Exploring the potential of machine learning to break deadlock in convection parameterization

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 08:50
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We explore the potential of modern machine learning tools (via TensorFlow) to replace parameterization of deep convection in climate models. Our strategy begins by generating a large (~1 Tb) training dataset from time-step level (30-min) output harvested from a one-year integration of a zonally symmetric, uniform-SST aquaplanet integration of the SuperParameterized Community Atmosphere Model (SPCAM). We harvest the inputs and outputs connecting each of SPCAM’s 8,192 embedded cloud-resolving model (CRM) arrays to its host climate model’s arterial thermodynamic state variables to afford ~ 143M independent training instances. We demonstrate that this dataset is sufficiently large to induce preliminary convergence for neural network prediction of desired outputs of SP, i.e. CRM-mean convective heating and moistening profiles. Sensitivity of the machine learning convergence to the nuances of the TensorFlow implementation are discussed, as well as results from pilot tests from the neural network operating inline within the SPCAM as a replacement to the (super)parameterization of convection.

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