Frei96 Frei, A. and D. Robinson, 1996: Snow cover simulation by general circulation models: Regional and continental scale results from AMIP. Proceedings of the Second International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle (GEWEX), 16-21 June 1996, Washington, DC, 525-526.

Snow cover plays an important role in the global energy budget by modulating the surface fluxes of sensible, latent, and especially radiative energy. In this study General Circulation Models (GCMs) submitted to the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) are evaluated in terms of their ability to simulate observed snow cover extent over Eurasia and North America. In addition, regional associations between snow cover extent and other surface variables, as well as synoptic pattems, are analyzed.

We examine the AMIP results in terms of: 1) their ability to reproduce the observed nine-year snow cover extent climatology (with regards to central tendency, systematic bias, and dispersion); 2) model ability to capture interannual fluctuations; 3) model performance as a function of model numerical properties (horizontal representation, horizontal resolution, and vertical resolution); and 4) their ability to capture associations between regional snow cover and other surface variables, as well as between snow cover and synoptic scale circulation patterns.