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Sein D.V.,Alfred Wegener InstituteBremerhaven Germany | Mikolajewicz U.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Groger M.,Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute | Fast I.,German Climate Computing CenterHamburg Germany | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2015

The general circulation models used to simulate global climate typically feature resolution too coarse to reproduce many smaller-scale processes, which are crucial to determining the regional responses to climate change. A novel approach to downscale climate change scenarios is presented which includes the interactions between the North Atlantic Ocean and the European shelves as well as their impact on the North Atlantic and European climate. The goal of this paper is to introduce the global ocean-regional atmosphere coupling concept and to show the potential benefits of this model system to simulate present-day climate. A global ocean-sea ice-marine biogeochemistry model (MPIOM/HAMOCC) with regionally high horizontal resolution is coupled to an atmospheric regional model (REMO) and global terrestrial hydrology model (HD) via the OASIS coupler. Moreover, results obtained with ROM using NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and ECHAM5/MPIOM CMIP3 historical simulations as boundary conditions are presented and discussed for the North Atlantic and North European region. The validation of all the model components, i.e., ocean, atmosphere, terrestrial hydrology, and ocean biogeochemistry is performed and discussed. The careful and detailed validation of ROM provides evidence that the proposed model system improves the simulation of many aspects of the regional climate, remarkably the ocean, even though some biases persist in other model components, thus leaving potential for future improvement. We conclude that ROM is a powerful tool to estimate possible impacts of climate change on the regional scale. © 2015. The Authors.


Pithan F.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Angevine W.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Mauritsen T.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2015

Model intercomparisons have identified important deficits in the representation of the stable boundary layer by turbulence parametrizations used in current weather and climate models. However, detrimental impacts of more realistic schemes on the large-scale flow have hindered progress in this area. Here we implement a total turbulent energy scheme into the climate model ECHAM6. The total turbulent energy scheme considers the effects of Earth's rotation and static stability on the turbulence length scale. In contrast to the previously used turbulence scheme, the TTE scheme also implicitly represents entrainment flux in a dry convective boundary layer. Reducing the previously exaggerated surface drag in stable boundary layers indeed causes an increase in southern hemispheric zonal winds and large-scale pressure gradients beyond observed values. These biases can be largely removed by increasing the parametrized orographic drag. Reducing the neutral limit turbulent Prandtl number warms and moistens low-latitude boundary layers and acts to reduce longstanding radiation biases in the stratocumulus regions, the Southern Ocean and the equatorial cold tongue that are common to many climate models. © 2015. The Authors.


Dipankar A.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Stevens B.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Heinze R.,Institute for Meteorology and Climatology | Moseley C.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2015

ICON (ICOsahedral Nonhydrostatic) is a unified modeling system for global numerical weather prediction (NWP) and climate studies. Validation of its dynamical core against a test suite for numerical weather forecasting has been recently published by Zängl et al. (2014). In the present work, an extension of ICON is presented that enables it to perform as a large eddy simulation (LES) model. The details of the implementation of the LES turbulence scheme in ICON are explained and test cases are performed to validate it against two standard LES models. Despite the limitations that ICON inherits from being a unified modeling system, it performs well in capturing the mean flow characteristics and the turbulent statistics of two simulated flow configurations-one being a dry convective boundary layer and the other a cumulus-topped planetary boundary layer. © 2015 The Authors.


Naumann A.K.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Seifert A.,Hans Ertel Center for Weather Research
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2016

This study investigates growth processes of raindrops and the role of recirculation of raindrops for the formation of precipitation in shallow cumulus. Two related cases of fields of lightly precipitating shallow cumulus are simulated using Large-Eddy Simulation combined with a Lagrangian drop model for raindrop growth and a cloud tracking algorithm. Statistics from the Lagrangian drop model yield that most raindrops leave the cloud laterally and then evaporate in the subsaturated cloud environmental air. Only 1%-3% of the raindrops contribute to surface precipitation. Among this subsample of raindrops that contribute to surface precipitation, two growth regimes are identified: those raindrops that are dominated by accretional growth from cloud water, and those raindrops that are dominated by selfcollection among raindrops. The mean cloud properties alone are not decisive for the growth of an individual raindrop but the in-cloud variability is crucial. Recirculation of raindrops is found to be common in shallow cumulus, especially for those raindrops that contribute to surface precipitation. The fraction of surface precipitation that is attributed to recirculating raindrops differs from cloud to cloud but can be larger than 50%. This implies that simple conceptual models of raindrop growth that neglect the effect of recirculation disregard a substantial portion of raindrop growth in shallow cumulus. © 2016. The Authors.


