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Jonathan J. Day
,
Gunilla Svensson
,
Ian M. Brooks
,
Cecilia Bitz
,
Lina Broman
,
Glenn Carver
,
Matthieu Chevallier
,
Helge Goessling
,
Kerstin Hartung
,
Thomas Jung
,
Jennifer E. Kay
,
Erik W. Kolstad
,
Don Perovich
,
James Screen
,
Stephan Siemen
, and
Filip Váňa
Full access
William D. Collins
,
Cecilia M. Bitz
,
Maurice L. Blackmon
,
Gordon B. Bonan
,
Christopher S. Bretherton
,
James A. Carton
,
Ping Chang
,
Scott C. Doney
,
James J. Hack
,
Thomas B. Henderson
,
Jeffrey T. Kiehl
,
William G. Large
,
Daniel S. McKenna
,
Benjamin D. Santer
, and
Richard D. Smith

Abstract

The Community Climate System Model version 3 (CCSM3) has recently been developed and released to the climate community. CCSM3 is a coupled climate model with components representing the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land surface connected by a flux coupler. CCSM3 is designed to produce realistic simulations over a wide range of spatial resolutions, enabling inexpensive simulations lasting several millennia or detailed studies of continental-scale dynamics, variability, and climate change. This paper will show results from the configuration used for climate-change simulations with a T85 grid for the atmosphere and land and a grid with approximately 1° resolution for the ocean and sea ice. The new system incorporates several significant improvements in the physical parameterizations. The enhancements in the model physics are designed to reduce or eliminate several systematic biases in the mean climate produced by previous editions of CCSM. These include new treatments of cloud processes, aerosol radiative forcing, land–atmosphere fluxes, ocean mixed layer processes, and sea ice dynamics. There are significant improvements in the sea ice thickness, polar radiation budgets, tropical sea surface temperatures, and cloud radiative effects. CCSM3 can produce stable climate simulations of millennial duration without ad hoc adjustments to the fluxes exchanged among the component models. Nonetheless, there are still systematic biases in the ocean–atmosphere fluxes in coastal regions west of continents, the spectrum of ENSO variability, the spatial distribution of precipitation in the tropical oceans, and continental precipitation and surface air temperatures. Work is under way to extend CCSM to a more accurate and comprehensive model of the earth's climate system.

Full access
Ed Blockley
,
Martin Vancoppenolle
,
Elizabeth Hunke
,
Cecilia Bitz
,
Daniel Feltham
,
Jean-François Lemieux
,
Martin Losch
,
Eric Maisonnave
,
Dirk Notz
,
Pierre Rampal
,
Steffen Tietsche
,
Bruno Tremblay
,
Adrian Turner
,
François Massonnet
,
Einar Ólason
,
Andrew Roberts
,
Yevgeny Aksenov
,
Thierry Fichefet
,
Gilles Garric
,
Doroteaciro Iovino
,
Gurvan Madec
,
Clément Rousset
,
David Salas y Melia
, and
David Schroeder
Free access
Mark A. Bourassa
,
Sarah T. Gille
,
Cecilia Bitz
,
David Carlson
,
Ivana Cerovecki
,
Carol Anne Clayson
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Will M. Drennan
,
Chris W. Fairall
,
Ross N. Hoffman
,
Gudrun Magnusdottir
,
Rachel T. Pinker
,
Ian A. Renfrew
,
Mark Serreze
,
Kevin Speer
,
Lynne D. Talley
, and
Gary A. Wick

Polar regions have great sensitivity to climate forcing; however, understanding of the physical processes coupling the atmosphere and ocean in these regions is relatively poor. Improving our knowledge of high-latitude surface fluxes will require close collaboration among meteorologists, oceanographers, ice physicists, and climatologists, and between observationalists and modelers, as well as new combinations of in situ measurements and satellite remote sensing. This article describes the deficiencies in our current state of knowledge about air–sea surface fluxes in high latitudes, the sensitivity of various high-latitude processes to changes in surface fluxes, and the scientific requirements for surface fluxes at high latitudes. We inventory the reasons, both logistical and physical, why existing flux products do not meet these requirements. Capturing an annual cycle in fluxes requires that instruments function through long periods of cold polar darkness, often far from support services, in situations subject to icing and extreme wave conditions. Furthermore, frequent cloud cover at high latitudes restricts the availability of surface and atmospheric data from visible and infrared (IR) wavelength satellite sensors. Recommendations are made for improving high-latitude fluxes, including 1) acquiring more in situ observations, 2) developing improved satellite-flux-observing capabilities, 3) making observations and flux products more accessible, and 4) encouraging flux intercomparisons.

Full access
J. David Neelin
,
John P. Krasting
,
Aparna Radhakrishnan
,
Jessica Liptak
,
Thomas Jackson
,
Yi Ming
,
Wenhao Dong
,
Andrew Gettelman
,
Danielle R. Coleman
,
Eric D. Maloney
,
Allison A. Wing
,
Yi-Hung Kuo
,
Fiaz Ahmed
,
Paul Ullrich
,
Cecilia M. Bitz
,
Richard B. Neale
,
Ana Ordonez
, and
Elizabeth A. Maroon

Abstract

Process-oriented diagnostics (PODs) aim to provide feedback for model developers through model analysis based on physical hypotheses. However, the step from a diagnostic based on relationships among variables, even when hypothesis driven, to specific guidance for revising model formulation or parameterizations can be substantial. The POD may provide more information than a purely performance-based metric, but a gap between POD principles and providing actionable information for specific model revisions can remain. Furthermore, in coordinating diagnostics development, there is a trade-off between freedom for the developer, aiming to capture innovation, and near-term utility to the modeling center. Best practices that allow for the former, while conforming to specifications that aid the latter, are important for community diagnostics development that leads to tangible model improvements. Promising directions to close the gap between principles and practice include the interaction of PODs with perturbed physics experiments and with more quantitative process models as well as the inclusion of personnel from modeling centers in diagnostics development groups for immediate feedback during climate model revisions. Examples are provided, along with best-practice recommendations, based on practical experience from the NOAA Model Diagnostics Task Force (MDTF). Common standards for metrics and diagnostics that have arisen from a collaboration between the MDTF and the Department of Energy’s Coordinated Model Evaluation Capability are advocated as a means of uniting community diagnostics efforts.

Open access
E. Povl Abrahamsen
,
Sandra Barreira
,
Cecilia M. Bitz
,
Amy Butler
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Steve Colwell
,
Lawrence Coy
,
Jos de Laat
,
Marcel D. du Plessis
,
Ryan L. Fogt
,
Helen Amanda Fricker
,
John Fyfe
,
Alex S. Gardner
,
Sarah T. Gille
,
Tessa Gorte
,
L. Gregor
,
Will Hobbs
,
Bryan Johnson
,
Eric Keenan
,
Linda M. Keller
,
Natalya A. Kramarova
,
Matthew A. Lazzara
,
Jan T. M. Lenaerts
,
Jan L. Lieser
,
Hongxing Liu
,
Craig S. Long
,
Michelle Maclennan
,
Robert A. Massom
,
François Massonnet
,
Matthew R. Mazloff
,
David Mikolajczyk
,
A. Narayanan
,
Eric R. Nash
,
Paul A. Newman
,
Irina Petropavlovskikh
,
Michael Pitts
,
Bastien Y. Queste
,
Phillip Reid
,
F. Roquet
,
Michelle L. Santee
,
Susan Strahan
,
Sebastiann Swart
, and
Lei Wang
Free access