Improving the representation of subtropical boundary layer clouds in the NASA GEOS model with the Eddy-Diffusivity/Mass-Flux parameterization

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  • 1 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
  • 2 Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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Abstract

A systematic underestimation of subtropical planetary boundary layer (PBL) stratocumulus clouds by the GEOS model has been significantly improved by a new Eddy-Diffusivity/Mass-Flux (EDMF) parameterization. The EDMF parameterization represents the subgrid-scale transport in the dry and moist parts of the PBL in a unified manner and it combines an adjusted eddy-diffusivity PBL scheme from GEOS with a stochastic multi-plume mass-flux model. The new EDMF version of the GEOS model is first compared against the CONTROL version in a single-column model (SCM) framework for two benchmark cases representing subtropical stratocumulus and shallow cumulus clouds, and validated against large eddy simulations. Global simulations are performed and compared against observations and reanalysis data. The results show that the EDMF version of the GEOS model produces more realistic subtropical PBL clouds. Noteworthy, the EDMF improvements first detected in the SCM framework translate into similar improvements of the global GEOS model.

Corresponding author: Kay Suselj, kay.suselj@jpl.nasa.gov

Abstract

A systematic underestimation of subtropical planetary boundary layer (PBL) stratocumulus clouds by the GEOS model has been significantly improved by a new Eddy-Diffusivity/Mass-Flux (EDMF) parameterization. The EDMF parameterization represents the subgrid-scale transport in the dry and moist parts of the PBL in a unified manner and it combines an adjusted eddy-diffusivity PBL scheme from GEOS with a stochastic multi-plume mass-flux model. The new EDMF version of the GEOS model is first compared against the CONTROL version in a single-column model (SCM) framework for two benchmark cases representing subtropical stratocumulus and shallow cumulus clouds, and validated against large eddy simulations. Global simulations are performed and compared against observations and reanalysis data. The results show that the EDMF version of the GEOS model produces more realistic subtropical PBL clouds. Noteworthy, the EDMF improvements first detected in the SCM framework translate into similar improvements of the global GEOS model.

Corresponding author: Kay Suselj, kay.suselj@jpl.nasa.gov
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