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K. W. Oleson, G. B. Bonan, J. Feddema, and M. Vertenstein

Abstract

In a companion paper, the authors presented a formulation and evaluation of an urban parameterization designed to represent the urban energy balance in the Community Land Model. Here the robustness of the model is tested through sensitivity studies and the model’s ability to simulate urban heat islands in different environments is evaluated. Findings show that heat storage and sensible heat flux are most sensitive to uncertainties in the input parameters within the atmospheric and surface conditions considered here. The sensitivity studies suggest that attention should be paid not only to characterizing accurately the structure of the urban area (e.g., height-to-width ratio) but also to ensuring that the input data reflect the thermal admittance properties of each of the city surfaces. Simulations of the urban heat island show that the urban model is able to capture typical observed characteristics of urban climates qualitatively. In particular, the model produces a significant heat island that increases with height-to-width ratio. In urban areas, daily minimum temperatures increase more than daily maximum temperatures, resulting in a reduced diurnal temperature range relative to equivalent rural environments. The magnitude and timing of the heat island vary tremendously depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions and the characteristics of surrounding rural environments. The model also correctly increases the Bowen ratio and canopy air temperatures of urban systems as impervious fraction increases. In general, these findings are in agreement with those observed for real urban ecosystems. Thus, the model appears to be a useful tool for examining the nature of the urban climate within the framework of global climate models.

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K. W. Oleson, G. B. Bonan, J. Feddema, M. Vertenstein, and C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

Urbanization, the expansion of built-up areas, is an important yet less-studied aspect of land use/land cover change in climate science. To date, most global climate models used to evaluate effects of land use/land cover change on climate do not include an urban parameterization. Here, the authors describe the formulation and evaluation of a parameterization of urban areas that is incorporated into the Community Land Model, the land surface component of the Community Climate System Model. The model is designed to be simple enough to be compatible with structural and computational constraints of a land surface model coupled to a global climate model yet complex enough to explore physically based processes known to be important in determining urban climatology. The city representation is based upon the “urban canyon” concept, which consists of roofs, sunlit and shaded walls, and canyon floor. The canyon floor is divided into pervious (e.g., residential lawns, parks) and impervious (e.g., roads, parking lots, sidewalks) fractions. Trapping of longwave radiation by canyon surfaces and solar radiation absorption and reflection is determined by accounting for multiple reflections. Separate energy balances and surface temperatures are determined for each canyon facet. A one-dimensional heat conduction equation is solved numerically for a 10-layer column to determine conduction fluxes into and out of canyon surfaces. Model performance is evaluated against measured fluxes and temperatures from two urban sites. Results indicate the model does a reasonable job of simulating the energy balance of cities.

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William H. Lipscomb, Jeremy G. Fyke, Miren Vizcaíno, William J. Sacks, Jon Wolfe, Mariana Vertenstein, Anthony Craig, Erik Kluzek, and David M. Lawrence

Abstract

The Glimmer Community Ice Sheet Model (Glimmer-CISM) has been implemented in the Community Earth System Model (CESM). Glimmer-CISM is forced by a surface mass balance (SMB) computed in multiple elevation classes in the CESM land model and downscaled to the ice sheet grid. Ice sheet evolution is governed by the shallow-ice approximation with thermomechanical coupling and basal sliding. This paper describes and evaluates the initial model implementation for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). The ice sheet model was spun up using the SMB from a coupled CESM simulation with preindustrial forcing. The model's sensitivity to three key ice sheet parameters was explored by running an ensemble of 100 GIS simulations to quasi equilibrium and ranking each simulation based on multiple diagnostics. With reasonable parameter choices, the steady-state GIS geometry is broadly consistent with observations. The simulated ice sheet is too thick and extensive, however, in some marginal regions where the SMB is anomalously positive. The top-ranking simulations were continued using surface forcing from CESM simulations of the twentieth century (1850–2005) and twenty-first century (2005–2100, with RCP8.5 forcing). In these simulations the GIS loses mass, with a resulting global-mean sea level rise of 16 mm during 1850–2005 and 60 mm during 2005–2100. This mass loss is caused mainly by increased ablation near the ice sheet margin, offset by reduced ice discharge to the ocean. Projected sea level rise is sensitive to the initial geometry, showing the importance of realistic geometry in the spun-up ice sheet.

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Peter R. Gent, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Leo J. Donner, Marika M. Holland, Elizabeth C. Hunke, Steve R. Jayne, David M. Lawrence, Richard B. Neale, Philip J. Rasch, Mariana Vertenstein, Patrick H. Worley, Zong-Liang Yang, and Minghua Zhang

Abstract

The fourth version of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4) was recently completed and released to the climate community. This paper describes developments to all CCSM components, and documents fully coupled preindustrial control runs compared to the previous version, CCSM3. Using the standard atmosphere and land resolution of 1° results in the sea surface temperature biases in the major upwelling regions being comparable to the 1.4°-resolution CCSM3. Two changes to the deep convection scheme in the atmosphere component result in CCSM4 producing El Niño–Southern Oscillation variability with a much more realistic frequency distribution than in CCSM3, although the amplitude is too large compared to observations. These changes also improve the Madden–Julian oscillation and the frequency distribution of tropical precipitation. A new overflow parameterization in the ocean component leads to an improved simulation of the Gulf Stream path and the North Atlantic Ocean meridional overturning circulation. Changes to the CCSM4 land component lead to a much improved annual cycle of water storage, especially in the tropics. The CCSM4 sea ice component uses much more realistic albedos than CCSM3, and for several reasons the Arctic sea ice concentration is improved in CCSM4. An ensemble of twentieth-century simulations produces a good match to the observed September Arctic sea ice extent from 1979 to 2005. The CCSM4 ensemble mean increase in globally averaged surface temperature between 1850 and 2005 is larger than the observed increase by about 0.4°C. This is consistent with the fact that CCSM4 does not include a representation of the indirect effects of aerosols, although other factors may come into play. The CCSM4 still has significant biases, such as the mean precipitation distribution in the tropical Pacific Ocean, too much low cloud in the Arctic, and the latitudinal distributions of shortwave and longwave cloud forcings.

