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Publication Date
16 February 2024

Energy-conserving physics for nonhydrostatic dynamics in mass coordinate models



Motivated by reducing errors in the energy budget related to enthalpy fluxes within the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), we study several physics–dynamics coupling approaches. Using idealized physics, a moist rising bubble test case, and the E3SM's nonhydrostatic dynamical core, we consider unapproximated and approximated thermodynamics applied at constant pressure or constant volume. With the standard dynamics and physics time-split implementation, we describe how the constant-pressure and constant-volume approaches use different mechanisms to transform physics tendencies into dynamical motion and show that only the constant-volume approach is consistent with the underlying equations. Using time step convergence studies, we show that the two approaches both converge but to slightly different solutions. We reproduce the large inconsistencies between the energy flux internal to the model and the energy flux of precipitation when using approximate thermodynamics, which can only be removed by considering variable latent heats, both when computing the latent heating from phase change and when applying this heating to update the temperature. Finally, we show that in the nonhydrostatic case, for physics applied at constant pressure, the general relation that enthalpy is locally conserved no longer holds. In this case, the conserved quantity is enthalpy plus an additional term proportional to the difference between hydrostatic pressure and full pressure.

Guba, Oksana, Mark A. Taylor, Peter A. Bosler, Christopher Eldred, and Peter H. Lauritzen. 2024. “Energy-Conserving Physics For Nonhydrostatic Dynamics In Mass Coordinate Models”. Geoscientific Model Development 17 (3). Copernicus GmbH: 1429-1442. doi:10.5194/gmd-17-1429-2024.
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