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

BER Research Highlights

Improved Prediction of Intense Rainfall Events at Fine Spatial Resolution
Published: October 04, 2010
Posted: November 03, 2010

DOE-funded scientists at LLNL studied the ability of the Community Atmospheric Model version 4 (CAM4) to simulate tropical rainfall at several resolutions - 2°, 1°, 0.5°, and 0.25° latitude-longitude - for a region encompassing the Tropical Warm Pool - International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE). The differences between the spatial pattern of observations and those predicted by models are unchanged over all resolutions. However, there was a substantial improvement in model predictions on daily time scales at the finest resolution. The circulations and land-sea breeze resolution over the Maritime continent are more realistically captured by the 0.25° simulation. Similarly, the prediction of very intense rainfall events and of little or no precipitation is also improved at higher resolution. Capturing the correct intensity of rainfall events will enable better prediction of extreme events that will become particularly important under climate change. These results also demonstrate that increasing the resolution of models can increase the accuracy of model predictions for climate events that occur on shorter time scales.

Reference: Boyle, J., and S. A. Klein. 2010. "Impact of Horizontal Resolution on Climate Model Forecasts of Tropical Precipitation and Diabatic Heating for the TWP-ICE Period," Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, D23113. DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014262. (Reference link)

Contact: Kiran Alapaty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3175, Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

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)