To explore the interactions among column processes in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), the single‐column version of CAM (SCAM) is integrated for 1000 days in radiative‐convective equilibrium (RCE) with tropical values of boundary conditions, spanning a parameter or configuration space of model physics versions (v5 vs. v6), vertical resolution (standard and 60 levels), sea surface temperature (SST), and some interpretation‐driven experiments. The simulated time‐mean climate is reasonable, near observations and RCE of a cyclic cloud‐resolving model. Updraft detrainment in the deep convection scheme produces distinctive grid‐scale structures in humidity and cloud, which also interact with radiative transfer processes. These grid artifacts average out in multi‐column RCE results reported elsewhere, illustrating the nuts‐and‐bolts interpretability that SCAM adds to the hierarchy of model configurations. Multi‐day oscillations of precipitation arise from descent of warm convection‐capping layers starting near the tropopause, eventually reset by a burst of convective deepening. Experiments reveal how these oscillations depend critically on an internal parameter that controls the number of neutral buoyancy levels allowed for determining cloud top and computing dilute convective available potential energy in the deep convection scheme, and merely modified a little by disabling cloud‐base radiation (heating of cloud base). This strong dependence of transient behaviormore »
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Idealized Simulations of the Tropical Climate and Variability in the Single Column Atmosphere Model (SCAM): Radiative‐Convective Equilibrium
LGM Paleoclimate Constraints Inform Cloud Parameterizations and Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity in CESM2
The Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) simulates a high equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS > 5°C) and a Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) that is substantially colder than proxy temperatures. In this study, we examine the role of cloud parameterizations in simulating the LGM cooling in CESM2. Through substituting different versions of cloud schemes in the atmosphere model, we attribute the excessive LGM cooling to the new CESM2 schemes of cloud microphysics and ice nucleation. Further exploration suggests that removing an inappropriate limiter on cloud ice number (NoNimax) and decreasing the time‐step size (substepping) in cloud microphysics largely eliminate the excessive LGM cooling. NoNimax produces a more physically consistent treatment of mixed‐phase clouds, which leads to an increase in cloud ice content and a weaker shortwave cloud feedback over mid‐to‐high latitudes and the Southern Hemisphere subtropics. Microphysical substepping further weakens the shortwave cloud feedback. Based on NoNimax and microphysical substepping, we have developed a paleoclimate‐calibrated CESM2 (PaleoCalibr), which simulates well the observed twentieth century warming and spatial characteristics of key cloud and climate variables. PaleoCalibr has a lower ECS (∼4°C) and a 20% weaker aerosol‐cloud interaction than CESM2. PaleoCalibr represents a physically more consistent treatment of cloud microphysics thanmore »
An Evaluation of the Large‐Scale Atmospheric Circulation and Its Variability in CESM2 and Other CMIP Models
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 jetmore »
Evaluating the Impact of Chemical Complexity and Horizontal Resolution on Tropospheric Ozone Over the Conterminous US With a Global Variable Resolution Chemistry Model
A new configuration of the Community Earth System Model (CESM)/Community Atmosphere Model with full chemistry (CAM‐chem) supporting the capability of horizontal mesh refinement through the use of the spectral element (SE) dynamical core is developed and called CESM/CAM‐chem‐SE. Horizontal mesh refinement in CESM/CAM‐chem‐SE is unique and novel in that pollutants such as ozone are accurately represented at human exposure relevant scales while also directly including global feedbacks. CESM/CAM‐chem‐SE with mesh refinement down to ∼14 km over the conterminous US (CONUS) is the beginning of the Multi‐Scale Infrastructure for Chemistry and Aerosols (MUSICAv0). Here, MUSICAv0 is evaluated and used to better understand how horizontal resolution and chemical complexity impact ozone and ozone precursors over CONUS as compared to measurements from five aircraft campaigns, which occurred in 2013. This field campaign analysis demonstrates the importance of using finer horizontal resolution to accurately simulate ozone precursors such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. In general, the impact of using more complex chemistry on ozone and other oxidation products is more pronounced when using finer horizontal resolution where a larger number of chemical regimes are resolved. Large model biases for ozone near the surface remain in the Southeast US as compared to the aircraftmore »