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Tightening the belt: investigating the impact of high resolution at reduced computational cost

Presentation Date
Monday, December 11, 2023 at 4:24pm - Monday, December 11, 2023 at 4:33pm
MC - 3005 - West



The transition to global storm-resolving modeling is upon us, but there are many challenges that need to be addressed before these ultra-high-resolution models are routinely used for climate simulation. Computational resources continue to be a limiting factor to conduct global simulations at high resolution. Resource constraints limit the number of simulations, their duration, and the number of researchers who have the capability to run them. One approach to bridge the gap between conventional climate modeling and global storm-resolving models is to use variable-resolution grids. By refining the mesh in a specific region, it allows analysis of the model solution at high resolution while also permitting emergent behavior at large scales. This presentation provides an example using a configuration of the Community Atmosphere Model that has 15km grid spacing around the entire equatorial belt. This provides a mesoscale-resolving tropical climate that interacts with the coarse-resolution extratropics. The total number of grid points is less than a quarter of a global 15km configuration, and a little less than a global 27km configuration. Comparisons with coarse resolution simulations are used to investigate the impact of the high-resolution tropics on the global climate including aspects of variability both within and remote from the high-resolution region.

Funding Program Area(s)