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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-2020-99
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-99
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model experiment description paper 09 Jun 2020

Submitted as: model experiment description paper | 09 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Evaluating and improving the treatment of gases in radiation schemes: the Correlated K-Distribution Model Intercomparison Project (CKDMIP)

Robin J. Hogan and Marco Matricardi Robin J. Hogan and Marco Matricardi
  • European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK

Abstract. Most radiation schemes in weather and climate models use the 'correlated k-distribution' (CKD) method to treat gas absorption, which approximates a broadband spectral integration by N pseudo-monochromatic calculations. Larger N means more accuracy and a wider range of gas concentrations can be simulated, but at greater computational cost. Unfortunately, the tools to perform this efficiency-accuracy trade-off (e.g., to generate separate CKD models for applications such as short-range weather forecasting to climate modelling) are unavailable to the vast majority of users of radiation schemes. This paper describes the experimental protocol for the Correlated K-Distribution Model Intercomparison Project (CKDMIP), whose purpose is to use benchmark line-by-line calculations: (1) to evaluate the accuracy of existing CKD models, (2) to explore how accuracy varies with N for CKD models submitted by CKDMIP participants, (3) to understand how different choices in way that CKD models are generated affects their accuracy for the same N, and (4) to generate freely available datasets and software facilitating the development of new gas-optics tools. The datasets consist of the high-resolution longwave and shortwave absorption spectra of nine gases for a range of atmospheric conditions, realistic and idealized. Thirty-four concentration scenarios for the well-mixed greenhouse gases are proposed to test CKD models from palaeo- to future-climate conditions. We demonstrate the strengths of the protocol in this paper by using it to evaluate the widely-used Rapid Radiative Transfer Model for General Circulation Models (RRTMG).

Robin J. Hogan and Marco Matricardi

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Robin J. Hogan and Marco Matricardi

Robin J. Hogan and Marco Matricardi

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Latest update: 22 Sep 2020
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Short summary
A key component of computer models used to predict weather and climate is the radiation scheme, which calculates how solar and infrared radiation heats and cools the atmosphere and surface, including the important role of greenhouse gases. This paper describes the experimental protocol and large datasets for a new project 'CKDMIP', to evaluate and improve the accuracy of the treatment of atmospheric gases in the radiation schemes used worldwide, as well as their computational speed.
A key component of computer models used to predict weather and climate is the radiation scheme,...
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