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Title: Final Report Collaborative Project: Improving the Representation of Coastal and Estuarine Processes in Earth System Models

Abstract

This project aimed to improve long term global climate simulations by resolving and enhancing the representation of the processes involved in the cycling of freshwater through estuaries and coastal regions. This was a collaborative multi-institution project consisting of physical oceanographers, climate model developers, and computational scientists. It specifically targeted the DOE objectives of advancing simulation and predictive capability of climate models through improvements in resolution and physical process representation.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1356337
Report Number(s):
DOE-UCONN-SC0006814-1
DOE Contract Number:
SC0006814
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Tseng, Y.H., Bryan, F.O. and Whitney, M.M., 2016. Impacts of the representation of riverine freshwater input in the community earth system model. Ocean Modelling, 105, pp.71-86.Sun, Q., Whitney, M.M., Bryan, F.O. and Tseng, Y.H., 2017. A box model for representing estuarine physical processes in Earth system models. Ocean Modelling, 112, pp.139-153.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; ocean; estuary; river; salinity; earth system model

Citation Formats

Bryan, Frank, Dennis, John, MacCready, Parker, and Whitney, Michael M. Final Report Collaborative Project: Improving the Representation of Coastal and Estuarine Processes in Earth System Models. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1356337.
Bryan, Frank, Dennis, John, MacCready, Parker, & Whitney, Michael M. Final Report Collaborative Project: Improving the Representation of Coastal and Estuarine Processes in Earth System Models. United States. doi:10.2172/1356337.
Bryan, Frank, Dennis, John, MacCready, Parker, and Whitney, Michael M. 2016. "Final Report Collaborative Project: Improving the Representation of Coastal and Estuarine Processes in Earth System Models". United States. doi:10.2172/1356337. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356337.
@article{osti_1356337,
title = {Final Report Collaborative Project: Improving the Representation of Coastal and Estuarine Processes in Earth System Models},
author = {Bryan, Frank and Dennis, John and MacCready, Parker and Whitney, Michael M.},
abstractNote = {This project aimed to improve long term global climate simulations by resolving and enhancing the representation of the processes involved in the cycling of freshwater through estuaries and coastal regions. This was a collaborative multi-institution project consisting of physical oceanographers, climate model developers, and computational scientists. It specifically targeted the DOE objectives of advancing simulation and predictive capability of climate models through improvements in resolution and physical process representation.},
doi = {10.2172/1356337},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • This project aimed to improve long term global climate simulations by resolving and enhancing the representation of the processes involved in the cycling of freshwater through estuaries and coastal regions. This was a collaborative multi-institution project consisting of physical oceanographers, climate model developers, and computational scientists. It specifically targeted the DOE objectives of advancing simulation and predictive capability of climate models through improvements in resolution and physical process representation. The main computational objectives were: 1. To develop computationally efficient, but physically based, parameterizations of estuary and continental shelf mixing processes for use in an Earth System Model (CESM). 2. Tomore » develop a two-way nested regional modeling framework in order to dynamically downscale the climate response of particular coastal ocean regions and to upscale the impact of the regional coastal processes to the global climate in an Earth System Model (CESM). 3. To develop computational infrastructure to enhance the efficiency of data transfer between specific sources and destinations, i.e., a point-to-point communication capability, (used in objective 1) within POP, the ocean component of CESM.« less
  • This project aimed to improve long term global climate simulations by resolving and enhancing the representation of the processes involved in the cycling of freshwater through estuaries and coastal regions. This was a collaborative multi-institution project consisting of physical oceanographers, climate model developers, and computational scientists. It specifically targeted the DOE objectives of advancing simulation and predictive capability of climate models through improvements in resolution and physical process representation.
  • The focus of this grant was on diagnosing the physical mechanisms controlling upper ocean water mass formation and carbon distribution in Earth System Models (ESMs), with the goal of improving the physics that controls their formation.
  • Many of the scientific and societal challenges in understanding and preparing for global environmental change rest upon our ability to understand and predict the water cycle change at large river basin, continent, and global scales. However, current large-scale models, such as the land components of Earth System Models (ESMs), do not yet represent the terrestrial water cycle in a fully integrated manner or resolve the finer-scale processes that can dominate large-scale water budgets. This paper reviews the current representation of hydrologic processes in ESMs and identifies the key opportunities for improvement. This review suggests that (1) the development of ESMsmore » has not kept pace with modeling advances in hydrology, both through neglecting key processes (e.g., groundwater) and neglecting key aspects of spatial variability and hydrologic connectivity; and (2) many modeling advances in hydrology can readily be incorporated into ESMs and substantially improve predictions of the water cycle. Accelerating modeling advances in ESMs requires comprehensive hydrologic benchmarking activities, in order to systematically evaluate competing modeling alternatives, understand model weaknesses, and prioritize model development needs. This demands stronger collaboration, both through greater engagement of hydrologists in ESM development and through more detailed evaluation of ESM processes in research watersheds. Advances in the representation of hydrologic process in ESMs can substantially improve energy, carbon and nutrient cycle prediction capabilities through the fundamental role the water cycle plays in regulating these cycles.« less
