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Title: Final Report on "Collaborative Research to Narrow Uncertainties in Precipitation and the Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models"

Abstract

The central objectives of this work have been to explore and improve the depiction of precipitation and related processes in climate models by developing and analyzing observations and their gridded analyses, and developing new approaches and metrics. All three groups worked with the NCAR-based Community Earth System Model (CESM) and international community Climate Model Inter-comparison Project version 5 (CMIP5) models in various ways. At NCAR and SUNYA an initial focus was on the observational record, including updating of the river discharge dataset. A major focus at NCAR was extensive work on new datasets of hourly precipitation from CMORPH (observations) and CESM, and commentary on and validation of the CESM. SUNYA contributed to the comparison and evaluation of existing precipitation products widely used in climate research, the analysis of precipitation characteristics in CESM and other CMIP5 models, and decadal precipitation variability associated with decadal variability. At NCAR and SUNYA work was focused on the frequency and intensity of precipitation, including their dependence on the temporal and spatial resolution of the data used to calculate the frequency and intensity, as well as additional analyses on the effects of precipitation data uncertainties on the estimated historical drying trends. LLNL focused on the diurnalmore » cycle. New insights have resulted in the characteristics of precipitation (frequency, intensity, amount, duration, diurnal cycle, covariability in space and time) and evaluation of these in models. In general models perform poorly and this provides a much-needed focus on what aspects of models are greatly in need of improvement. A substantial number of papers have now been published on these topics. The focus on the characteristics of precipitation and not just amount also provides a natural entrée into examining the extremes of precipitation, that are very important to the general public in terms of impacts. Examples are the deluges from Florence and Harvey, and extensive work has been performed on the latter. On the other side of the coin, considerable work has been performed on dry spells and drought, including improvements in a drought index. There has been considerable outreach to the general public, especially through the media, but also via talks and lectures, and a strong educational component at SUNYA. For example, the Harvey paper has an altimetrics rating of 827 and is the highest for any paper from that journal, it is at the 99th percentile of all papers of the same age, and is in the top 95 percent of all papers. The energy cycle and ocean heat content has been another focus. The entire atmospheric energy cycle has been reformulated and applied to the latest data to include effects from the enthalpy of precipitation. Relationships between ocean heat content and sea level rise have also been extensively explored in observations and models, with new insights into the role of Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption on distorting and hiding the accelerating sea level rise. This work has been also widely featured in news media. The “year without a summer” has also been explored in the past using models, and how changes in the vertical structure and stability of the ocean with a warming climate may influence a future such volcanic event by amplifying the surface temperature response.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory (CGD)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  3. State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric Science
  4. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1477014
Report Number(s):
DOE-UCAR-12602
3036652137
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0012711
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Trenberth, Kevin, Covey, Curt, Dai, Aiguo, and Fasullo, John. Final Report on "Collaborative Research to Narrow Uncertainties in Precipitation and the Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models". United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1477014.
Trenberth, Kevin, Covey, Curt, Dai, Aiguo, & Fasullo, John. Final Report on "Collaborative Research to Narrow Uncertainties in Precipitation and the Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models". United States. doi:10.2172/1477014.
Trenberth, Kevin, Covey, Curt, Dai, Aiguo, and Fasullo, John. Tue . "Final Report on "Collaborative Research to Narrow Uncertainties in Precipitation and the Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models"". United States. doi:10.2172/1477014. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477014.
@article{osti_1477014,
title = {Final Report on "Collaborative Research to Narrow Uncertainties in Precipitation and the Hydrological Cycle in Climate Models"},
author = {Trenberth, Kevin and Covey, Curt and Dai, Aiguo and Fasullo, John},
abstractNote = {The central objectives of this work have been to explore and improve the depiction of precipitation and related processes in climate models by developing and analyzing observations and their gridded analyses, and developing new approaches and metrics. All three groups worked with the NCAR-based Community Earth System Model (CESM) and international community Climate Model Inter-comparison Project version 5 (CMIP5) models in various ways. At NCAR and SUNYA an initial focus was on the observational record, including updating of the river discharge dataset. A major focus at NCAR was extensive work on new datasets of hourly precipitation from CMORPH (observations) and CESM, and commentary on and validation of the CESM. SUNYA contributed to the comparison and evaluation of existing precipitation products widely used in climate research, the analysis of precipitation characteristics in CESM and other CMIP5 models, and decadal precipitation variability associated with decadal variability. At NCAR and SUNYA work was focused on the frequency and intensity of precipitation, including their dependence on the temporal and spatial resolution of the data used to calculate the frequency and intensity, as well as additional analyses on the effects of precipitation data uncertainties on the estimated historical drying trends. LLNL focused on the diurnal cycle. New insights have resulted in the characteristics of precipitation (frequency, intensity, amount, duration, diurnal cycle, covariability in space and time) and evaluation of these in models. In general models perform poorly and this provides a much-needed focus on what aspects of models are greatly in need of improvement. A substantial number of papers have now been published on these topics. The focus on the characteristics of precipitation and not just amount also provides a natural entrée into examining the extremes of precipitation, that are very important to the general public in terms of impacts. Examples are the deluges from Florence and Harvey, and extensive work has been performed on the latter. On the other side of the coin, considerable work has been performed on dry spells and drought, including improvements in a drought index. There has been considerable outreach to the general public, especially through the media, but also via talks and lectures, and a strong educational component at SUNYA. For example, the Harvey paper has an altimetrics rating of 827 and is the highest for any paper from that journal, it is at the 99th percentile of all papers of the same age, and is in the top 95 percent of all papers. The energy cycle and ocean heat content has been another focus. The entire atmospheric energy cycle has been reformulated and applied to the latest data to include effects from the enthalpy of precipitation. Relationships between ocean heat content and sea level rise have also been extensively explored in observations and models, with new insights into the role of Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption on distorting and hiding the accelerating sea level rise. This work has been also widely featured in news media. The “year without a summer” has also been explored in the past using models, and how changes in the vertical structure and stability of the ocean with a warming climate may influence a future such volcanic event by amplifying the surface temperature response.},
doi = {10.2172/1477014},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}