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Title: Collaborative Research: Advancing Arctic Climate Projection Capability at Seasonal to Decadal Scales

Abstract

The Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) at process resolving configurations has been used to (i) advance understanding of physical processes and feedbacks involved in Arctic amplification and (ii) understand and potentially reduce uncertainty in prediction of arctic climate change at seasonal to decadal scales. RASM consists the atmosphere (Weather and Research Forecasting model, WRF), ocean (Parallel Ocean Program, POP), sea ice (CICE), land hydrology (Variable Infiltration Capacity model, VIC), river routing scheme (RVIC), marine biogeochemistry components and the coupling framework (CPL7). Its domain is pan-Arctic, with the atmosphere and land components configured on a 50-km or 25-km grid and four configurations of the ocean and sea ice components: 1/12°(~9.3km) or 1/48°(~2.4km) and 45 or 60 vertical layers. These RASM configurations have been motivated by the emerging exascale capability for high performance computing to improve model fidelity. The dynamical downscaling of reanalysis allows comparison of RASM results with observations in place and time to: (i) advance system level understanding of physical processes and coupling involved in an event, (ii) optimize model parameter space, (iii) diagnose and reduce model biases and (iv) produce realistic and consistent across all the components initial conditions for predictions and predictability studies, which are all unique capabilitiesmore » not available in global Earth System Models (ESMs). An evaluation of RASM 1.0 (Cassano et al. 2017) revealed that it had a cold bias over the oceans and a warm bias over land areas due largely to cloud and radiation biases in the model, with too little cloud cover simulated over land and too much cloud cover simulated over sub-polar oceans. This study has motivated an upgrade to WRF version 3.7.1 in RASM and allowed for the inclusion of the radiative impact of convective clouds. A variety of atmospheric physics parameterizations were evaluated against observations (e.g. data from the Arctic Clouds in Summer Experiment (ACSE); Sedlar et al. 2020) to identify an optimal suite of WRF physics options in RASM. The RASM with the optimized WRF physics were used to study the impact of strong mesoscale winds over the ocean around the southern tip of Greenland (DuVivier and Cassano 2016) and their impact on oceanic convection (DuVivier et al. 2017a). Data from the PolarWinds field campaign were used to evaluate WRF boundary layer physics and resolution impacts on the simulation of a Greenland barrier wind event (DuVivier et al. 2017b). The RVIC streamflow routing model has been implemented in RASM to realistically represent high-resolution streamflow processes (Hamman et al. 2017) and to couple the land buoyancy fluxes to the ocean. The RASM-RVIC high-resolution data set of all coastal freshwater fluxes for the Arctic drainage basin and surrounding areas for 1979-2014 was published as a separate product (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.293037). The fidelity of atmospheric momentum transfer to and the response of polar marine Ekman layer in RASM and Community Earth System Model (CESM) was investigated by Roberts et al. (2015). The increased frequency of oceanic flux exchange in CESM, following the RASM guidance, caused a considerable increase in the median inertial ice speed across the Southern Ocean and parts of the Arctic. A comprehensive evaluation of the RASM1.0 atmosphere-ocean-sea ice-land interface was completed by Brunke et al. (2018). RASM was also demonstrated for its capability to simulate extreme events in agreement with observations in space and time (Lee et al. submitted). In particular, the development of three open water events, known as polynyas, have been simulated north of Greenland in February of 2011, 2017 and 2018, in agreement with satellite observations for the past four decades. The optimized RASM sea ice results have been favorably evaluated against satellite observations and a subset of eleven CMIP6 models (Watts et al. submitted). In a complementary project, Jin et al. (2018) have shown that RASM with higher-resolution and new sea-ice processes contributed to lower model errors in sea-ice conditions, concentrations of nutrients and ice algae, in comparison to results from the coarse-resolution (1°) CESM. In two other complementary studies, RASM results were used (i) to explain areas of concentrated use by bowhead whales, the seasonal progression in the use, and the physical environment within those areas (Citta et al. 2015) and (ii) for a synthesis of fall bowhead whales distribution and migration in the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) Sea to investigate whale movements and feeding to the local ocean hydrography and currents (Citta et al. 2018). However, the multi-decadal output from the CESM Large Ensemble yielded unrealistic forcing. Instead, the shorter NCEP CFSv2 9-month forecasts were successfully tested and afforded an increased ensemble size (~30) to demonstrate gains of dynamical downscaling at sub-seasonal to intra-annual time scales. The improved model physics and coupling among RASM model components have yielded more realistic representation of the sea ice cover and consistent across all model components initial conditions. Consequently, RASM demonstrates significant gains compared to simulation of sea ice in the NCEP reanalysis. In addition, RASM 6-month ensemble forecasts yield very realistic sea ice distribution, which demonstrates both significant gains of dynamical downscaling and the continued impact of the initial conditions on forecasts out to 6 months (https://nps.edu/web/rasm/predictions). A follow up study using RASM for dynamical downscaling of the more realistic CESM initialized Decadal Prediction Large Ensemble output is currently ongoing as part of the DOE RGMA HiLAT-RASM project.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (United States)
  2. University of Colorado
  3. University of Washington
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA; University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER). Earth and Environmental Systems Science Division
OSTI Identifier:
1638942
Report Number(s):
DOE-NPS-0014117
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0014117; SC0014853
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Arctic System Modeling, Climate Change, Dynamical Downscaling