  • It is well known that cirrus clouds play a major role in regulating the earth’s climate, but the details of how this works are just beginning to be understood. This project targeted the main property of cirrus clouds that influence climate processes; the ice fall speed. That is, this project improves the representation of the mass-weighted ice particle fall velocity, V m, in climate models, used to predict future climate on global and regional scales. Prior to 2007, the dominant sizes of ice particles in cirrus clouds were poorly understood, making it virtually impossible to predict how cirrus clouds interactmore » with sunlight and thermal radiation. Due to several studies investigating the performance of optical probes used to measure the ice particle size distribution (PSD), as well as the remote sensing results from our last ARM project, it is now well established that the anomalously high concentrations of small ice crystals often reported prior to 2007 were measurement artifacts. Advances in the design and data processing of optical probes have greatly reduced these ice artifacts that resulted from the shattering of ice particles on the probe tips and/or inlet tube, and PSD measurements from one of these improved probes (the 2-dimensional Stereo or 2D-S probe) are utilized in this project to parameterize V m for climate models. Our original plan in the proposal was to parameterize the ice PSD (in terms of temperature and ice water content) and ice particle mass and projected area (in terms of mass- and area-dimensional power laws or m-D/A-D expressions) since these are the microphysical properties that determine V m, and then proceed to calculate V m from these parameterized properties. But the 2D-S probe directly measures ice particle projected area and indirectly estimates ice particle mass for each size bin. It soon became apparent that the original plan would introduce more uncertainty in the V m calculations than simply using the 2D-S measurements to directly calculate V m. By calculating V m directly from the measured PSD, ice particle projected area and estimated mass, more accurate estimates of V m are obtained. These V m values were then parameterized for climate models by relating them to (1) sampling temperature and ice water content (IWC) and (2) the effective diameter (D e) of the ice PSD. Parameterization (1) is appropriate for climate models having single-moment microphysical schemes whereas (2) is appropriate for double-moment microphysical schemes and yields more accurate V m estimates. These parameterizations were developed for tropical cirrus clouds, Arctic cirrus, mid-latitude synoptic cirrus and mid-latitude anvil cirrus clouds based on field campaigns in these regions. An important but unexpected result of this research was the discovery of microphysical evidence indicating the mechanisms by which ice crystals are produced in cirrus clouds. This evidence, derived from PSD measurements, indicates that homogeneous freezing ice nucleation dominates in mid-latitude synoptic cirrus clouds, whereas heterogeneous ice nucleation processes dominate in mid-latitude anvil cirrus. Based on these findings, D e was parameterized in terms of temperature (T) for conditions dominated by (1) homo- and (2) heterogeneous ice nucleation. From this, an experiment was designed for global climate models (GCMs). The net radiative forcing from cirrus clouds may be affected by the means ice is produced (homo- or heterogeneously), and this net forcing contributes to climate sensitivity (i.e. the change in mean global surface temperature resulting from a doubling of CO 2). The objective of this GCM experiment was to determine how a change in ice nucleation mode affects the predicted global radiation balance. In the first simulation (Run 1), the D e-T relationship for homogeneous nucleation is used at all latitudes, while in the second simulation (Run 2), the D e-T relationship for heterogeneous nucleation is used at all latitudes. For both runs, V m is calculated from D e. Two GCMs were used; the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) and a European GCM known as ECHAM5 (thanks to our European colleagues who collaborated with us). Similar results were obtained from both GCMs in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, with a net cooling of ~ 1.0 W m -2 due to heterogeneous nucleation, relative to Run 1. The mean global net cooling was 2.4 W m -2 for the ECHAM5 GCM while CAM5 produced a mean global net cooling of about 0.8 W m -2. This dependence of the radiation balance on nucleation mode is substantial when one considers the direct radiative forcing from a CO 2 doubling is 4 W m -2. The differences between GCMs in mean global net cooling estimates may demonstrate a need for improving the representation of cirrus clouds in GCMs, including the coupling between microphysical and radiative properties. Unfortunately, after completing this GCM experiment, we learned from the company that provided the 2D-S microphysical data that the data was corrupted due to a computer program coding problem. Therefore the microphysical data had to be reprocessed and reanalyzed, and the GCM experiments were redone under our current ASR project but using an improved experimental design.« less