Climate Simulations with a Variable-Resolution GCM: Stretched Cubed-Sphere High Resolution Atmospheric Model

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Chia-Ying Tu1, Lucas Harris2 and Shian-Jiann Lin2, (1)Research Center for Environmental Changes Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, (2)NOAA/GFDL, Princeton, NJ, United States
Variable-resolution GCM with enhanced resolution over the region of interest is an adaptive approach to self-consistent interactions between global and regional phenomena. A stretched cubed-sphere High Resolution Atmosphere Model (HiRAM) is constructed using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) finite-volume dynamical core. The horizontal grid spacing in the stretched cubed-sphere is smoothly transformed from the center of highest-resolution region to the center of coarsest-resolution region.

Three 30-yr AMIP type simulations were performed in this study; one C384 uniformed cubed-sphere grid, and two stretched cubed-sphere grid with stretching factor 2.5. Two stretched-grid experiments further set the center of highest-resolution region in Taiwan (C384R2.5TW) and Oklahoma City (C384R2.5OKC), respectively. The horizontal resolution in this C384R2.5 stretched grid ranges from 10km to 65km. Three climate simulations were compared against re-analysis data to understand the effect of horizontal resolution on both the simulated global climate and regional features.

The global mean climatology in stretched-grid AMIP simulations shows no unrealistic drift comparing to the uniform-grid simulation and observation. Regional orographic precipitation is better simulated in the high-resolution region. High resolution also shows improvement in typhoon/hurricane simulation. In western Pacific basin, high resolution improves simulated typhoon intensity. For weak and moderate typhoons, there is no strong trend with enhancing resolution. But for strong typhoon, there is high correlation between enhancing resolution with typhoon intensity. By comparing simulations with IBTrACS (International Best Track Archieve for Climate Stewardship) in different basins, HiRAM demonstrates the reduction of simulated typhoon/hurricane numbers with enhancement of horizontal resolution.