Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Methods for assessment of models
14 Jan 2014
Methods for assessment of models |  | 14 Jan 2014

A standard test case suite for two-dimensional linear transport on the sphere: results from a collection of state-of-the-art schemes

P. H. Lauritzen, P. A. Ullrich, C. Jablonowski, P. A. Bosler, D. Calhoun, A. J. Conley, T. Enomoto, L. Dong, S. Dubey, O. Guba, A. B. Hansen, E. Kaas, J. Kent, J.-F. Lamarque, M. J. Prather, D. Reinert, V. V. Shashkin, W. C. Skamarock, B. Sørensen, M. A. Taylor, and M. A. Tolstykh

Abstract. Recently, a standard test case suite for 2-D linear transport on the sphere was proposed to assess important aspects of accuracy in geophysical fluid dynamics with a "minimal" set of idealized model configurations/runs/diagnostics. Here we present results from 19 state-of-the-art transport scheme formulations based on finite-difference/finite-volume methods as well as emerging (in the context of atmospheric/oceanographic sciences) Galerkin methods. Discretization grids range from traditional regular latitude–longitude grids to more isotropic domain discretizations such as icosahedral and cubed-sphere tessellations of the sphere. The schemes are evaluated using a wide range of diagnostics in idealized flow environments. Accuracy is assessed in single- and two-tracer configurations using conventional error norms as well as novel diagnostics designed for climate and climate–chemistry applications. In addition, algorithmic considerations that may be important for computational efficiency are reported on. The latter is inevitably computing platform dependent.

The ensemble of results from a wide variety of schemes presented here helps shed light on the ability of the test case suite diagnostics and flow settings to discriminate between algorithms and provide insights into accuracy in the context of global atmospheric/ocean modeling. A library of benchmark results is provided to facilitate scheme intercomparison and model development. Simple software and data sets are made available to facilitate the process of model evaluation and scheme intercomparison.