Simulating clouds and aerosols in the NZESM
Present-day models, including the NZESM, don’t represent clouds and aerosols over the Southern Ocean very well.
Aerosols (tiny airborne particles) and clouds have a significant effect on the climate system, yet are notoriously difficult to simulate in earth system models.
Cloud and aerosol biases cascade to biases in radiation, sea surface temperature and storm tracks in the Southern Hemisphere – and ultimately to simulated in rainfall and extreme weather events in New Zealand.
To have confidence in climate change projections for New Zealand, we need to improve the simulation of Southern Ocean clouds and aerosols in the NZESM. This project builds on research carried out by the cloud and aerosol modellers in Phase 1.