1The University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, USA
2NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA
3Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA
4Columbia University, The Earth Institute, New York, NY, USA
5NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, USA
6Stockholm University, Department of Meteorology, Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract. Atmospheric measurements from the Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS) are used to evaluate the performance of three reanalyses (ERA-Interim, NCEP/NCAR and NCEP/DOE) and two global climate models (CAM5 and NASA GISS ModelE2) in simulation of the high Arctic environment. Quantities analyzed include near surface meteorological variables such as temperature, pressure, humidity and winds, surface-based estimates of cloud and precipitation properties, the surface energy budget, and lower atmospheric temperature structure. In general, the models perform well in simulating large scale dynamical quantities such as pressure and winds. Near-surface temperature and lower atmospheric stability, along with surface energy budget terms are not as well represented due largely to errors in simulation of cloud occurrence, phase and altitude. Additionally, a development version of CAM5, which features improved handling of cloud macro physics, is demonstrated to improve simulation of cloud properties and liquid water amount. The ASCOS period additionally provides an excellent example of the need to evaluate individual budget terms, rather than simply evaluating the net end product, with large compensating errors between individual surface energy budget terms resulting in the best net energy budget.