Articles | Volume 3, issue 2
Geosci. Model Dev., 3, 603–633, 2010
Geosci. Model Dev., 3, 603–633, 2010

  02 Nov 2010

02 Nov 2010

Description of the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM version 1.2

H. Goosse1, V. Brovkin2, T. Fichefet1, R. Haarsma3, P. Huybrechts4, J. Jongma5, A. Mouchet6, F. Selten3, P.-Y. Barriat1, J.-M. Campin7, E. Deleersnijder1,8, E. Driesschaert9, H. Goelzer4, I. Janssens4, M.-F. Loutre1, M. A. Morales Maqueda10, T. Opsteegh3, P.-P. Mathieu1, G. Munhoven6, E. J. Pettersson1, H. Renssen5, D. M. Roche5,11, M. Schaeffer3,*, B. Tartinville12, A. Timmermann13, and S. L. Weber3 H. Goosse et al.
  • 1Université Catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute, Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Chemin du Cyclotron, 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 4Earth System Sciences & Departement Geografie, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussel, Belgium
  • 5Section Climate Change and Landscape Dynamics, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 6Laboratoire de Physique Atmosphérique et Planétaire, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium
  • 7Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
  • 8Université Catholique de Louvain, Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • 9International Polar Foundation, Brussels, Belgium
  • 10Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool, UK
  • 11Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, Laboratoire CEA/INSU-CNRS/UVSQ, CE Saclay, l'Orme des Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
  • 12Numeca International, Brussels, Belgium
  • 13International Pacific Research Center, SOEST, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, USA
  • *currently at: Climate Analytics, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The main characteristics of the new version 1.2 of the three-dimensional Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM are briefly described. LOVECLIM 1.2 includes representations of the atmosphere, the ocean and sea ice, the land surface (including vegetation), the ice sheets, the icebergs and the carbon cycle. The atmospheric component is ECBilt2, a T21, 3-level quasi-geostrophic model. The ocean component is CLIO3, which consists of an ocean general circulation model coupled to a comprehensive thermodynamic-dynamic sea-ice model. Its horizontal resolution is of 3° by 3°, and there are 20 levels in the ocean. ECBilt-CLIO is coupled to VECODE, a vegetation model that simulates the dynamics of two main terrestrial plant functional types, trees and grasses, as well as desert. VECODE also simulates the evolution of the carbon cycle over land while the ocean carbon cycle is represented by LOCH, a comprehensive model that takes into account both the solubility and biological pumps. The ice sheet component AGISM is made up of a three-dimensional thermomechanical model of the ice sheet flow, a visco-elastic bedrock model and a model of the mass balance at the ice-atmosphere and ice-ocean interfaces. For both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, calculations are made on a 10 km by 10 km resolution grid with 31 sigma levels. LOVECLIM1.2 reproduces well the major characteristics of the observed climate both for present-day conditions and for key past periods such as the last millennium, the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum. However, despite some improvements compared to earlier versions, some biases are still present in the model. The most serious ones are mainly located at low latitudes with an overestimation of the temperature there, a too symmetric distribution of precipitation between the two hemispheres, and an overestimation of precipitation and vegetation cover in the subtropics. In addition, the atmospheric circulation is too weak. The model also tends to underestimate the surface temperature changes (mainly at low latitudes) and to overestimate the ocean heat uptake observed over the last decades.