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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 06 Feb 2019

Development and technical paper | 06 Feb 2019

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

Regionally refined capability in E3SM Atmosphere Model Version 1 (EAMv1) and applications for high-resolution modelling

Qi Tang1, Stephen A. Klein1, Shaocheng Xie1, Wuyin Lin2, Jean-Christophe Golaz1, Erika L. Roesler3, Mark A. Taylor3, Philip J. Rasch4, David C. Bader1, Larry K. Berg4, Peter Caldwell1, Scott Giangrande2, Richard Neale5, Yun Qian4, Laura D. Riihimaki4, Charles S. Zender6, Yuying Zhang1, and Xue Zheng1 Qi Tang et al.
  • 1Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
  • 2Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
  • 3Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA
  • 4Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA
  • 5National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 6Departments of Earth System Science and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Abstract. Climate simulation with more accurate process-level representation at finer resolutions is a pressing need in order to provide actionable information to policy-makers regarding extreme events in a changing climate. Computational limitation is a major obstacle for building, and running high-resolution (HR, here 0.25° average grid spacing at the equator) models (HRM). A more affordable path to HRM is to use a global regionally refined model (RRM), which only simulates a portion of the globe at HR while the remaining is at low-resolution (LR, 1°). In this study, we compare the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) atmosphere model version 1 (EAMv1) RRM with the HR mesh over the contiguous United States (CONUS) to its corresponding globally uniform LR and HR configurations, as well as to observations and reanalysis data. The RRM has a significantly reduced computational cost (roughly proportional to the HR mesh size) relative to the globally uniform HRM. Over the CONUS, we evaluate the simulation of important dynamical and physical quantities as well as various precipitation measures. Differences between the RRM and HRM over the HR region are predominantly small, demonstrating that the RRM reproduces both well- and poorly simulated behaviours of the HRM over the CONUS. Further analysis based on RRM simulations with the LR vs. HR model parameters reveals that RRM performance is greatly influenced by the different parameter choices used in the LR and HR EAMv1. This is a result of the poor scale-aware behaviour of physical parameterizations, especially for variables influencing sub-grid scale physical processes. RRM can serve as a useful framework to test physics schemes across a range of scales, leading to improved consistency in future E3SM versions. Applying nudging-to-observations techniques within the RRM framework also demonstrates significant advantages over a free-running configuration for use as a testbed, and as such represents an efficient and more robust physics testbed capability. Our results provide additional confirmatory evidence that the RRM is an efficient and effective approach for HRM development and hydrologic research.

Qi Tang et al.
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Status: open (until 03 Apr 2019)
Status: open (until 03 Apr 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Qi Tang et al.
Model code and software

Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) E3SM Project, DOE

Qi Tang et al.
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