The Diurnal Temperature Range in CMIP6 Models: Climatology, Variability, and Evolution Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractThe diurnal temperature range (DTR) is an identifiable and sensitive indicator of the synchronicity of changes in diurnal temperature extrema, but capturing DTR dynamics is challenging for climate models. This study investigates the climatology, variability, and changes of DTR in recent models participating in phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The results show that the CMIP6 models underestimate DTR climatology relative to observations. Most individual models overestimate December–February variability, particularly at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The models show substantially different changes over land surfaces and do not fully capture the observed spatiotemporal evolution of DTR. Large intermodel differences seem to be controlled by daily minimum air temperature. In the Northern Hemisphere, precipitation and cloud longwave and shortwave radiative effects appear to make important contributions to the intermodel discrepancies. Evaporative fraction is an important factor contributing to the intermodel differences in DTR during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. In general, CMIP6 models have not improved their ability to simulate temporal DTR changes in a consistent way over the entire analysis period (1901–2005) relative to their CMIP5 counterparts. For periods of rapid DTR decline (e.g., 1951–80) CMIP6 models are typically better than the CMIP5 versions at simulating DTR, whereas for other periods CMIP6 models underperform their CMIP5 counterparts.

publication date

  • October 1, 2020

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • January 17, 2021 11:28 AM

Full Author List

  • Wang K; Clow GD

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0894-8755

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-0442

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 8261

end page

  • 8279


  • 33


  • 19