Tinkering With AGCMs To Investigate Atmospheric Behavior

Friday, 19 December 2014: 12:05 PM
Cecilia M Bitz, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
My experience teaching a course in global climate modeling has proven that students (and instructors) with wide-ranging backgrounds in earth-science learn effectively about the complexity of climate by tinker with model components. As an example, I will present a series of experiments in an AGCM with highly simplified geometries for ocean and land to test the response of the atmosphere to variations in basic parameters. The figure below shows an example of how the zonal wind changes with surface roughness and orography. The pinnacle of experiments explored in my course was the outcome of a homework assignment where students reduced the cloud droplet radius by 40% over ocean, and the results surprised students and instructor alike.