eCite Digital Repository

The GFDL CM3 coupled climate model: characteristics of the ocean and sea ice simulations


Griffies, SM and Winton, M and Donner, LJ and Horowitz, LW and Downes, S and Farneti, R and Gnanadesikan, A and Hurlin, WJ and Lee, H-C and Liang, Z and Palter, JB and Samuels, BL and Wittenberg, AT and Wyman, BL and Yin, J and Zadeh, N, The GFDL CM3 coupled climate model: characteristics of the ocean and sea ice simulations, Journal of Climate, 24, (13) pp. 3520-3544. ISSN 0894-8755 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© Copyright 2011 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at ( or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or

DOI: doi:10.1175/2011JCLI3964.1


This paper documents time mean simulation characteristics from the ocean and sea ice components in a new coupled climate model developed at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The GFDL Climate Model version 3 (CM3) is formulated with effectively the same ocean and sea ice components as the earlier CM2.1 yet with extensive developments made to the atmosphere and land model components. Both CM2.1 and CM3 show stable mean climate indices, such as large-scale circulation and sea surface temperatures (SSTs). There are notable improvements in the CM3 climate simulation relative to CM2.1, including a modified SST bias pattern and reduced biases in the Arctic sea ice cover. The authors anticipate SST differences between CM2.1 and CM3 in lower latitudes through analysis of the atmospheric fluxes at the ocean surface in corresponding Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) simulations. In contrast, SST changes in the high latitudes are dominated by ocean and sea ice effects absent in AMIP simulations. The ocean interior simulation in CM3 is generally warmer than in CM2.1, which adversely impacts the interior biases.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:GFDL CM3 model
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate change models
UTAS Author:Downes, S (Dr Stephanie Downes)
ID Code:103123
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:236
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2015-09-22
Last Modified:2017-10-31

Repository Staff Only: item control page