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Nikiema O.,Center Escer Etude Et Simulation Du Climat chelle Regionale | Laprise R.,Center Escer Etude Et Simulation Du Climat chelle Regionale
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2016

In an ensemble of Regional Climate Model (RCM) simulations where different members are initialised at different times but driven by identical lateral boundary conditions, the individual members provide different, but equally acceptable, weather sequences. In others words, RCM simulations exhibit the phenomenon of Internal Variability (or inter-member variability—IV), defined as the spread between members in an ensemble of simulations. Our recent studies reveal that RCM’s IV is associated with energy conversions similar to those taking place in weather systems. By analogy with the classical work on global energetics of weather systems, a formulation of an energy cycle for IV has been developed that is applicable over limited-area domains. Prognostic equations for ensemble-mean kinetic energy and available enthalpy are decomposed into contributions due to ensemble-mean variables and those due to deviations from the ensemble mean (IV). Together these equations constitute an energy cycle for IV in ensemble simulations of an RCM. A 50-member ensemble of 1-year simulations that differ only in their initial conditions was performed with the fifth-generation Canadian RCM (CRCM5) over an eastern North America domain. The various energy reservoirs of IV and exchange terms between reservoirs were evaluated; the results show a remarkably close parallel between the energy conversions associated with IV in ensemble simulations of RCM and the energy conversions taking place in weather systems in the real atmosphere. © 2015, The Author(s).

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