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Rocky Dunlap, Mariana Vertenstein, Sophie Valcke, and Tony Craig
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Gordon B. Bonan, Keith W. Oleson, Mariana Vertenstein, Samuel Levis, Xubin Zeng, Yongjiu Dai, Robert E. Dickinson, and Zong-Liang Yang

Abstract

The land surface parameterization used with the community climate model (CCM3) and the climate system model (CSM1), the National Center for Atmospheric Research land surface model (NCAR LSM1), has been modified as part of the development of the next version of these climate models. This new model is known as the community land model (CLM2). In CLM2, the surface is represented by five primary subgrid land cover types (glacier, lake, wetland, urban, vegetated) in each grid cell. The vegetated portion of a grid cell is further divided into patches of up to 4 of 16 plant functional types, each with its own leaf and stem area index and canopy height. The relative area of each subgrid unit, the plant functional type, and leaf area index are obtained from 1-km satellite data. The soil texture dataset allows vertical profiles of sand and clay. Most of the physical parameterizations in the model were also updated. Major model differences include: 10 layers for soil temperature and soil water with explicit treatment of liquid water and ice; a multilayer snowpack; runoff based on the TOPMODEL concept; new formulation of ground and vegetation fluxes; and vertical root profiles from a global synthesis of ecological studies. Simulations with CCM3 show significant improvements in surface air temperature, snow cover, and runoff for CLM2 compared to LSM1. CLM2 generally warms surface air temperature in all seasons compared to LSM1, reducing or eliminating many cold biases. Annual precipitation over land is reduced from 2.35 mm day−1 in LSM1 to 2.14 mm day−1 in CLM2. The hydrologic cycle is also different. Transpiration and ground evaporation are reduced. Leaves and stems evaporate more intercepted water annually in CLM2 than LSM1. Global runoff from land increases from 0.75 mm day−1 in LSM1 to 0.84 mm day−1 in CLM2. The annual cycle of runoff is greatly improved in CLM2, especially in arctic and boreal regions where the model has low runoff in cold seasons when the soil is frozen and high runoff during the snowmelt season. Most of the differences between CLM2 and LSM1 are attributed to particular parameterizations rather than to different surface datasets. Important processes include: multilayer snow, frozen water, interception, soil water limitation to latent heat, and higher aerodynamic resistances to heat exchange from ground.

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Robert E. Dickinson, Keith W. Oleson, Gordon Bonan, Forrest Hoffman, Peter Thornton, Mariana Vertenstein, Zong-Liang Yang, and Xubin Zeng

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Several multidecadal simulations have been carried out with the new version of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). This paper reports an analysis of the land component of these simulations. Global annual averages over land appear to be within the uncertainty of observational datasets, but the seasonal cycle over land of temperature and precipitation appears to be too weak. These departures from observations appear to be primarily a consequence of deficiencies in the simulation of the atmospheric model rather than of the land processes. High latitudes of northern winter are biased sufficiently warm to have a significant impact on the simulated value of global land temperature. The precipitation is approximately doubled from what it should be at some locations, and the snowpack and spring runoff are also excessive. The winter precipitation over Tibet is larger than observed. About two-thirds of this precipitation is sublimated during the winter, but what remains still produces a snowpack that is very large compared to that observed with correspondingly excessive spring runoff. A large cold anomaly over the Sahara Desert and Sahel also appears to be a consequence of a large anomaly in downward longwave radiation; low column water vapor appears to be most responsible. The modeled precipitation over the Amazon basin is low compared to that observed, the soil becomes too dry, and the temperature is too warm during the dry season.

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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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Dan Fu, Justin Small, Jaison Kurian, Yun Liu, Brian Kauffman, Abishek Gopal, Sanjiv Ramachandran, Zhi Shang, Ping Chang, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Katherine Thayer-Calder, Mariana Vertenstein, Xiaohui Ma, Hengkai Yao, Mingkui Li, Zhao Xu, Xiaopei Lin, Shaoqing Zhang, and Lixin Wu

Abstract

The development of high-resolution, fully-coupled, regional Earth system model systems is important for improving our understanding of climate variability, future projections, and extreme events at regional scales. Here we introduce and present an overview of the newly-developed Regional Community Earth System Model (R-CESM). Different from other existing regional climate models, R-CESM is based on the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) framework. We have incorporated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) into CESM2 as additional components. As such, R-CESM can be conveniently used as a regional dynamical downscaling tool for the global CESM solutions or/and as a standalone high-resolution regional coupled model. The user interface of R-CESM follows that of CESM, making it readily accessible to the broader community. Among countless potential applications of R-CESM, we showcase here a few preliminary studies that illustrate its novel aspects and value. These include: 1) assessing the skill of R-CESM in a multi-year, high-resolution, regional coupled simulation of the Gulf of Mexico; 2) examining the impact of WRF and CESM ocean-atmosphere coupling physics on tropical cyclone simulations; and 3) a convection-permitting simulation of submesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions. We also discuss capabilities under development such as i) regional refinement using a high-resolution ROMS nested within global CESM; and ii) “online” coupled data assimilation. Our open-source framework (publicly available at https://github.com/ihesp/rcesm1) can be easily adapted to a broad range of applications that are of interest to the users of CESM, WRF, and ROMS.

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Dan Fu, Justin Small, Jaison Kurian, Yun Liu, Brian Kauffman, Abishek Gopal, Sanjiv Ramachandran, Zhi Shang, Ping Chang, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Katherine Thayer-Calder, Mariana Vertenstein, Xiaohui Ma, Hengkai Yao, Mingkui Li, Zhao Xu, Xiaopei Lin, Shaoqing Zhang, and Lixin Wu

Abstract

The development of high-resolution, fully coupled, regional Earth system model systems is important for improving our understanding of climate variability, future projections, and extreme events at regional scales. Here we introduce and present an overview of the newly developed Regional Community Earth System Model (R-CESM). Different from other existing regional climate models, R-CESM is based on the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) framework. We have incorporated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) into CESM2 as additional components. As such, R-CESM can be conveniently used as a regional dynamical downscaling tool for the global CESM solutions or/and as a standalone high-resolution regional coupled model. The user interface of R-CESM follows that of CESM, making it readily accessible to the broader community. Among countless potential applications of R-CESM, we showcase here a few preliminary studies that illustrate its novel aspects and value. These include 1) assessing the skill of R-CESM in a multiyear, high-resolution, regional coupled simulation of the Gulf of Mexico; 2) examining the impact of WRF and CESM ocean–atmosphere coupling physics on tropical cyclone simulations; and 3) a convection-permitting simulation of submesoscale ocean–atmosphere interactions. We also discuss capabilities under development such as (i) regional refinement using a high-resolution ROMS nested within global CESM and (ii) “online” coupled data assimilation. Our open-source framework (publicly available at https://github.com/ihesp/rcesm1) can be easily adapted to a broad range of applications that are of interest to the users of CESM, WRF, and ROMS.

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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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