Müller, W. A.,
Jungclaus, J.H., Mauritzen, T., Baehr, J., Bittner, M., Budich, R., Bunzel, F., Esch, M., Ghosh, R., Haak, H., Ilyina, T., Kleine, T., Kornblueh, L., Li, H., Modali, K., Pohlmann, H., Roeckner, E., Stemmler, I., Tian, F., Marotzke, J.
The MPI‐ESM1.2 is the latest version of the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model and is the baseline for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 and current seasonal and decadal climate predictions. This paper evaluates a coupled higher‐resolution version (MPI‐ESM1.2‐HR) in comparison with its lower‐resolved version (MPI‐ESM1.2‐LR). We focus on basic oceanic and atmospheric mean states and selected modes of variability, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation. The increase in atmospheric resolution in MPI‐ESM1.2‐HR reduces the biases of upper‐level zonal wind and atmospheric jet stream position in the northern extratropics. This results in a decrease of the storm track bias over the northern North Atlantic, for both winter and summer season. The blocking frequency over the European region is improved in summer, and North Atlantic Oscillation and related storm track variations improve in winter. Stable Atlantic meridional overturning circulations are found with magnitudes of ~16 Sv for MPI‐ESM1.2‐HR and ~20 Sv for MPI‐ESM1.2‐LR at 26°N. A strong sea surface temperature bias of ~5°C along with a too zonal North Atlantic current is present in both versions. The sea surface temperature bias in the eastern tropical Atlantic is reduced by ~1°C due to higher‐resolved orography in MPI‐ESM‐HR, and the region of the cold‐tongue bias is reduced in the tropical Pacific. MPI‐ESM1.2‐HR has a well‐balanced radiation budget and its climate sensitivity is explicitly tuned to 3 K. Although the obtained reductions in long‐standing biases are modest, the improvements in atmospheric dynamics make this model well suited for prediction and impact studies.