Diurnal Heating and Cloudiness in the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM2)

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • | 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

In this paper, the authors assess the suitability of the heating fields in the latest version of the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM2) for modeling the thermal forcing of atmospheric tides. Accordingly, diurnal variations of the surface pressure, outgoing longwave radiation, cloudiness, and precipitation are examined in the CCM2. The fields of radiative, sensible, and latent beating are similarly analyzed. These results are subjectively compared with available data.

Equatorial diurnal surface pressure tides are fairly well simulated by CCM2. The model successfully reproduces the semidiurnal surface pressure tides; however, this may result in part from reflection of wave energy at the upper boundary. The CCM2 large-scale diurnal OLR is generally consistent with observations. The moist-convective scheme in the model is able to reproduce the diurnally varying cloudiness and precipitation patterns associated with land-sea contrasts; however, the amplitudes of CCM2 diurnal continental convective cloudiness are weaker than observations. The CCM2 boundary-layer sensible heating is consistent with a very limited set of observations, and with estimates obtained from simple models of diffusive heating. Although the CCM2 tropospheric solar radiative heating is similar in magnitude to previous estimates, there are substantial differences in the vertical structures. A definitive assessment of the validity of the CCM2 diurnal cycle is precluded by the lack of detailed observations and the limitations of our CCM2 sample. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that the global-scale components of the CCM2 diurnal heating are useful proxies for the true diurnal forcing of the tides.

Abstract

In this paper, the authors assess the suitability of the heating fields in the latest version of the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM2) for modeling the thermal forcing of atmospheric tides. Accordingly, diurnal variations of the surface pressure, outgoing longwave radiation, cloudiness, and precipitation are examined in the CCM2. The fields of radiative, sensible, and latent beating are similarly analyzed. These results are subjectively compared with available data.

Equatorial diurnal surface pressure tides are fairly well simulated by CCM2. The model successfully reproduces the semidiurnal surface pressure tides; however, this may result in part from reflection of wave energy at the upper boundary. The CCM2 large-scale diurnal OLR is generally consistent with observations. The moist-convective scheme in the model is able to reproduce the diurnally varying cloudiness and precipitation patterns associated with land-sea contrasts; however, the amplitudes of CCM2 diurnal continental convective cloudiness are weaker than observations. The CCM2 boundary-layer sensible heating is consistent with a very limited set of observations, and with estimates obtained from simple models of diffusive heating. Although the CCM2 tropospheric solar radiative heating is similar in magnitude to previous estimates, there are substantial differences in the vertical structures. A definitive assessment of the validity of the CCM2 diurnal cycle is precluded by the lack of detailed observations and the limitations of our CCM2 sample. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that the global-scale components of the CCM2 diurnal heating are useful proxies for the true diurnal forcing of the tides.

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