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Publication Date
23 June 2021

The Energy Exascale Earth System Model Simulations With High Vertical Resolution in the Lower Troposphere



General circulation models (GCMs) are typically run with coarse vertical resolution. For example, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) has a vertical resolution of about 200 m in the boundary layer, which is far too coarse to resolve sharp gradients often found in the thermodynamic fields capping subtropical marine stratocumulus. In this article, we present a series of multiyear atmosphere only simulations of E3SM version 1 where we progressively increase the vertical resolution in the lower troposphere to scales approaching those often used in large eddy simulation (LES). We report marginal impacts in regards to the simulation of boundary layer clouds when vertical resolution is moderately increased, yet find significant positive impacts when the vertical resolution approaches that typically used in LES (∼10 m). In these experiments, there is a marked change in the simulated turbulence and thermodynamics which leads to more abundant marine stratocumulus. However, these simulations are burdened with excessive computational cost. They are also subject to degradations in overall climate metrics due to time step sensitivities and because some processes and parameterizations are sensitive to changes in the vertical resolution.

Bogenschutz, Peter, Takanobu Yamaguchi, and Hsiang-He Lee. 2021. “The Energy Exascale Earth System Model Simulations With High Vertical Resolution In The Lower Troposphere”. Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems 13. doi:10.1029/2020MS002239.