cold tongue, producing a dynamically unrealistic pattern when added to observed SSTs. We demonstrate that projections of precipitation are highly sensitive to the warming pattern of SSTs by using idealized annually ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The research was conducted with the support of the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program funded by AusAID in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and delivered by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). We thank the PCMDI and the World Climate Research Programs Working Group on Coupled Modelling for their roles in making available the CMIP5 model data sets. Support of this data set is provided by the Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy. More details on model documentation are available at the PCMDI website ( All other data are properly cited and referred to in the reference list.