BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Pioneering Ultra-High Resolution Climate Simulation
Published: March 12, 2011
Posted: February 24, 2012

A team of researchers from universities and national laboratories has published a groundbreaking climate simulation using the Community Climate System Model Version 4 (CCSM4). A global, weather-scale atmospheric model was coupled to a global ocean model that fully resolves tropical and mid-latitude eddies. The models’ horizontal resolutions are 0.25° and 0.1°, five and ten times, respectively, those of standard atmosphere and ocean models used in coupled climate simulations. This is the first effort to simulate the full climate system at such high horizontal resolution for a multi-decade period, and it enables the explicit simulation of climatically important processes. For example, the model realistically developed intense category 4 tropical cyclones causing colder water from below the surface mixed layer to move upward, producing characteristic cold sea surface temperature wakes under and to the right of storm tracks. It also correctly depicted the deepening of and warming below the ocean mixed layer. Additionally, the model realistically reproduced the structure and pathways of explicitly resolved South Atlantic Agulhas ocean eddies, the main constituent of the upper limb of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. These are absent in the simulated oceans of standard climate models and are incorrectly represented in high-resolution ocean-only experiments forced with atmospheric fields derived from observations. This new prototype simulation demonstrates that sub-grid scale parameterizations are scale dependent and require improvements and adjustments to remove persistent mean climate biases before high-resolution simulations become routine.

Reference: McClean, J. L., D. C. Bader, F. O. Bryan, M. E. Maltrud, J. M. Dennis, A. A. Mirin, P. W. Jones, Y. Y. Kim, D. P. Ivanova, and M. Vertenstein. 2011. "A Prototype Two-Decade Fully-Coupled Fine-Resolution CCSM Simulation," Ocean Modelling 39(1-2), 10-30, DOI: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2011.02.011. (Reference link)

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Jan 11, 2022
No Honor Among Copper Thieves
Findings provide a novel means to manipulate methanotrophs for a variety of environmental and in [more...]

Dec 06, 2021
New Genome Editing Tools Can Edit Within Microbial Communities
Two new technologies allow scientists to edit specific species and genes within complex laborato [more...]

Oct 27, 2021
Fungal Recyclers: Fungi Reuse Fire-Altered Organic Matter
Degrading pyrogenic (fire-affected) organic matter is an important ecosystem function of fungi i [more...]

Oct 19, 2021
Microbes Offer a Glimpse into the Future of Climate Change
Scientists identify key features in microbes that predict how warming affects carbon dioxide emi [more...]

Aug 25, 2021
Assessing the Production Cost and Carbon Footprint of a Promising Aviation Biofuel
Biomass-derived DMCO has the potential to serve as a low-carbon, high-performance jet fuel blend [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)