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


New Deep Cloud Representation Improves Climate Model Simulations during El Niño
Published: January 12, 2009
Posted: January 27, 2009

Clouds block large amounts of sunlight from reaching the Earth's surface during El Niño.  This shielding effect has largely been missing in the community climate model, CAM3.  Scientists in DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program corrected this long-standing model deficiency by using an improved representation of atmospheric convection based on the ARM observations.  The investigators found that the lack of cloud shielding effect in the climate model was caused by poor simulation of low-level cloud cover and water content in the clouds during El Niño.  The addition of improved convection representation suppressed what had been overly active deep clouds in the model, making shallow clouds more active, and leading to more low-level clouds than found in the standard model configuration.  The improved model also had better representation of water content anomalies in clouds which were higher due to enhanced transport of water vapor by shallow clouds to the lower-middle troposphere.  The improvement of the model's representation of clouds corrected the cloud shielding effect in the community climate model.

Reference:

Li, G, and GJ Zhang, 2008: Understanding biases in shortwave cloud radiative forcing in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Atmosphere Model (CAM3) during El Niño. J. Geophys. Res. 113, D02103, doi:10.1029/2007JD008963.

Contact: Kiran Alapaty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3175
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

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

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)