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  1. Abstract

    The Single Column Atmosphere Model (SCAM) is a single column model version of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM). Here we describe the functionality and features of SCAM6, available as part of CAM6 in the Community Earth System Model, version 2 (CESM2). SCAM6 features a wide selection of standard cases, as well as the ability to easily configure a case specified by the user based on a particular point in a CAM 3‐D simulation. This work illustrates how SCAM6 reproduces CAM6 results for physical parameterizations, mostly of moisture and clouds. We demonstrate how SCAM6 can be used for model development through different physics selections, as well as with parameter sweep experiments to highlight the sensitivity of cloud properties to the specification of the vapor deposition process in the cloud microphysics. Furthermore, we use SCAM6 to illustrate the sensitivity of CAM6 cloud radiative properties and precipitation to variable drop number (cloud microphysics properties). Finally, we illustrate how SCAM6 can be used to explore critical emergent processes such as cloud feedbacks and show that CAM6 cloud responses to surface warming in stratus and stratocumulus regimes are similar to those in CAM5. CAM6 has a larger response in the shallow cumulus regime thanmore »CAM5. CAM6 cloud feedbacks in the shallow cumulus regime are sensitive to turbulence parameters. SCAM6 is thus a valuable tool for model development, evaluation, and scientific analy sis and an important part of the model hierarchy in Community Earth System Model, version 2.

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  2. Abstract

    The Community Earth System Model Version 2 (CESM2) has an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of 5.3 K. ECS is an emergent property of both climate feedbacks and aerosol forcing. The increase in ECS over the previous version (CESM1) is the result of cloud feedbacks. Interim versions of CESM2 had a land model that damped ECS. Part of the ECS change results from evolving the model configuration to reproduce the long‐term trend of global and regional surface temperature over the twentieth century in response to climate forcings. Changes made to reduce sensitivity to aerosols also impacted cloud feedbacks, which significantly influence ECS. CESM2 simulations compare very well to observations of present climate. It is critical to understand whether the high ECS, outside the best estimate range of 1.5–4.5 K, is plausible.