Contributions to the Implementation of the Arakawa-Schubert Cumulus Parameterization in the GLA GCM

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  • 1 Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
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Abstract

Several integrations were made with a coarse (4° × 5° nine-sigma level) version of the GLA GCM, which has the Arakawa–Schubert cumulus parameterization, predicted fractional cloud cover, and a parameterization of evaporation of falling rainfall. All model simulation experiments started from the ECMWF analysis for 15 December 1982 and were integrated until 31 January 1983 using climatological boundary conditions. The first ten days of model integrations show that the model-simulated tropics dries and warms as a result of excessive precipitation.

Three types of model development-cum-analysis studies were made with the cumulus scheme. First, the Critical Cloud Work Function (CCWF) dataset for different sigma layers were reworked using the Cloud Work Function (CWF) database of Lord et al. as representative of time-average CWF and not the actual CCWF values as in the Arakawa–Schubert implementation of cumulus convection. The experiments with the new CCWF dataset helped to delineate the influence of changing CCWF on model simulations. Larger values of CCWF partially alleviated the problem of excessive heating and drying during spinup and sharpened the tropical ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone). Second, by comparing two simulations, one with and one without cumulus convection, the role of cumulus convection in maintaining the observed tropical rainfall and 850 mb easterly winds is clarified. Third, by using Simpson's relations between cloud radii and cumulus entrainment parameter, λ, in the Arakawa–Schubert cumulus scheme, realistic upper and lower bounds on λ were obtained. This improvement had a significant impact on the time evolution of tropical temperature and humidity simulation. It also significantly suppressed the excessive rainfall during spinup. Finally, by invoking λmin = 0.0002 m−1 (Rmax = 1.00 km) another simulation was made. In this simulation, not only the excessive initial rainfall was virtually eliminated, but a more realistic vertical distribution of specific humidity in the tropics was produced. Despite the conceptual simplicity of the latter, it has made some very significant improvement to the monthly simulation in the tropics.

Abstract

Several integrations were made with a coarse (4° × 5° nine-sigma level) version of the GLA GCM, which has the Arakawa–Schubert cumulus parameterization, predicted fractional cloud cover, and a parameterization of evaporation of falling rainfall. All model simulation experiments started from the ECMWF analysis for 15 December 1982 and were integrated until 31 January 1983 using climatological boundary conditions. The first ten days of model integrations show that the model-simulated tropics dries and warms as a result of excessive precipitation.

Three types of model development-cum-analysis studies were made with the cumulus scheme. First, the Critical Cloud Work Function (CCWF) dataset for different sigma layers were reworked using the Cloud Work Function (CWF) database of Lord et al. as representative of time-average CWF and not the actual CCWF values as in the Arakawa–Schubert implementation of cumulus convection. The experiments with the new CCWF dataset helped to delineate the influence of changing CCWF on model simulations. Larger values of CCWF partially alleviated the problem of excessive heating and drying during spinup and sharpened the tropical ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone). Second, by comparing two simulations, one with and one without cumulus convection, the role of cumulus convection in maintaining the observed tropical rainfall and 850 mb easterly winds is clarified. Third, by using Simpson's relations between cloud radii and cumulus entrainment parameter, λ, in the Arakawa–Schubert cumulus scheme, realistic upper and lower bounds on λ were obtained. This improvement had a significant impact on the time evolution of tropical temperature and humidity simulation. It also significantly suppressed the excessive rainfall during spinup. Finally, by invoking λmin = 0.0002 m−1 (Rmax = 1.00 km) another simulation was made. In this simulation, not only the excessive initial rainfall was virtually eliminated, but a more realistic vertical distribution of specific humidity in the tropics was produced. Despite the conceptual simplicity of the latter, it has made some very significant improvement to the monthly simulation in the tropics.

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