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Evaluation of the HOMME Dynamical Core in the Aquaplanet Configuration of NCAR CAM4: Rainfall

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  • 1 Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado, and National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 2 Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • | 3 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 4 Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado, and National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 5 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

The NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4), includes a new dynamical core option based on NCAR’s High-Order Method Modeling Environment (HOMME). HOMME is a petascale-capable high-order element-based conservative dynamical core developed on the cubed-sphere grid. Initial simulations have been completed in an aquaplanet configuration of the Community Atmosphere Model, version 4 (CAM4), the atmospheric component of CCSM4. The authors examined the results of this simulation and assessed its fidelity in simulating rainfall, which is one of the most important components of the earth’s climate system. For this they compared the results from two other dynamical cores of CAM4: the finite volume (FV) and Eulerian (EUL).

Instantaneous features of rainfall in HOMME are similar to FV and EUL. Similar to EUL and FV, HOMME simulates a single-peak intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the equator. The strength of the ITCZ is found to be almost the same in HOMME and EUL but more in FV. It is observed that in HOMME and EUL, there is higher surface evaporation, which supplies more moisture to the deep tropics and gives more rainfall over the ITCZ. The altitude of maximum precipitation is found to be at almost the same level in all three dynamical cores. The eastward propagation of rainfall bands is organized and more prominent in FV and HOMME than in EUL. The phase speed of the eastward propagation in HOMME is found to be higher than in FV. The results show that, in general, the rainfall simulated by HOMME falls in a regime between that of FV and EUL. Hence, they conclude that the key aspects of rainfall simulation with HOMME falls into an acceptable range, as compared to the existing dynamical cores used in the model.

Corresponding author address: Saroj Mishra, Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80305. E-mail: saroj@ucar.edu

* The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Abstract

The NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4), includes a new dynamical core option based on NCAR’s High-Order Method Modeling Environment (HOMME). HOMME is a petascale-capable high-order element-based conservative dynamical core developed on the cubed-sphere grid. Initial simulations have been completed in an aquaplanet configuration of the Community Atmosphere Model, version 4 (CAM4), the atmospheric component of CCSM4. The authors examined the results of this simulation and assessed its fidelity in simulating rainfall, which is one of the most important components of the earth’s climate system. For this they compared the results from two other dynamical cores of CAM4: the finite volume (FV) and Eulerian (EUL).

Instantaneous features of rainfall in HOMME are similar to FV and EUL. Similar to EUL and FV, HOMME simulates a single-peak intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the equator. The strength of the ITCZ is found to be almost the same in HOMME and EUL but more in FV. It is observed that in HOMME and EUL, there is higher surface evaporation, which supplies more moisture to the deep tropics and gives more rainfall over the ITCZ. The altitude of maximum precipitation is found to be at almost the same level in all three dynamical cores. The eastward propagation of rainfall bands is organized and more prominent in FV and HOMME than in EUL. The phase speed of the eastward propagation in HOMME is found to be higher than in FV. The results show that, in general, the rainfall simulated by HOMME falls in a regime between that of FV and EUL. Hence, they conclude that the key aspects of rainfall simulation with HOMME falls into an acceptable range, as compared to the existing dynamical cores used in the model.

Corresponding author address: Saroj Mishra, Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80305. E-mail: saroj@ucar.edu

* The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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