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Title: Technical Note: On the Use of Nudging for Aerosol-Climate Model Intercomparison Studies

Nudging is an assimilation technique widely used in the development and evaluation of climate models. Con- straining the simulated wind and temperature fields using global weather reanalysis facilitates more straightforward comparison between simulation and observation, and reduces uncertainties associated with natural variabilities of the large-scale circulation. On the other hand, the artificial forcing introduced by nudging can be strong enough to change the basic characteristics of the model climate. In the paper we show that for the Community Atmosphere Model version 5, due to the systematic temperature bias in the standard model and the relatively strong sensitivity of homogeneous ice nucleation to aerosol concentration, nudging towards reanalysis results in substantial reductions in the ice cloud amount and the impact of anthropogenic aerosols on longwave cloud forcing. In order to reduce discrepancies between the nudged and unconstrained simulations and meanwhile take the advantages of nudging, two alternative experimentation methods are evaluated. The first one constrains only the horizontal winds. The second method nudges both winds and temperature, but replaces the long-term climatology of the reanalysis by that of the model. Results show that both methods lead to substantially improved agreement with the free-running model in terms of the top-of-atmosphere radiation budgetmore » and cloud ice amount. The wind-only nudging is more convenient to apply, and provides higher correlations of the wind fields, geopotential height and specific humidity between simulation and reanalysis. This suggests that nudging the horizontal winds but not temperature is a good strategy, especially for studies that involve both warm and cold clouds.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14(16):8631–8645
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
aerosol-climate model; intercomparison studies; nudging