Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
Methods for assessment of models
08 Jun 2017
Methods for assessment of models |  | 08 Jun 2017

Defining metrics of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in global climate models

Verena Schenzinger, Scott Osprey, Lesley Gray, and Neal Butchart

Abstract. As the dominant mode of variability in the tropical stratosphere, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) has been subject to extensive research. Though there is a well-developed theory of this phenomenon being forced by wave–mean flow interaction, simulating the QBO adequately in global climate models still remains difficult. This paper presents a set of metrics to characterize the morphology of the QBO using a number of different reanalysis datasets and the FU Berlin radiosonde observation dataset. The same metrics are then calculated from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 and Chemistry-Climate Model Validation Activity 2 simulations which included a representation of QBO-like behaviour to evaluate which aspects of the QBO are well captured by the models and which ones remain a challenge for future model development.

Please read the corrigendum first before accessing the article.


The requested paper has a corresponding corrigendum published. Please read the corrigendum first before downloading the article.

Short summary
The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is a pattern of winds in the equatorial stratosphere that has been observed for the past 60 years. It is thought to have long-range influences, e.g. on the Northern Hemisphere winter polar vortex and therefore Europe's winter weather. Since its period is about 2 years, being able to predict the QBO might also improve weather forecasting. Using a set of characteristic metrics, this paper examines how reliable current climate models are in simulating the QBO.