GFDL's CM2 Global Coupled Climate Models. Part I: Formulation and Simulation Characteristics

Thomas L. Delworth National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Anthony J. Broccoli Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers–The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

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Anthony Rosati National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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V. Balaji Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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John Dunne National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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K. A. Dunne U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey

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Kirsten L. Findell National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Paul Ginoux National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Anand Gnanadesikan National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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C. T. Gordon National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Stephen M. Griffies National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Rich Gudgel National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Matthew J. Harrison National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Isaac M. Held National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Richard S. Hemler National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Larry W. Horowitz National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Stephen A. Klein National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Thomas R. Knutson National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Paul J. Kushner Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Amy R. Langenhorst RS Information Services, McLean, Virginia

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Hyun-Chul Lee RS Information Services, McLean, Virginia

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Shian-Jiann Lin National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Jian Lu UCAR Visiting Scientist Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey

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Sergey L. Malyshev Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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P. C. D. Milly U.S. Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey

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V. Ramaswamy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Joellen Russell Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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M. Daniel Schwarzkopf National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Elena Shevliakova Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Joseph J. Sirutis National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Rong Zhang Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Abstract

The formulation and simulation characteristics of two new global coupled climate models developed at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) are described. The models were designed to simulate atmospheric and oceanic climate and variability from the diurnal time scale through multicentury climate change, given our computational constraints. In particular, an important goal was to use the same model for both experimental seasonal to interannual forecasting and the study of multicentury global climate change, and this goal has been achieved.

Two versions of the coupled model are described, called CM2.0 and CM2.1. The versions differ primarily in the dynamical core used in the atmospheric component, along with the cloud tuning and some details of the land and ocean components. For both coupled models, the resolution of the land and atmospheric components is 2° latitude × 2.5° longitude; the atmospheric model has 24 vertical levels. The ocean resolution is 1° in latitude and longitude, with meridional resolution equatorward of 30° becoming progressively finer, such that the meridional resolution is 1/3° at the equator. There are 50 vertical levels in the ocean, with 22 evenly spaced levels within the top 220 m. The ocean component has poles over North America and Eurasia to avoid polar filtering. Neither coupled model employs flux adjustments.

The control simulations have stable, realistic climates when integrated over multiple centuries. Both models have simulations of ENSO that are substantially improved relative to previous GFDL coupled models. The CM2.0 model has been further evaluated as an ENSO forecast model and has good skill (CM2.1 has not been evaluated as an ENSO forecast model). Generally reduced temperature and salinity biases exist in CM2.1 relative to CM2.0. These reductions are associated with 1) improved simulations of surface wind stress in CM2.1 and associated changes in oceanic gyre circulations; 2) changes in cloud tuning and the land model, both of which act to increase the net surface shortwave radiation in CM2.1, thereby reducing an overall cold bias present in CM2.0; and 3) a reduction of ocean lateral viscosity in the extratropics in CM2.1, which reduces sea ice biases in the North Atlantic.

Both models have been used to conduct a suite of climate change simulations for the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report and are able to simulate the main features of the observed warming of the twentieth century. The climate sensitivities of the CM2.0 and CM2.1 models are 2.9 and 3.4 K, respectively. These sensitivities are defined by coupling the atmospheric components of CM2.0 and CM2.1 to a slab ocean model and allowing the model to come into equilibrium with a doubling of atmospheric CO2. The output from a suite of integrations conducted with these models is freely available online (see http://nomads.gfdl.noaa.gov/).

* Current affiliation: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

+ Current affiliation: Atmospheric Science Division L-103, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

Corresponding author address: Dr. Thomas L. Delworth, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, P.O. Box 308, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08542. Email: Tom.Delworth@noaa.gov

Abstract

The formulation and simulation characteristics of two new global coupled climate models developed at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) are described. The models were designed to simulate atmospheric and oceanic climate and variability from the diurnal time scale through multicentury climate change, given our computational constraints. In particular, an important goal was to use the same model for both experimental seasonal to interannual forecasting and the study of multicentury global climate change, and this goal has been achieved.

Two versions of the coupled model are described, called CM2.0 and CM2.1. The versions differ primarily in the dynamical core used in the atmospheric component, along with the cloud tuning and some details of the land and ocean components. For both coupled models, the resolution of the land and atmospheric components is 2° latitude × 2.5° longitude; the atmospheric model has 24 vertical levels. The ocean resolution is 1° in latitude and longitude, with meridional resolution equatorward of 30° becoming progressively finer, such that the meridional resolution is 1/3° at the equator. There are 50 vertical levels in the ocean, with 22 evenly spaced levels within the top 220 m. The ocean component has poles over North America and Eurasia to avoid polar filtering. Neither coupled model employs flux adjustments.

The control simulations have stable, realistic climates when integrated over multiple centuries. Both models have simulations of ENSO that are substantially improved relative to previous GFDL coupled models. The CM2.0 model has been further evaluated as an ENSO forecast model and has good skill (CM2.1 has not been evaluated as an ENSO forecast model). Generally reduced temperature and salinity biases exist in CM2.1 relative to CM2.0. These reductions are associated with 1) improved simulations of surface wind stress in CM2.1 and associated changes in oceanic gyre circulations; 2) changes in cloud tuning and the land model, both of which act to increase the net surface shortwave radiation in CM2.1, thereby reducing an overall cold bias present in CM2.0; and 3) a reduction of ocean lateral viscosity in the extratropics in CM2.1, which reduces sea ice biases in the North Atlantic.

Both models have been used to conduct a suite of climate change simulations for the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report and are able to simulate the main features of the observed warming of the twentieth century. The climate sensitivities of the CM2.0 and CM2.1 models are 2.9 and 3.4 K, respectively. These sensitivities are defined by coupling the atmospheric components of CM2.0 and CM2.1 to a slab ocean model and allowing the model to come into equilibrium with a doubling of atmospheric CO2. The output from a suite of integrations conducted with these models is freely available online (see http://nomads.gfdl.noaa.gov/).

* Current affiliation: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

+ Current affiliation: Atmospheric Science Division L-103, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

Corresponding author address: Dr. Thomas L. Delworth, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, P.O. Box 308, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08542. Email: Tom.Delworth@noaa.gov

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