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Publication Date
3 September 2019

E3SMv0-HiLAT: A Modified Climate System Model Targeted for the Study of High-Latitude Processes

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This work introduces our modified version of an earth system model, with a more complete representation of the coupled processes that together establish the cloud fields at high latitudes. A preliminary result suggests that the added physics may have made the climate response difference, with the model’s adjusted radiative forcing slightly above the bounds of previous model assessments.


While most refinement of earth system models has focused on low and middle latitudes, it is the high latitudes that are changing most rapidly. This paper introduces an improved version of an earth system model, allowing for a more thorough consideration of climate system response involving the high latitudes. This work is also intended to guide the work of others, using different base models but adopting the changes we have presented.


This paper documents the configuration, tuning, and evaluation of a modified version of an earth system model, introduced here as E3SMv0-HiLAT, modified specifically for the study of high-latitude processes. The model incorporates changes to the atmospheric model affecting aerosol transport to high northern latitudes and to reduce shortwave cloud bias over the Southern Ocean. An updated sea ice model includes biogeochemistry, coupled to an extended version of the ocean model's biogechemistry. This enables cloud nucleation to depend on the changing marine emissions of aerosol precursors, as may be expected under future climate scenarios. Evaluation of the basic preindustrial state of E3SMv0-HiLAT is presented in order to ensure that its climate is adequate to support future experimentation.

Point of Contact
Wilbert Weijer
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Funding Program Area(s)