Regionally Coupled Atmosphere‐Ocean‐Marine Biogeochemistry Model ROM: 2. Studying the Climate Change Signal in the North Atlantic and Europe


Climate simulations for the North Atlantic and Europe for recent and future conditions simulated with the regionally coupled ROM model are analyzed and compared to the results from the MPI‐ESM. The ROM simulations also include a biogeochemistry and ocean tides. For recent climate conditions, ROM generally improves the simulations compared to the driving model MPI‐ESM. Reduced oceanic biases in the Northern Atlantic are found, as well as a better simulation of the atmospheric circulation, notably storm tracks and blocking. Regarding future climate projections for the 21st century following the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, MPI‐ESM and ROM largely agree qualitatively on the climate change signal over Europe. However, many important differences are identified. For example, ROM shows an SST cooling in the Subpolar Gyre, which is not present in MPI‐ESM. Under the RCP8.5 scenario, ROM Arctic sea ice cover is thinner and reaches the seasonally ice‐free state by 2055, well before MPI‐ESM. This shows the decisive importance of higher ocean resolution and regional coupling for determining the regional responses to global warming trends. Regarding biogeochemistry, both ROM and MPI‐ESM simulate a widespread decline in winter nutrient concentration in the North Atlantic of up to ~35%. On the other hand, the phytoplankton spring bloom in the Arctic and in the North‐Western Atlantic starts earlier, and the yearly primary production is enhanced in the Arctic in the late 21st century. These results clearly demonstrate the added value of ROM to determine more detailed and more reliable climate projections at the regional scale.
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