Numerical models offer the best possibility of clarifying the role of polar regions, says Gates, because they consider a broad range of interacting dynamical effects and permit flexibility in parameterization. This paper reviews three areas of investigation critical to successful numerical modeling of polar climate: model parameterization, model performance, and global numerical experiments, using presently available circulation models. Based on the modest cost of simulation and the availability of suitable models, Gates recommends that (1) the Arctic performance of global atmospheric general circulation models be systematically reviewed, particularly the simulated components of the surface heat balance and cloudiness; (2) the accuracy of atmospheric models' parameterizations of the sensible heat flux, evaporation, and stratiform cloudiness over both polar ice and ocean be calibrated against comprehensive datasets specifically assembled for this purpose; (3) a realistic model of the growth and behavior of the pack ice be developed.
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