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James W. Hurrell, M. M. Holland, P. R. Gent, S. Ghan, Jennifer E. Kay, P. J. Kushner, J.-F. Lamarque, W. G. Large, D. Lawrence, K. Lindsay, W. H. Lipscomb, M. C. Long, N. Mahowald, D. R. Marsh, R. B. Neale, P. Rasch, S. Vavrus, M. Vertenstein, D. Bader, W. D. Collins, J. J. Hack, J. Kiehl, and S. Marshall

The Community Earth System Model (CESM) is a flexible and extensible community tool used to investigate a diverse set of Earth system interactions across multiple time and space scales. This global coupled model significantly extends its predecessor, the Community Climate System Model, by incorporating new Earth system simulation capabilities. These comprise the ability to simulate biogeochemical cycles, including those of carbon and nitrogen, a variety of atmospheric chemistry options, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and an atmosphere that extends to the lower thermosphere. These and other new model capabilities are enabling investigations into a wide range of pressing scientific questions, providing new foresight into possible future climates and increasing our collective knowledge about the behavior and interactions of the Earth system. Simulations with numerous configurations of the CESM have been provided to phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and are being analyzed by the broad community of scientists. Additionally, the model source code and associated documentation are freely available to the scientific community to use for Earth system studies, making it a true community tool. This article describes this Earth system model and its various possible configurations, and highlights a number of its scientific capabilities.

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Gerhard Theurich, C. DeLuca, T. Campbell, F. Liu, K. Saint, M. Vertenstein, J. Chen, R. Oehmke, J. Doyle, T. Whitcomb, A. Wallcraft, M. Iredell, T. Black, A. M. Da Silva, T. Clune, R. Ferraro, P. Li, M. Kelley, I. Aleinov, V. Balaji, N. Zadeh, R. Jacob, B. Kirtman, F. Giraldo, D. McCarren, S. Sandgathe, S. Peckham, and R. Dunlap IV

Abstract

The Earth System Prediction Suite (ESPS) is a collection of flagship U.S. weather and climate models and model components that are being instrumented to conform to interoperability conventions, documented to follow metadata standards, and made available either under open-source terms or to credentialed users.

The ESPS represents a culmination of efforts to create a common Earth system model architecture, and the advent of increasingly coordinated model development activities in the United States. ESPS component interfaces are based on the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), community-developed software for building and coupling models, and the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) Layer, a set of ESMF-based component templates and interoperability conventions. This shared infrastructure simplifies the process of model coupling by guaranteeing that components conform to a set of technical and semantic behaviors. The ESPS encourages distributed, multiagency development of coupled modeling systems; controlled experimentation and testing; and exploration of novel model configurations, such as those motivated by research involving managed and interactive ensembles. ESPS codes include the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM), the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM), and the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS); the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) and the Modular Ocean Model (MOM); the Community Earth System Model (CESM); and the NASA ModelE climate model and the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5 (GEOS-5), atmospheric general circulation model.

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J. E. Kay, C. Deser, A. Phillips, A. Mai, C. Hannay, G. Strand, J. M. Arblaster, S. C. Bates, G. Danabasoglu, J. Edwards, M. Holland, P. Kushner, J.-F. Lamarque, D. Lawrence, K. Lindsay, A. Middleton, E. Munoz, R. Neale, K. Oleson, L. Polvani, and M. Vertenstein

Abstract

While internal climate variability is known to affect climate projections, its influence is often underappreciated and confused with model error. Why? In general, modeling centers contribute a small number of realizations to international climate model assessments [e.g., phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5)]. As a result, model error and internal climate variability are difficult, and at times impossible, to disentangle. In response, the Community Earth System Model (CESM) community designed the CESM Large Ensemble (CESM-LE) with the explicit goal of enabling assessment of climate change in the presence of internal climate variability. All CESM-LE simulations use a single CMIP5 model (CESM with the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5). The core simulations replay the twenty to twenty-first century (1920–2100) 30 times under historical and representative concentration pathway 8.5 external forcing with small initial condition differences. Two companion 1000+-yr-long preindustrial control simulations (fully coupled, prognostic atmosphere and land only) allow assessment of internal climate variability in the absence of climate change. Comprehensive outputs, including many daily fields, are available as single-variable time series on the Earth System Grid for anyone to use. Early results demonstrate the substantial influence of internal climate variability on twentieth- to twenty-first-century climate trajectories. Global warming hiatus decades occur, similar to those recently observed. Internal climate variability alone can produce projection spread comparable to that in CMIP5. Scientists and stakeholders can use CESM-LE outputs to help interpret the observational record, to understand projection spread and to plan for a range of possible futures influenced by both internal climate variability and forced climate change.

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