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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© 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.

Model evaluation paper 03 Apr 2019

Model evaluation paper | 03 Apr 2019

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

Evaluation of a Unique Approach to High-Resolution Climate Modelling using the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) version 5.1

Allison C. Michaelis1, Gary M. Lackmann2, and Walter A. Robinson2 Allison C. Michaelis et al.
  • 1Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
  • 2Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC27695, USA

Abstract. We present multi-seasonal simulations representative of present-day and future thermodynamic environments using the global Model for Prediction Across Scales-Atmosphere (MPAS) version 5.1 with high resolution (15 km) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We select ten simulation years with varying phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and integrate each for 14.5 months. We use analysed sea surface temperature (SST) patterns for present-day simulations. For the future climate simulations, we alter present-day SSTs by applying monthly-averaged temperature changes derived from a 20-member ensemble of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) general circulation models (GCMs) following the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 emissions scenario. Daily sea ice fields, obtained from the monthly-averaged CMIP5 ensemble mean sea ice, are used for present-day and future simulations. The present-day simulations provide a reasonable reproduction of large-scale atmospheric features in the Northern Hemisphere such as the wintertime midlatitude storm tracks, upper-tropospheric jets, and maritime sea-level pressure features as well as annual precipitation patterns across the tropics. The simulations also adequately represent tropical cyclone (TC) characteristics such as strength, spatial distribution, and seasonal cycles for most of Northern Hemispheric basins. These results demonstrate the applicability of these model simulations for future studies examining climate change effects on various Northern Hemispheric phenomena, and, more generally, the utility of MPAS for studying climate change at spatial scales generally unachievable in GCMs.

Allison C. Michaelis et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Allison C. Michaelis et al.
Allison C. Michaelis et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present a novel set of atmospheric simulations designed to address changes in high-impact weather events. We simulate ten years under current and projected late 21st-century climate conditions. Our model reasonably replicates present-day climate features, reproduces features of climate change that are expected from global climate models, and captures smaller scale, high-impact weather events. We anticipate these simulations will have great value in understanding changes in extreme weather.
We present a novel set of atmospheric simulations designed to address changes in high-impact...