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Title: A Generalized Mixing Length Closure for Eddy‐Diffusivity Mass‐Flux Schemes of Turbulence and Convection

Because of their limited spatial resolution, numerical weather prediction and climate models have to rely on parameterizations to represent atmospheric turbulence and convection. Historically, largely independent approaches have been used to represent boundary layer turbulence and convection, neglecting important interactions at the subgrid scale. Here we build on an eddy‐diffusivity mass‐flux (EDMF) scheme that represents all subgrid‐scale mixing in a unified manner, partitioning subgrid‐scale fluctuations into contributions from local diffusive mixing and coherent advective structures and allowing them to interact within a single framework. The EDMF scheme requires closures for the interaction between the turbulent environment and the plumes and for local mixing. A second‐order equation for turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) provides one ingredient for the diffusive local mixing closure, leaving a mixing length to be parameterized. Here, we propose a new mixing length formulation, based on constraints derived from the TKE balance. It expresses local mixing in terms of the same physical processes in all regimes of boundary layer flow. The formulation is tested at a range of resolutions and across a wide range of boundary layer regimes, including a stably stratified boundary layer, a stratocumulus‐topped marine boundary layer, and dry convection. Comparison with large eddy simulations (LES) shows that the EDMF scheme with this diffusive mixing parameterization accurately captures the structure of the boundary layer and clouds in all cases considered.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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