The International Program AMIP, aimed at intercomparison of physically comprehensive atmospheric GCMs, provides a unique opportunity of assessing ability of the modern models to simulate climates of different regions of the Earth.
In this paper, analysis is given of atmospheric water and thermal regime components' seasonal cycles simulated by 21 GCMs over Caspian region (the Volga/Ural river watersheds and the Caspian sea) including precipitation, evaporation, snow mass, runoff, cloudiness, precipitable water, radiation balance and surface temperature. The simulations are compared against observational data. Simulations carried out by high- and low-resolution models are considered separately.
By estimating water balance over the land and sea watersheds, the sea level change is determined for each model during the period 1979-1988. These results are also compared against observation. Summer precipitation and winter temperature interannual and seasonal anomalies are considered over the watershed.
In conclusion, a qualitative assessment is given of high- and low-resolution
models' ability to simulate the regional climate, as well as its seasonal
and interannual variations.