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Numerical Experiments on Consistent Horizontal and Vertical Resolution for Atmospheric Models and Observing Systems

Michael S. Fox-RabinovitzLaboratory for Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Richard S. LindzenCenter for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Abstract

Simple numerical experiments are performed in order to determine the effects of inconsistent combinations of horizontal and vertical resolution in both atmospheric models and observing systems. In both cases, we find that inconsistent spatial resolution is associated with enhanced noise generation.

A rather fine horizontal resolution in a satellite-data observing system seems to be excessive when combined with the usually available relatively coarse vertical resolution. Using horizontal filters of different strengths, adjusted in such a way as to render the effective horizontal resolution more consistent with vertical resolution for the observing system, may result in improvement of the analysis accuracy. The increase of vertical resolution for a satellite-data observing system is, however, desirable. For the conventional-data observing system with better vertically resolved data, the results are different in that little or no horizontal filtering is needed to make spatial resolution more consistent for the system.

The obtained experimental estimates of consistent vertical and effective horizontal resolution are in a general agreement with consistent resolution estimates previously derived theoreticdly by the authors.

Abstract

Simple numerical experiments are performed in order to determine the effects of inconsistent combinations of horizontal and vertical resolution in both atmospheric models and observing systems. In both cases, we find that inconsistent spatial resolution is associated with enhanced noise generation.

A rather fine horizontal resolution in a satellite-data observing system seems to be excessive when combined with the usually available relatively coarse vertical resolution. Using horizontal filters of different strengths, adjusted in such a way as to render the effective horizontal resolution more consistent with vertical resolution for the observing system, may result in improvement of the analysis accuracy. The increase of vertical resolution for a satellite-data observing system is, however, desirable. For the conventional-data observing system with better vertically resolved data, the results are different in that little or no horizontal filtering is needed to make spatial resolution more consistent for the system.

The obtained experimental estimates of consistent vertical and effective horizontal resolution are in a general agreement with consistent resolution estimates previously derived theoreticdly by the authors.

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