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

Utilization of Short-Simulations for Tuning High-Resolution Climate Model

Monday, December 12, 2016 - 12:05
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Many physical parameterizations in atmospheric models are sensitive to resolution. Tuning the models that involve a multitude of parameters at high resolution is computationally expensive, particularly when relying primarily on multi-year simulations. This work describes a complementary set of strategies for tuning high-resolution atmospheric models, using ensembles of short simulations to reduce the computational cost and elapsed time. Specifically, we utilize the hindcast approach developed through the DOE Cloud Associated Parameterization Testbed (CAPT) project for high-resolution model tuning, which is guided by a combination of short (< 10 days ) and longer (~ 1 year) Perturbed Parameters Ensemble (PPE) simulations at low resolution to identify model feature sensitivity to parameter changes. The CAPT tests have been found to be effective in numerous previous studies in identifying model biases due to parameterized fast physics, and we demonstrate that it is also useful for tuning. After the most egregious errors are addressed through an initial “rough” tuning phase, longer simulations are performed to “hone in” on model features that evolve over longer timescales.

We explore these strategies to tune the DOE ACME (Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy) model. For the ACME model at 0.25° resolution, it is confirmed that, given the same parameters, major biases in global mean statistics and many spatial features are consistent between Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP)-type simulations and CAPT-type hindcasts, with just a small number of short-term simulations for the latter over the corresponding season. The use of CAPT hindcasts to find parameter choice for the reduction of large model biases dramatically improves the turnaround time for the tuning at high resolution. Improvement seen in CAPT hindcasts generally translates to improved AMIP-type simulations. An iterative CAPT-AMIP tuning approach is therefore adopted during each major tuning cycle, with the former to survey the likely responses and narrow the parameter space, and the latter to verify the results in climate context along with assessment in greater detail once an educated set of parameter choice is selected. Limitations on using short-term simulations for tuning climate model are also discussed.

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