Publication Abstracts

Randall et al. 2016

Randall, D.A., A.D. Del Genio, L.J. Donner, W.D. Collins, and S.A. Klein, 2016: The impact of ARM on climate modeling. In The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program: The First 20 Years. D.D. Turner and R.G. Ellingson, Eds., AMS Meteorological Monograph 57, American Meteorological Society, pp. 26.1-26.16, doi:10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0050.1.

Climate models are among humanitys most ambitious and elaborate creations. They are designed to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, ocean, land surface, and cryosphere on time scales far beyond the limits of deterministic predictability, and including the effects of time-dependent external forcings. The processes involved include radiative transfer, fluid dynamics, microphysics, and some aspects of geochemistry, biology, and ecology. The models explicitly simulate processes on spatial scales ranging from the circumference of the Earth down to one hundred kilometers or smaller, and implicitly include the effects of processes on even smaller scales down to a micron or so. The atmospheric component of a climate model can be called an atmospheric global circulation model (AGCM).In an AGCM, calculations are done on a three-dimensional grid, which in some of todays climate models consists of several million grid cells . For each grid cell, about a dozen variables are time-stepped as the model integrates forward from its initial conditions. These so-called prognostic variables have special importance because they are the only things that a model remembers from one time step to the next; everything else is recreated on each time step by starting from the prognostic variables and the boundary conditions. The prognostic variables typically include information about the mass of dry air, the temperature, the wind components, water vapor, various condensed-water species, and at least a few chemical species such as ozone.A good way to understand how climate models work is to consider the lengthy and complex process used to develop one. Lets imagine that a new AGCM is to be created, starting from a blank piece of paper. The model may be intended for a particular class of applications, e.g., high-resolution simulations on time scales of a few decades. Before a single line of code is written, the conceptual foundation of the model must be designed through a creative envisioning that starts from the intended application and is based on current understanding of how the atmosphere works and the inventory of mathematical methods available.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Randall, D. A. and Del Genio, A. D. and Donner, L. J. and Collins, W. D. and Klein, S. A.},
  editor={Turner, D. D. and Ellingson, R. G.},
  title={The impact of ARM on climate modeling},
  booktitle={The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program: The First 20 Years},
  publisher={American Meteorological Society},
  series={AMS Meteorological Monograph 57},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ra03800f
AU  - Randall, D. A.
AU  - Del Genio, A. D.
AU  - Donner, L. J.
AU  - Collins, W. D.
AU  - Klein, S. A.
ED  - Turner, D. D.
ED  - Ellingson, R. G.
PY  - 2016
TI  - The impact of ARM on climate modeling
BT  - The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program: The First 20 Years
T3  - AMS Meteorological Monograph 57
SP  - 26.1
EP  - 26.16
DO  - 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0050.1
PB  - American Meteorological Society
ER  -

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