Becker T.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Stevens B.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2014

The comprehensive general circulation model ECHAM6 is used in a radiative-convective equilibrium configuration. It is coupled to a perfectly conducting slab. To understand the local impact of thermodynamic surface properties on the land-ocean warming contrast, the surface latent heat flux and surface heat capacity are reduced stepwise, aiming for a land-like climate. Both ocean-like and land-like RCE simulation reproduce the tropical atmosphere over ocean and land in a satisfactory manner and lead to reasonable land-ocean warming ratios. A small surface heat capacity induces a high diurnal surface temperature range which triggers precipitation during the day and decouples the free troposphere from the diurnal mean temperature. With increasing evaporation resistance, the net atmospheric cooling rate decreases because cloud base height rises, causing a reduction of precipitation. Climate sensitivity depends more on changes in evaporation resistance than on changes in surface heat capacity. A feedback analysis with the partial radiation perturbation method shows that amplified warming over idealized land can be associated with disproportional changes in the lapse rate versus the water vapor feedback. Cloud feedbacks, convective aggregation, and changes in global mean surface temperature confuse the picture. © 2014. The Authors.


Ruppert J.H.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2016

Although the importance of the diurnal cycle in modulating clouds and precipitation has long been recognized, its impact on the climate system at longer timescales has remained elusive. Mounting evidence indicates that the diurnal cycle may substantially affect leading climate modes through nonlinear rectification. In this study, an idealized cloud-resolving model experiment is executed to isolate a diurnal timescale feedback in the shallow cumulus regime over the tropical warm pool. This feedback is isolated by modifying the period of the diurnal cycle (or removing it), which proportionally scales (or removes) the diurnal thermodynamic forcing that clouds respond to. This diurnal forcing is identified as covarying cycles of static stability and humidity in the lower troposphere, wherein the most unstable conditions coincide with greatest humidity each afternoon. This diurnal forcing yields deeper clouds and greater daily-mean cumulus heating than would otherwise occur, in turn reducing large-scale subsidence from day to day according to the "weak temperature gradient" approximation. This diurnal forcing therefore manifests as a timescale feedback by accelerating the onset of deep convection. The longwave cloud-radiation effect is found to amplify this timescale feedback, since the resulting invigoration of clouds (increased upper-cloud radiative cooling, with suppressed cooling below) scales with cloud depth (i.e., optical thickness), and hence with the magnitude of diurnal forcing. These findings highlight the pressing need to remedy longstanding problems related to the diurnal cycle in many climate models. Given the evident sensitivity of climate variability to diurnal processes, doing so may yield advances in climate prediction at longer timescales. © 2016. The Authors.


Hohenegger C.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Stevens B.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2016

Radiative convective equilibrium has been applied in past studies to various models given its simplicity and analogy to the tropical climate. At convection-permitting resolution, the focus has been on the organization of convection that appears when using fixed sea surface temperature (SST). Here the SST is allowed to freely respond to the surface energy. The goals are to examine and understand the resulting transient behavior, equilibrium state, and perturbations thereof, as well as to compare these results to a simulation integrated with parameterized cloud and convection. Analysis shows that the coupling between the SST and the net surface energy acts to delay the onset of self-aggregation and may prevent it, in our case, for a slab ocean of less than 1 m. This is so because SST gradients tend to oppose the shallow low-level circulation that is associated with the self-aggregation of convection. Furthermore, the occurrence of self-aggregation is found to be necessary for reaching an equilibrium state and avoiding a greenhouse-like climate. In analogy to the present climate, the self-aggregation generates the dry and clear subtropics that allow the system to efficiently cool. In contrast, strong shortwave cloud radiative effects, much stronger than at convection-permitting resolution, prevent the simulation with parameterized cloud and convection to fall into a greenhouse state. The convection-permitting simulations also suggest that cloud feedbacks, as arising when perturbing the equilibrium state, may be very different, and in our case less negative, than what emerges from general circulation models. © 2016. The Authors.


van Stratum B.J.H.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany | Stevens B.,Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburg Germany
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems | Year: 2015

The influence of poorly resolving mixing processes in the nocturnal boundary layer (NBL) on the development of the convective boundary layer the following day is studied using large-eddy simulation (LES). Guided by measurement data from meteorological sites in Cabauw (Netherlands) and Hamburg (Germany), the typical summertime NBL conditions for Western Europe are characterized, and used to design idealized (absence of moisture and large-scale forcings) numerical experiments of the diel cycle. Using the UCLA-LES code with a traditional Smagorinsky-Lilly subgrid model and a simplified land-surface scheme, a sensitivity study to grid spacing is performed. At horizontal grid spacings ranging from 3.125 m in which we are capable of resolving most turbulence in the cases of interest to grid a spacing of 100 m which is clearly insufficient to resolve the NBL, the ability of LES to represent the NBL and the influence of NBL biases on the subsequent daytime development of the convective boundary layer are examined. Although the low-resolution experiments produce substantial biases in the NBL, the influence on daytime convection is shown to be small, with biases in the afternoon boundary layer depth and temperature of approximately 100 m and 0.5 K, which partially cancel each other in terms of the mixed-layer top relative humidity. © 2015. The Authors.

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