Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Development and technical paper
06 May 2014
Development and technical paper |  | 06 May 2014

Assessing the CAM5 physics suite in the WRF-Chem model: implementation, resolution sensitivity, and a first evaluation for a regional case study

P.-L. Ma, P. J. Rasch, J. D. Fast, R. C. Easter, W. I. Gustafson Jr., X. Liu, S. J. Ghan, and B. Singh

Abstract. A suite of physical parameterizations (deep and shallow convection, turbulent boundary layer, aerosols, cloud microphysics, and cloud fraction) from the global climate model Community Atmosphere Model version 5.1 (CAM5) has been implemented in the regional model Weather Research and Forecasting with chemistry (WRF-Chem). A downscaling modeling framework with consistent physics has also been established in which both global and regional simulations use the same emissions and surface fluxes. The WRF-Chem model with the CAM5 physics suite is run at multiple horizontal resolutions over a domain encompassing the northern Pacific Ocean, northeast Asia, and northwest North America for April 2008 when the ARCTAS, ARCPAC, and ISDAC field campaigns took place. These simulations are evaluated against field campaign measurements, satellite retrievals, and ground-based observations, and are compared with simulations that use a set of common WRF-Chem parameterizations.

This manuscript describes the implementation of the CAM5 physics suite in WRF-Chem, provides an overview of the modeling framework and an initial evaluation of the simulated meteorology, clouds, and aerosols, and quantifies the resolution dependence of the cloud and aerosol parameterizations. We demonstrate that some of the CAM5 biases, such as high estimates of cloud susceptibility to aerosols and the underestimation of aerosol concentrations in the Arctic, can be reduced simply by increasing horizontal resolution. We also show that the CAM5 physics suite performs similarly to a set of parameterizations commonly used in WRF-Chem, but produces higher ice and liquid water condensate amounts and near-surface black carbon concentration. Further evaluations that use other mesoscale model parameterizations and perform other case studies are needed to infer whether one parameterization consistently produces results more consistent with observations.