The Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2) is the latest Earth System Model developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in collaboration with the university community and is significantly advanced in most components compared to its predecessor (CESM1). Here, CESM2's representation of the large‐scale atmospheric circulation and its variability is assessed. Further context is providedthrough comparison to the CESM1 large ensemble and other models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5 and CMIP6). This includes an assessment of the representation of jet streams and storm tracks, stationary waves, the global divergent circulation, the annular modes, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and blocking. Compared to CESM1, CESM2 is substantially improved in the representation of the storm tracks, Northern Hemisphere (NH) stationary waves, NH winter blocking and the global divergent circulation. It ranks within the top 10% of CMIP class models in many of these features. Some features of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) circulation have degraded, such as the SH jet strength, stationary waves, and blocking, although the SH jet stream is placed at approximately the correct location. This analysis also highlights systematic deficiencies in these features across the new CMIP6 archive, such as the continued tendency for the SH jet stream to be placed too far equatorward, the North Atlantic westerlies to be too strong over Europe, the storm tracks as measured by low‐level meridional wind variance to be too weak and a lack of blocking in the North Atlantic sector.
An overview of the Community Earth System Model Version 2 (CESM2) is provided, including a discussion of the challenges encountered during its development and how they were addressed. In addition, an evaluation of a pair of CESM2 long preindustrial control and historical ensemble simulations is presented. These simulations were performed using the nominal 1° horizontal resolution configuration of the coupled model with both the “low‐top” (40 km, with limited chemistry) and “high‐top” (130 km, with comprehensive chemistry) versions of the atmospheric component. CESM2 contains many substantial science and infrastructure improvements and new capabilities since its previous major release, CESM1, resulting in improved historical simulations in comparison to CESM1 and available observations. These include major reductions in low‐latitude precipitation and shortwave cloud forcing biases; better representation of the Madden‐Julian Oscillation; better El Niño‐Southern Oscillation‐related teleconnections; and a global land carbon accumulation trend that agrees well with observationally based estimates. Most tropospheric and surface features of the low‐ and high‐top simulations are very similar to each other, so these improvements are present in both configurations. CESM2 has an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 5.1–5.3 °C, larger than in CESM1, primarily due to a combination of relatively small changes to cloud microphysics and boundary layer parameters. In contrast, CESM2's transient climate response of 1.9–2.0 °C is comparable to that of CESM1. The model outputs from these and many other simulations are available to the research community, and they represent CESM2's contributions to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6.more » « less
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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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