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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/osd-9-611-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
10 Feb 2012
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Interannual response of global ocean hindcasts to a satellite-based correction of precipitation fluxes
A. Storto1, I. Russo1, and S. Masina1,2 1Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici, viale A. Moro 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Bologna, Italy
Abstract. We present a methodology to correct precipitation fluxes from the ECMWF atmospheric reanalysis (ERA-Interim) for oceanographic applications. The correction is performed by means of a spatially varying monthly climatological coefficient, computed within the period 1989–2008 by comparison between ERA-Interim and a satellite-based passive microwave precipitation product. ERA-Interim exhibits a systematic over-estimation of precipitation within the inter-tropical convergence zones (up to 3 mm d−1) and under-estimation at mid- and high- latitudes (up to −4 mm d−1). The correction has been validated within eddy-permitting resolution global ocean hindcasts (1989–2009), demonstrating the ability of our strategy in attenuating the 20-yr mean global EMP negative imbalance by 16%, reducing the near-surface salinity fresh bias in the Tropics up to 1 psu and improving the representation of the sea level interannual variability, with an SSH error decrease of 8%. The ocean circulation is also proved to benefit from the correction, especially in correspondence of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, where the error in the near-surface current speed decreases by a 9%. Finally, we show that the correction leads to volume and freshwater transports that better agree with independent estimates.

Citation: Storto, A., Russo, I., and Masina, S.: Interannual response of global ocean hindcasts to a satellite-based correction of precipitation fluxes, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 9, 611-648, doi:10.5194/osd-9-611-2012, 2012.
A. Storto et al.
A. Storto et al.

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