El Niño modeling improvements introduced to Zebiak-Cane model

  • 7 December 2015
El Niño modeling improvements introduced to Zebiak-Cane model

The Zebiak-Cane coupled model was the first dynamical model to successfully forecast an ENSO event (in 1986), and has been an important component of continued research in this area ever since. Despite this success, the ZC model still exhibits biases that the research community is working to address in order to improve ENSO forecasting.

Xie, Jin, and Huang, in their new study published in the  Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan, describe thermal and dynamical modifications they made in order to reduce spurious wind activities as well as ad hoc parameterization for convective momentum transport into the zonal momentum balance introduced to reduce the wind bias.

The authors find that “the equatorial wind response to observation SST anomaly forcing for the period 1982–2010 has been improved in terms of amplitudes and spatial patterns” and that these improvements port to the Zebiak-Cane coupled model in simulations.

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