Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Is Convection Sensitive to Model Vertical Resolution and Why?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 08:00
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Model sensitivity to horizontal resolutions has been studied extensively, whereas model sensitivity to vertical resolution is much less explored. In this study, we use the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) atmosphere model to examine the sensitivity of clouds and precipitation to the increase of vertical resolution of the model. We attempt to understand what results in the behavior change (if any) of convective processes represented by the unified shallow and turbulent scheme named CLUBB (Cloud Layers Unified by Binormals) and the Zhang-McFarlane deep convection scheme in ACME. A short-term hindcast approach is used to isolate parameterization issues from the large-scale circulation. The analysis emphasizes on how the change of vertical resolution could affect precipitation partitioning between convective- and grid-scale as well as the vertical profiles of convection-related quantities such as temperature, humidity, clouds, convective heating and drying, and entrainment and detrainment. The goal is to provide physical insight into potential issues with model convective processes associated with the increase of model vertical resolution.

This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

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