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New Solutions for Zooming in on Local Climate Using Variable Mesh Grids
Published: March 21, 2011
Posted: April 06, 2011

A major challenge for climate scientists is to develop models that capture critical details of local climate in the context of global climate. An ideal approach is to use a single global model grid with variable resolution that transitions smoothly between fine and coarse grid regions, zooming in on the region of interest. However, this approach presents the challenge of finding mathematical solutions for the equations representing the atmospheric or oceanic flows that work across these scales. DOE scientists have derived an elegant solution to flows on a spherical mesh that depends on a single parameter that is invariant with respect to the time-step size, is insensitive to flows, and is only very weakly dependent on the grid resolution. This study is a preliminary, important step toward providing efficient and accurate climate model simulations at variable resolutions.

Reference: Chen, Q., M. Gunzburger, and T. Ringler. 2011. “A Scale-Invariant Formulation of the Anticipated Potential Vorticity Method,” Monthly Weather Review, 139, 2614–2629. DOI: (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


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