Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 793–813, 2018
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 793–813, 2018

Model experiment description paper 02 Mar 2018

Model experiment description paper | 02 Mar 2018

Radiative–convective equilibrium model intercomparison project

Allison A. Wing1, Kevin A. Reed2, Masaki Satoh3, Bjorn Stevens4, Sandrine Bony5, and Tomoki Ohno6 Allison A. Wing et al.
  • 1Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
  • 2Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA
  • 3Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan
  • 4Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 5Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, IPSL, CNRS, Paris, France
  • 6Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan

Abstract. RCEMIP, an intercomparison of multiple types of models configured in radiative–convective equilibrium (RCE), is proposed. RCE is an idealization of the climate system in which there is a balance between radiative cooling of the atmosphere and heating by convection. The scientific objectives of RCEMIP are three-fold. First, clouds and climate sensitivity will be investigated in the RCE setting. This includes determining how cloud fraction changes with warming and the role of self-aggregation of convection in climate sensitivity. Second, RCEMIP will quantify the dependence of the degree of convective aggregation and tropical circulation regimes on temperature. Finally, by providing a common baseline, RCEMIP will allow the robustness of the RCE state across the spectrum of models to be assessed, which is essential for interpreting the results found regarding clouds, climate sensitivity, and aggregation, and more generally, determining which features of tropical climate a RCE framework is useful for. A novel aspect and major advantage of RCEMIP is the accessibility of the RCE framework to a variety of models, including cloud-resolving models, general circulation models, global cloud-resolving models, single-column models, and large-eddy simulation models.

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Short summary
RCEMIP, an intercomparison of multiple types of numerical models, is proposed. In RCEMIP, the climate system is modeled in an idealized manner with no spatial dependence of boundary conditions (i.e., sea surface temperature) or forcing (i.e., incoming sunlight). This set of simulations will be used to investigate how the amount of cloudiness changes with warming, how the clustering of clouds changes with warming, and how the state of the atmosphere in this idealized setup varies between models.