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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-125
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-125
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 02 Jun 2020

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 02 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Role of atmospheric horizontal resolution in simulating tropical and subtropical South American precipitation in HadGEM3-GC31

Paul-Arthur Monerie1, Amulya Chevuturi1, Peter Cook1, Nick Klingaman1, and Christopher E. Holloway2 Paul-Arthur Monerie et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology, National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 2Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Abstract. We assess the effect of increasing horizontal resolution on simulated precipitation over South America in a climate model. We use atmosphere-only simulations, performed with HadGEM3-GC31 at three horizontal resolutions: N96 (~ 130 km, 1.88° × 1.25°), N216 (~ 60 km, 0.83° × 0.56°), and N512 (~25 km, 0.35° × 0.23°). We show that all simulations have systematic biases in annual mean and seasonal mean precipitation over South America (e.g. too wet over the Amazon and too dry in northeast). Increasing horizontal resolution improves simulated precipitation over the Andes and north-east Brazil. Over the Andes, improvements from horizontal resolution continue to ~ 25 km, while over north-east Brazil, there are no improvements beyond ~ 60 km resolution. These changes are primarily related to changes in atmospheric dynamics and moisture flux convergence. Over the Amazon basin, precipitation variability increases at higher resolution. We show that some spatial and temporal features of daily South American precipitation are improved at high resolution, including the intensity spectra of rainfall. Spatial scales of daily precipitation features are also better simulated, suggesting that higher resolution may improve the representation of South American mesoscale convective systems.

Paul-Arthur Monerie et al.

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Paul-Arthur Monerie et al.

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Latest update: 10 Jul 2020
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Short summary
In this study, we assess how increasing the horizontal resolution of HadGEM3-GC31 can allow simulating better tropical and subtropical South American precipitation. We compare simulations of HadGEM3-GC3.1, performed at three different horizontal resolutions. We show that increasing resolution allows decreasing precipitation biases over the Andes and north-east Brazil, and, improves the simulation of daily precipitation distribution.
In this study, we assess how increasing the horizontal resolution of HadGEM3-GC31 can allow...
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