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Publication Date
10 October 2023

An Ensemble of Neural Networks for Moist Physics Processes, its Generalizability and Stable Integration



With the recent advances in data science, machine learning has been increasingly applied to convection and cloud parameterizations in global climate models (GCMs). This study extends the work of Han et al. (2020) and uses an ensemble of 32-layer deep convolutional residual neural networks, referred to as ResCu-en, to emulate convection and cloud processes simulated by a superparameterized GCM, SPCAM. ResCu-en predicts GCM grid-scale temperature and moisture tendencies, and cloud liquid and ice water contents from moist physics processes. The surface rainfall is derived from the column-integrated moisture tendency. The prediction uncertainty inherent in deep learning algorithms in emulating the moist physics is reduced by ensemble averaging. Results in one-year independent offline validation show that ResCu-en has high prediction accuracy for all output variables, both in the current climate and in a warmer climate with +4K sea surface temperature. The analysis of different neural net configurations shows that the success to generalize in a warmer climate is attributed to convective memory and the 1-dimensional convolution layers incorporated into ResCu-en. We further implement a member of ResCu-en into CAM5 with real world geography and run the neural-network-enabled CAM5 (NCAM) for 5 years without encountering any numerical integration instability. The simulation generally captures the global distribution of the mean precipitation, with a better simulation of precipitation intensity and diurnal cycle. However, there are large biases in temperature and moisture in high latitudes. These results highlight the importance of convective memory and demonstrate the potential for machine learning to enhance climate modeling.

Han, Yilun, Guang Jun Zhang, and Yong Wang. 2023. “An Ensemble Of Neural Networks For Moist Physics Processes, Its Generalizability And Stable Integration ”. Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems 15. doi:
Funding Program Area(s)
Additional Resources:
NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)