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Title: Collaborative Project: Understanding Climate Model Biases in Tropical Atlantic and Their Impact on Simulations of Extreme Climate Events

Recent studies have revealed that among all the tropical oceans, the tropical Atlantic has experienced the most pronounced warming trend over the 20th century. Many extreme climate events affecting the U.S., such as hurricanes, severe precipitation and drought events, are influenced by conditions in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It is therefore imperative to have accurate simulations of the climatic mean and variability in the Atlantic region to be able to make credible projections of future climate change affecting the U.S. and other countries adjoining the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, almost all global climate models exhibit large biases in their simulations of tropical Atlantic climate. The atmospheric convection simulation errors in the Amazon region and the associated errors in the trade wind simulations are hypothesized to be a leading cause of the tropical Atlantic biases in climate models. As global climate models have resolutions that are too coarse to resolve some of the atmospheric and oceanic processes responsible for the model biases, we propose to use a high-resolution coupled regional climate model (CRCM) framework to address the tropical bias issue. We propose to combine the expertise in tropical coupled atmosphere-ocean modeling at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and themore » coupled land-atmosphere modeling expertise at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to develop a comprehensive CRCM for the Atlantic sector within a general and flexible modeling framework. The atmospheric component of the CRCM will be the NCAR WRF model and the oceanic component will be the Rutgers/UCLA ROMS. For the land component, we will use CLM modified at PNNL to include more detailed representations of vegetation and soil hydrology processes. The combined TAMU-PNNL CRCM model will be used to simulate the Atlantic climate, and the associated land-atmosphere-ocean interactions at a horizontal resolution of 9 km or finer. A particular focus of the model development effort will be to optimize the performance of WRF and ROMS over several thousand of cores by focusing on both the parallel communication libraries and the I/O interfaces, in order to achieve the sustained throughput needed to perform simulations on such fine resolution grids. The CRCM model will be developed within the framework of the Coupler (CPL7) software that is part of the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM). Through efforts at PNNL and within the community, WRF and CLM have already been coupled via CPL7. Using the flux coupler approach for the whole CRCM model will allow us to flexibly couple WRF, ROMS, and CLM with each model running on its own grid at different resolutions. In addition, this framework will allow us to easily port parameterizations between CESM and the CRCM, and potentially allow partial coupling between the CESM and the CRCM. TAMU and PNNL will contribute cooperatively to this research endeavor. The TAMU team led by Chang and Saravanan has considerable experience in studying atmosphere-ocean interactions within tropical Atlantic sector and will focus on modeling issues that relate to coupling WRF and ROMS. The PNNL team led by Leung has extensive expertise in atmosphere-land interaction and will be responsible for improving the land surface parameterization. Both teams will jointly work on integrating WRF-ROMS and WRF-CLM to couple WRF, ROMS, and CLM through CPL7. Montuoro of the TAMU Supercomputing Center will be responsible for improving the MPI and Parallel IO interfaces of the CRCM. Both teams will contribute to the design and execution of the proposed numerical experiments and jointly perform analysis of the numerical experiments.« less
  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Climate Model Biases; Coupled Regional Climate Models; Climate Extremes