Articles | Volume 8, issue 4
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 1157–1167, 2015
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 1157–1167, 2015

Model description paper 23 Apr 2015

Model description paper | 23 Apr 2015

IGCM4: a fast, parallel and flexible intermediate climate model

M. Joshi1,2, M. Stringer3, K. van der Wiel1,2, A. O'Callaghan1,2, and S. Fueglistaler4 M. Joshi et al.
  • 1Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • 3National Centres for Atmospheric Science, Reading, UK
  • 4Department of Geosciences/Program in Atmosphere and Ocean Science, Princeton University, Princeton, USA

Abstract. The IGCM4 (Intermediate Global Circulation Model version 4) is a global spectral primitive equation climate model whose predecessors have extensively been used in areas such as climate research, process modelling and atmospheric dynamics. The IGCM4's niche and utility lies in its speed and flexibility allied with the complexity of a primitive equation climate model. Moist processes such as clouds, evaporation, atmospheric radiation and soil moisture are simulated in the model, though in a simplified manner compared to state-of-the-art global circulation models (GCMs). IGCM4 is a parallelised model, enabling both very long integrations to be conducted and the effects of higher resolutions to be explored. It has also undergone changes such as alterations to the cloud and surface processes and the addition of gravity wave drag. These changes have resulted in a significant improvement to the IGCM's representation of the mean climate as well as its representation of stratospheric processes such as sudden stratospheric warmings. The IGCM4's physical changes and climatology are described in this paper.