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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 29 Nov 2018

Development and technical paper | 29 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

A regional coupled ocean–atmosphere modeling framework (MITgcm–WRF) using ESMF/NUOPC: description and preliminary results for the Red Sea

Rui Sun1, Aneesh Subramanian1, Art Miller1, Matt Mazloff1, Ibrahim Hoteit2, and Bruce Cornuelle1 Rui Sun et al.
  • 1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA
  • 2Physical Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Abstract. A new regional coupled ocean–atmosphere model is developed to study air–sea feedbacks. The coupled model is based on two open-source community model components: (1) MITgcm ocean model; (2) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmosphere model. The coupling between these components is performed using ESMF (Earth System Modeling Framework) and implemented according to National United Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) consortium. The regional coupled model allows affordable simulation where oceanic mixed layer heat and momentum interact with atmospheric boundary layer dynamics at mesoscale and higher resolution. This can capture the feedbacks which are otherwise not well-resolved in coarse resolution global coupled models and are absent in regional uncoupled models. To test the regional coupled model, we focus on a series of heat wave events that occurred on the eastern shore of the Red Sea region in June 2012 using a 30-day simulation. The results obtained using the coupled model, along with those in forced uncoupled ocean or atmosphere model simulations, are compared with observational and reanalysis data. All configurations of coupled and uncoupled models have good skill in modeling variables of interest in the region. The coupled model shows improved skill in temperature and circulation evaluation metrics. In addition, a scalability test is performed to investigate the parallelization of the coupled model. The results indicate that the coupled model scales linearly for up to 128 CPUs and sublinearly for more processors. In the coupled simulation, the ESMF/NUOPC interface also scales well and accounts for less than 10% of the total computational resources compared with uncoupled models. Hence this newly developed regional model scales efficiently for a large number of processors and can be applied for high-resolution coupled regional modeling studies.

Rui Sun et al.
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Rui Sun et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A new coupled ocean–atmosphere model is developed to study air–sea feedbacks in the Red Sea region. The new model is based on the state-of-the-art open-source ocean/atmosphere models and coupling tools. To test the coupled model, we studied the heat wave events in Red Sea region and showed the improvement of the coupled model over uncoupled models. In addition, the CPU time spent on the coupling is less than 10 % of the total CPU time, showing the coupled model is computationally efficient.
A new coupled ocean–atmosphere model is developed to study air–sea feedbacks in the Red Sea...