Atmospheric Climate Model Experiments Performed at Multiple Horizontal Resolutions
Atmospheric Climate Model Experiments Performed at Multiple Horizontal Resolutions This report documents salient features of version 3.3 of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM3.3) and of three climate simulations in which the resolution of its latitude-longitude grid was systematically increased. For all these simulations of global atmospheric climate during the period 1980-1999, observed monthly ocean surface temperatures and sea ice extents were prescribed according to standard Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) values. These CAM3.3 resolution experiments served as control runs for subsequent simulations of the climatic effects of agricultural irrigation, the focus of a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project. The CAM3.3 model was able to replicate basic features of the historical climate, although biases in a number of atmospheric variables were evident. Increasing horizontal resolution also generally failed to ameliorate the large-scale errors in most of the climate variables that could be compared with observations. A notable exception was the simulation of precipitation, which incrementally improved with increasing resolution, especially in regions where orography plays a central role in determining the local hydroclimate.
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