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  1. Abstract

    This paper provides a comprehensive derivation of the total energy equations for the atmospheric components of Earth System Models (ESMs). The assumptions and approximations made in this derivation are motivated and discussed. In particular, it is emphasized that closing the energy budget is conceptually challenging and hard to achieve in practice without resorting to ad hoc fixers. As a concrete example, the energy budget terms are diagnosed in a realistic climate simulation using a global atmosphere model. The largest total energy errors in this example are spurious dynamical core energy dissipation, thermodynamic inconsistencies (e.g., coupling parameterizations with the host model) and missing processes/terms associated with falling precipitation and evaporation (e.g., enthalpy flux between components). The latter two errors are not, in general, reduced by increasing horizontal resolution. They are due to incomplete thermodynamic and dynamic formulations. Future research directions are proposed to reconcile and improve thermodynamics formulations and conservation principles.

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  3. Abstract

    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.

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