Citation Formats

Maslowski, Wieslaw, Cassano, John J., and Nijssen, Bart. Collaborative Research: Advancing Arctic Climate Projection Capability at Seasonal to Decadal Scales. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1638942.
Maslowski, Wieslaw, Cassano, John J., & Nijssen, Bart. Collaborative Research: Advancing Arctic Climate Projection Capability at Seasonal to Decadal Scales. United States. doi:10.2172/1638942.
Maslowski, Wieslaw, Cassano, John J., and Nijssen, Bart. Fri . "Collaborative Research: Advancing Arctic Climate Projection Capability at Seasonal to Decadal Scales". United States. doi:10.2172/1638942. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1638942.
@article{osti_1638942,
title = {Collaborative Research: Advancing Arctic Climate Projection Capability at Seasonal to Decadal Scales},
author = {Maslowski, Wieslaw and Cassano, John J. and Nijssen, Bart},
abstractNote = {The Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) at process resolving configurations has been used to (i) advance understanding of physical processes and feedbacks involved in Arctic amplification and (ii) understand and potentially reduce uncertainty in prediction of arctic climate change at seasonal to decadal scales. RASM consists the atmosphere (Weather and Research Forecasting model, WRF), ocean (Parallel Ocean Program, POP), sea ice (CICE), land hydrology (Variable Infiltration Capacity model, VIC), river routing scheme (RVIC), marine biogeochemistry components and the coupling framework (CPL7). Its domain is pan-Arctic, with the atmosphere and land components configured on a 50-km or 25-km grid and four configurations of the ocean and sea ice components: 1/12°(~9.3km) or 1/48°(~2.4km) and 45 or 60 vertical layers. These RASM configurations have been motivated by the emerging exascale capability for high performance computing to improve model fidelity. The dynamical downscaling of reanalysis allows comparison of RASM results with observations in place and time to: (i) advance system level understanding of physical processes and coupling involved in an event, (ii) optimize model parameter space, (iii) diagnose and reduce model biases and (iv) produce realistic and consistent across all the components initial conditions for predictions and predictability studies, which are all unique capabilities not available in global Earth System Models (ESMs). An evaluation of RASM 1.0 (Cassano et al. 2017) revealed that it had a cold bias over the oceans and a warm bias over land areas due largely to cloud and radiation biases in the model, with too little cloud cover simulated over land and too much cloud cover simulated over sub-polar oceans. This study has motivated an upgrade to WRF version 3.7.1 in RASM and allowed for the inclusion of the radiative impact of convective clouds. A variety of atmospheric physics parameterizations were evaluated against observations (e.g. data from the Arctic Clouds in Summer Experiment (ACSE); Sedlar et al. 2020) to identify an optimal suite of WRF physics options in RASM. The RASM with the optimized WRF physics were used to study the impact of strong mesoscale winds over the ocean around the southern tip of Greenland (DuVivier and Cassano 2016) and their impact on oceanic convection (DuVivier et al. 2017a). Data from the PolarWinds field campaign were used to evaluate WRF boundary layer physics and resolution impacts on the simulation of a Greenland barrier wind event (DuVivier et al. 2017b). The RVIC streamflow routing model has been implemented in RASM to realistically represent high-resolution streamflow processes (Hamman et al. 2017) and to couple the land buoyancy fluxes to the ocean. The RASM-RVIC high-resolution data set of all coastal freshwater fluxes for the