Satellite gravimetric observations of monthly changes in continental water storage are compared with outputs from five climate models. All models qualitatively reproduce the global pattern of annual storage amplitude, and the seasonal cycle of global average storage is reproduced well, consistent with earlier studies. However, global average agreements mask systematic model biases in low latitudes. Seasonal extrema of low-latitude, hemispheric storage generally occur too early in the models, and model-specific errors in amplitude of the low-latitude annual variations are substantial. These errors are potentially explicable in terms of neglected or suboptimally parameterized water stores in the land models and precipitation biases in the climate models. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Climate model biases in seasonally of continental water storage revealed by satellite gravimetry