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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-237
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-237
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 09 Oct 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 09 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

TransEBM v. 1.0: Description, tuning, and validation of a transient model of the Earth’s energy balance in two dimensions

Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld
  • Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract. Modeling the long-term transient evolution of climate remains a technical and scientific challenge. However, understanding and improved modeling of the long-term behavior of the climate system increases confidence in projected changes in the mid- to long-term future. Energy balance models (EBMs) provide simplified and computationally efficient descriptions of long timescales and allow large ensemble runs by parameterizing energy fluxes. This way, they can be used to pinpoint periods and phenomena of interest. Here, we present an extended version of the two-dimensional energy balance model by Zhuang et al. (2017a). Transient CO2, solar insolation, orbital configuration, fixed ice coverage and land-sea distribution are implemented as effective radiative forcings at the land surface. We show that the model is most sensitive to changes in CO2 and ice distribution, but the obliquity and land-sea mask have significant influence on modeled temperatures as well. We tune the new model to reproduce the 1960–89 C.E. global mean temperature, equator-to-pole, and seasonal temperature gradient of the ERA20CM reanalysis (Hersbach et al., 2015). The resulting latitudinal and seasonal temperature distributions agree well with reanalysis and the general circulation model (GCM) HadCM3 for a simulation of the past millennium. We find that the EBM lacks internal climatic variability. This is attributed mostly to its reduced descriptions of heat transport and the hydrological cycle. As the model facilitates long transient simulations, we envisage its use in exploratory studies of stochastic forcing and perturbed parameterizations, thus complementing studies with comprehensive GCMs.

Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld

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Status: open (until 04 Dec 2020)
Status: open (until 04 Dec 2020)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld

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Data and model from TransEBM v. 1.0: Description, tuning, and validation of a transient model of the Earth's energy balance in two dimensions Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3941311

Model code and software

Data and model from TransEBM v. 1.0: Description, tuning, and validation of a transient model of the Earth's energy balance in two dimensions Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3941311

Elisa Ziegler and Kira Rehfeld

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Latest update: 23 Oct 2020
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Short summary
Past climate changes are the only record of how the climate responds to changes in conditions on Earth, but simulations with complex climate models are challenging. We extended a simple climate model such that it simulates the development of temperatures over time. In the model, changes in carbon dioxide and ice distribution affect the simulated temperatures the most. The model is very efficient and can therefore be used to examine past climate changes happening over long periods of time.
Past climate changes are the only record of how the climate responds to changes in conditions on...
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