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

BER Research Highlights


Using Long-Term Data from ARM to Evaluate Precipitation in Climate Models
Published: January 01, 2013
Posted: April 18, 2013

Precipitation is one of the most poorly simulated physical processes in general circulation models (GCMs). One difficulty with modeling precipitation is that precipitation is affected by a variety of complex processes that need to be parameterized in large-scale models. The single-column model (SCM), which isolates a single-grid column from a global model, is a useful and effective tool to study the parameterization schemes in GCMs. However, most SCM intercomparison studies with Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) data focused on special cases or week-to-month-long periods. To make a statistically meaningful comparison and evaluation on modeled precipitation, three-year-long SCM simulations of seven GCMs participating in the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) led “FASTER” project at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site have been completed. The results show that although most SCMs can reproduce the observed precipitation reasonably well, there are significant differences and deficiencies such as problems in frequency-intensity trade-off during cold seasons, too much rain during the day rather than at night, and differences in how various models partition rain between convective and stratiform clouds. Further analysis reveals distinct meteorological backgrounds for model precipitation underestimation and overestimation, offering clues to why the models are deficient. The different SCM performances and associations with large-scale forcing and thermodynamic factors shed useful insights on cloud and convection parameterizations and will guide future model development.

Reference: Song, H., W. Lin, Y. Lin, A. B. Wolf, R. Neggers, L. J. Donner, A. D. Del Genio, and Y. Liu. 2013. “Evaluation of Precipitation Simulated by Seven SCMs Against the ARM Observation at the SGP Site,” Journal of Climate, DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00263.1. (Reference link)

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

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Facility: DOE ARM User Facility

Division: SC-23.1 Climate 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

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)