Most of the coupled models contain a strong warm bias in sea surface temperature (SST) over the Atlantic Cold Tongue (ACT) region (10° S–3° N, 20° W–10° E) during June–August (JJA) and September–November (SON). In this study, the origins of the ACT SST bias and their relative contributions to the bias are explored by conducting a set of sensitivity experiments, which are based on an ocean-ice model, and by ignoring the nonlinear effects of each origin. The origins for the warm bias over the ACT in the coupled climate model during JJA are estimated as follows: westerly wind bias along the equator (5° S–5° N) during March–May (MAM; contributes approximately 32.6% of the warm bias), northerly bias over the southern tropical Atlantic (25° S–3° N, 40° W–20° E) during MAM and JJA (21.4%), bias in the surface specific humidity and surface air temperature (11.9%), and downward shortwave radiation bias (6.5%). The origins of the ACT bias during SON are as follows: northerly bias over the southern tropical Atlantic during SON (31.2%), bias in the surface specific humidity and surface air temperature (27.9%), downward shortwave radiation bias (17.4%), and zonal wind bias (13.4%). Note that these contribution ratios of these origins may be model-dependent. In addition, the local and non-local effects of the zonal wind bias are explored explicitly, while those of all the other biases are examined implicitly. Therefore, a better-performing atmospheric component is crucial when simulating zonal winds during MAM along the equator (5° S–5° N) and meridional winds during MAM, JJA, and SON over the southern tropical Atlantic, which will alleviate the warm bias over the ACT region in the coupled climate model.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited