Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 1853–1890, 2016

Special issue: Chemistry–Climate Modelling Initiative (CCMI) (ACP/AMT/ESSD/GMD...

Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 1853–1890, 2016

Development and technical paper 20 May 2016

Development and technical paper | 20 May 2016

Representation of the Community Earth System Model (CESM1) CAM4-chem within the Chemistry-Climate Model Initiative (CCMI)

Simone Tilmes1, Jean-Francois Lamarque1, Louisa K. Emmons1, Doug E. Kinnison1, Dan Marsh1, Rolando R. Garcia1, Anne K. Smith1, Ryan R. Neely1, Andrew Conley1, Francis Vitt1, Maria Val Martin2, Hiroshi Tanimoto3, Isobel Simpson4, Don R. Blake4, and Nicola Blake4 Simone Tilmes et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK
  • 3National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
  • 4University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Abstract. The Community Earth System Model (CESM1) CAM4-chem has been used to perform the Chemistry Climate Model Initiative (CCMI) reference and sensitivity simulations. In this model, the Community Atmospheric Model version 4 (CAM4) is fully coupled to tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry. Details and specifics of each configuration, including new developments and improvements are described. CESM1 CAM4-chem is a low-top model that reaches up to approximately 40 km and uses a horizontal resolution of 1.9° latitude and 2.5° longitude. For the specified dynamics experiments, the model is nudged to Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) reanalysis. We summarize the performance of the three reference simulations suggested by CCMI, with a focus on the last 15 years of the simulation when most observations are available. Comparisons with selected data sets are employed to demonstrate the general performance of the model. We highlight new data sets that are suited for multi-model evaluation studies. Most important improvements of the model are the treatment of stratospheric aerosols and the corresponding adjustments for radiation and optics, the updated chemistry scheme including improved polar chemistry and stratospheric dynamics and improved dry deposition rates. These updates lead to a very good representation of tropospheric ozone within 20 % of values from available observations for most regions. In particular, the trend and magnitude of surface ozone is much improved compared to earlier versions of the model. Furthermore, stratospheric column ozone of the Southern Hemisphere in winter and spring is reasonably well represented. All experiments still underestimate CO most significantly in Northern Hemisphere spring and show a significant underestimation of hydrocarbons based on surface observations.

Short summary
The state of the art Community Earth System Model, CESM1 CAM4-chem has been used to perform reference and sensitivity simulations as part of the Chemistry Climate Model Initiative (CCMI). Specifics of the model and details regarding the setup of the simulations are described. In additions, the main behavior of the model, including selected chemical species have been evaluated with climatological datasets. This paper is therefore a references for studies that use the provided model results.