26 December 2014

Exploratory High-Resolution Climate Simulations using the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM)


Extended, high-resolution simulations with Community Atmosphere Model versions 4 and 5 (CAM4 and CAM5) are examined and compared with results from climate simulations conducted at a more typical resolution. Overall, the simulated climate of the high-resolution experiments is not dramatically better than that of their low resolution counterparts. Improvements appear primarily where topographic effects may be playing a role, including a substantially-improved summertime Indian monsoon simulation in CAM4 at high-resolution. Significant sensitivity to resolution is found in simulated precipitation over the southeast United States during winter. Some aspects of the simulated seasonal mean precipitation deteriorate notably at high-resolution. Nevertheless, while large-scale seasonal means are not dramatically better at high-resolution, realistic tropical cyclone (TC) distributions are obtained. Some skill in reproducing interannual variability in TC-statistics also appears.

Julio T Bacmeister
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Bacmeister, JT, MF Wehner, RB Neale, A Gettelman, C Hannay, PH Lauritzen, JM Caron, and JE Truesdale.  2013.  "Exploratory High-Resolution Climate Simulations using the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM)."  Journal of Climate.  https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00387.1.