The Antarctic climate of the UKMO Unified Model

We examine some aspects of the performance of the United Kingdom Meteorological Office's new climate model over Antarctica. Pressure and temperature fields are presented as a basic check on the model climate. The gradient of pressure between mid-latitudes and high southern latitudes is too great, resulting in an Antarctic trough that is too deep by 4–6 hPa. Temperature is well modelled though the interior is slightly too cold in winter. Precipitation is interesting because of its relevance to mass balance and therefore changes in sea level. The simulation of the pattern of accumulation is good despite somewhat high values at places in the coastal areas, with an areally-averaged value of 182 mm y−1. We also look at the phenomena of the coreless winter and the katabatic winds which are a consequence of the intense radiative cooling. These two effects may provide a useful diagnostic of the model performance.


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Authors: Connolley, William M., Cattle, Howard

1 January, 1994
Antarctic Science / 6
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