Arctic drainage basin and surrounding areas for 1979-2014 was published as a separate product (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.293037). The fidelity of atmospheric momentum transfer to and the response of polar marine Ekman layer in RASM and Community Earth System Model (CESM) was investigated by Roberts et al. (2015). The increased frequency of oceanic flux exchange in CESM, following the RASM guidance, caused a considerable increase in the median inertial ice speed across the Southern Ocean and parts of the Arctic. A comprehensive evaluation of the RASM1.0 atmosphere-ocean-sea ice-land interface was completed by Brunke et al. (2018). RASM was also demonstrated for its capability to simulate extreme events in agreement with observations in space and time (Lee et al. submitted). In particular, the development of three open water events, known as polynyas, have been simulated north of Greenland in February of 2011, 2017 and 2018, in agreement with satellite observations for the past four decades. The optimized RASM sea ice results have been favorably evaluated against satellite observations and a subset of eleven CMIP6 models (Watts et al. submitted). In a complementary project, Jin et al. (2018) have shown that RASM with higher-resolution and new sea-ice processes contributed to lower model errors in sea-ice conditions, concentrations of nutrients and ice algae, in comparison to results from the coarse-resolution (1°) CESM. In two other complementary studies, RASM results were used (i) to explain areas of concentrated use by bowhead whales, the seasonal progression in the use, and the physical environment within those areas (Citta et al. 2015) and (ii) for a synthesis of fall bowhead whales distribution and migration in the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) Sea to investigate whale movements and feeding to the local ocean hydrography and currents (Citta et al. 2018). However, the multi-decadal output from the CESM Large Ensemble yielded unrealistic forcing. Instead, the shorter NCEP CFSv2 9-month forecasts were successfully tested and afforded an increased ensemble size (~30) to demonstrate gains of dynamical downscaling at sub-seasonal to intra-annual time scales. The improved model physics and coupling among RASM model components have yielded more realistic representation of the sea ice cover and consistent across all model components initial conditions. Consequently, RASM demonstrates significant gains compared to simulation of sea ice in the NCEP reanalysis. In addition, RASM 6-month ensemble forecasts yield very realistic sea ice distribution, which demonstrates both significant gains of dynamical downscaling and the continued impact of the initial conditions on forecasts out to 6 months (https://nps.edu/web/rasm/predictions). A follow up study using RASM for dynamical downscaling of the more realistic CESM initialized Decadal Prediction Large Ensemble output is currently ongoing as part of the DOE RGMA HiLAT-RASM project.},
doi = {10.2172/1638942},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {7}
}

Works referenced in this record:

The Coastal Streamflow Flux In The Regional Arctic System Model [Supplementary Data]
dataset, February 2017

  • Hamman, J.; Nijssen, B.; Roberts, A.
  • Zenodo-Supplementary information for journal article at DOI: 10.1002/2016JC012323, 1 gz file (738.6 MB)
  • DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.293037

Oceanographic characteristics associated with autumn movements of bowhead whales in the Chukchi Sea
journal, June 2018

  • Citta, John J.; Okkonen, Stephen R.; Quakenbush, Lori T.
  • Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Vol. 152
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.03.009