A benchmark calculation is proposed for evaluating the dynamical cores of atmospheric general circulation models independently of the physical parameterizations. The test focuses on the long-term statistical properties of a fully developed general circulation; thus, it is particularly appropriate for intercomparing the dynamics used in climate models. To illustrate the use of this benchmark, two very different atmospheric dynamical cores—one spectral, one finite difference—are compared. It is found that the long-term statistics produced by the two models are very similar. Selected results from these calculations are presented to initiate the intercomparison.
*Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
**Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland.