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The National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model: CCM3

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

The latest version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model (CCM3) is described. The changes in both physical and dynamical formulation from CCM2 to CCM3 are presented. The major differences in CCM3 compared to CCM2 include changes to the parameterization of cloud properties, clear sky longwave radiation, deep convection, boundary layer processes, and land surface processes. A brief description of each of these parameterization changes is provided. These modifications to model physics have led to dramatic improvements in the simulated climate of the CCM. In particular, the top of atmosphere cloud radiative forcing is now in good agreement with observations, the Northern Hemisphere winter dynamical simulation has significantly improved, biases in surface land temperatures and precipitation have been substantially reduced, and the implied ocean heat transport is in very good agreement with recent observational estimates. The improvement in implied ocean heat transport is among the more important attributes of the CCM3 since it is used as the atmospheric component of the NCAR Climate System Model. Future improvements to the CCM3 are also discussed.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Jeffrey T. Kiehl, NCAR/CGD, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000.

Email: jtkon@ucar.edu

Abstract

The latest version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model (CCM3) is described. The changes in both physical and dynamical formulation from CCM2 to CCM3 are presented. The major differences in CCM3 compared to CCM2 include changes to the parameterization of cloud properties, clear sky longwave radiation, deep convection, boundary layer processes, and land surface processes. A brief description of each of these parameterization changes is provided. These modifications to model physics have led to dramatic improvements in the simulated climate of the CCM. In particular, the top of atmosphere cloud radiative forcing is now in good agreement with observations, the Northern Hemisphere winter dynamical simulation has significantly improved, biases in surface land temperatures and precipitation have been substantially reduced, and the implied ocean heat transport is in very good agreement with recent observational estimates. The improvement in implied ocean heat transport is among the more important attributes of the CCM3 since it is used as the atmospheric component of the NCAR Climate System Model. Future improvements to the CCM3 are also discussed.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Jeffrey T. Kiehl, NCAR/CGD, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000.

Email: jtkon@ucar.edu

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