Global storm-resolving models (GSRMs) have gained widespread interest because of the unprecedented detail with which they resolve the global climate. However, it remains difficult to quantify objective differences in how GSRMs resolve complex atmospheric formations. This lack of comprehensive tools for comparing model similarities is a problem in many disparate fields that involve simulation tools for complex data. To address this challenge we develop methods to estimate distributional distances based on both nonlinear dimensionality reduction and vector quantization. Our approach automatically learns physically meaningful notions of similarity from low-dimensional latent data representations that the different models produce. This enables an intercomparison of nine GSRMs based on their high-dimensional simulation data (2D vertical velocity snapshots) and reveals that only six are similar in their representation of atmospheric dynamics. Furthermore, we uncover signatures of the convective response to global warming in a fully unsupervised way. Our study provides a path toward evaluating future high-resolution simulation data more objectively.
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Two distinct features of anthropogenic climate change, warming in the tropical upper troposphere and warming at the Arctic surface, have competing effects on the midlatitude jet stream’s latitudinal position, often referred to as a “tug-of-war.” Studies that investigate the jet’s response to these thermal forcings show that it is sensitive to model type, season, initial atmospheric conditions, and the shape and magnitude of the forcing. Much of this past work focuses on studying a simulation’s response to external manipulation. In contrast, we explore the potential to train a convolutional neural network (CNN) on internal variability alone and then use it to examine possible nonlinear responses of the jet to tropospheric thermal forcing that more closely resemble anthropogenic climate change. Our approach leverages the idea behind the fluctuation–dissipation theorem, which relates the internal variability of a system to its forced response but so far has been only used to quantify linear responses. We train a CNN on data from a long control run of the CESM dry dynamical core and show that it is able to skillfully predict the nonlinear response of the jet to sustained external forcing. The trained CNN provides a quick method for exploring the jet stream sensitivity to a wide range of tropospheric temperature tendencies and, considering that this method can likely be applied to any model with a long control run, could be useful for early-stage experiment design.
Implementing artificial neural networks is commonly achieved via high-level programming languages such as Python and easy-to-use deep learning libraries such as Keras. These software libraries come preloaded with a variety of network architectures, provide autodifferentiation, and support GPUs for fast and efficient computation. As a result, a deep learning practitioner will favor training a neural network model in Python, where these tools are readily available. However, many large-scale scientific computation projects are written in Fortran, making it difficult to integrate with modern deep learning methods. To alleviate this problem, we introduce a software library, the Fortran-Keras Bridge (FKB). This two-way bridge connects environments where deep learning resources are plentiful with those where they are scarce. The paper describes several unique features offered by FKB, such as customizable layers, loss functions, and network ensembles. The paper concludes with a case study that applies FKB to address open questions about the robustness of an experimental approach to global climate simulation, in which subgrid physics are outsourced to deep neural network emulators. In this context, FKB enables a hyperparameter search of one hundred plus candidate models of subgrid cloud and radiation physics, initially implemented in Keras, to be transferred and used in Fortran. Such a process allows the model’s emergent behavior to be assessed, i.e., when fit imperfections are coupled to explicit planetary-scale fluid dynamics. The results reveal a previously unrecognized strong relationship between offline validation error and online performance, in which the choice of the optimizer proves unexpectedly critical. This in turn reveals many new neural network architectures that produce considerable improvements in climate model stability including some with reduced error, for an especially challenging training dataset.more » « less
null (Ed.)While cloud-resolving models can explicitly simulate the details of small-scale storm formation and morphology, these details are often ignored by climate models for lack of computational resources. Here, we explore the potential of generative modeling to cheaply recreate small-scale storms by designing and implementing a Variational Autoencoder (VAE) that performs structural replication, dimension- ality reduction, and clustering of high-resolution vertical velocity fields. Trained on ∼ 6 · 106 samples spanning the globe, the VAE successfully reconstructs the spatial structure of convection, per- forms unsupervised clustering of convective organization regimes, and identifies anomalous storm activity, confirming the potential of generative modeling to power stochastic parameterizations of convection in climate models.more » « less