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

BER Research Highlights


Evaluation of Precipitation in Climate Models Using ARM Data
Published: August 01, 2013
Posted: February 07, 2014

Precipitation is one of the most poorly parameterized physical processes in global climate models (GCMs). Scientists often utilize a single grid-box column of a GCM, or a single-column model (SCM), to more efficiently study and test the process representations or parameterization schemes in GCMs. The SCM approach is also a key strategy of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility and Atmospheric System Research (ASR) activity. However, most of the SCM intercomparison studies organized by ARM have been 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 FASTER project at the ARM Southern Great Plains site have been carried out by DOE scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The results show that although most SCMs can reproduce the observed average precipitation reasonably well, there are significant differences in their details, including differences (both among models and between models and observations) between daytime and nighttime, between warm and cold seasons, between frequency and mean precipitation intensity, and between convective and stratiform partition. Further analysis reveals distinct meteorological backgrounds for large underestimation and overestimation precipitation events. The former occur in strong ascending regimes with negative low-level horizontal heat and moisture influx, whereas the latter occur in the weak or moderate ascending regimes with positive low-level horizontal heat and moisture influx. The different SCM performances and associations with large-scale conditions provide useful insights on how to improve representation of convection in climate models as well as improved approaches for future testing.

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 26, 5467-92. 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
  • 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

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)