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  1. Abstract

    Increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases will not only raise Earth’s temperature but may also change its variability and seasonal cycle. Here CMIP5 model data are analyzed to quantify these changes in surface air temperature (Tas) and investigate the underlying processes. The models capture well the mean Tas seasonal cycle and variability and their changes in reanalysis, which shows decreasing Tas seasonal amplitudes and variability over the Arctic and Southern Ocean from 1979 to 2017. Daily Tas variability and seasonal amplitude are projected to decrease in the twenty-first century at high latitudes (except for boreal summer when Tas variability increases) but increase at low latitudes. The day of the maximum or minimum Tas shows large delays over high-latitude oceans, while it changes little at low latitudes. These Tas changes at high latitudes are linked to the polar amplification of warming and sea ice loss, which cause larger warming in winter than summer due to extra heating from the ocean during the cold season. Reduced sea ice cover also decreases its ability to cause Tas variations, contributing to the decreased Tas variability at high latitudes. Over low–midlatitude oceans, larger increases in surface evaporation in winter than summer (due to strong winter winds, strengthened winter winds in the Southern Hemisphere, and increased winter surface humidity gradients over the Northern Hemisphere low latitudes), coupled with strong ocean mixing in winter, lead to smaller surface warming in winter than summer and thus increased seasonal amplitudes there. These changes result in narrower (wider) Tas distributions over the high (low) latitudes, which may have important implications for other related fields.

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  2. Abstract

    Precipitation amount (A), frequency (F), intensity (I), and duration (D) are important properties of precipitation, but their estimates are sensitive to data resolution. This study investigates this resolution dependence, and the influences of different model physics, by analyzing simulations by the Community Atmospheric Model (CAM) version 4 (CAM4) and version 5 (CAM5) with varying grid sizes from ~0.25 to 2.0°. Results show that both CAM4 and CAM5 greatly overestimate F and D but underestimate I at all resolutions, despite realistic A. These biases partly result from too much parameterized (convective) precipitation with high F and D but low I. Different cloud microphysics schemes contribute to the precipitation differences between CAM4 and CAM5. The A, F, I, and D of convective and nonconvective precipitation react differently to grid‐size decreases, leading to the large decreases in F and D but increases in the I for total precipitation as model resolution increases. This resolution dependence results from the increased probability of precipitation over a larger area (area aggregation effect, which is smaller than in observations) and the varying performance of model physics under changing resolution (model adjustment effect), which roughly enhances the aggregation‐induced dependence. Finer grid sizes not only increase resolved precipitation, which has higher intensity and thus improves overall precipitation intensity in CAM, but also reduce the area aggregation effect. Thus, the long‐standingdrizzlingproblem in climate models may be mitigated by increasing model resolution and modifying model physics to suppress parameterized convective precipitation and enhance resolved nonconvective precipitation.

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