Submitted as: model evaluation paper
21 Jul 2022
Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 21 Jul 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

ICON-Sapphire: simulating the components of the Earth System and their interactions at kilometer and subkilometer scales

Cathy Hohenegger1, Peter Korn1, Leonidas Linardakis1, René Redler1, Reiner Schnur1, Panagiotis Adamidis2, Jiawei Bao1, Swantje Bastin1, Milad Behravesh1, Martin Bergemann1,2, Joachim Biercamp2, Hendryk Bockelmann2, Renate Brokopf1, Nils Brüggemann1,3, Lucas Casaroli1, Fatemeh Chegini1, George Datseris1, Monika Esch1, Geet George1, Marco Giorgetta1, Oliver Gutjahr1,3, Helmuth Haak1, Moritz Hanke2, Tatiana Ilyina1, Thomas Jahns2, Johann Jungclaus1, Marcel Kern1, Daniel Klocke1, Lukas Kluft1, Tobias Kölling1, Luis Kornblueh1, Sergey Kosukhin1, Clarissa Kroll1, Junhong Lee1, Thorsten Mauritsen4, Carolin Mehlmann1, Theresa Mieslinger1, Ann Kristin Naumann1,5, Laura Paccini1, Angel Peinado1, Divya Sri Praturi1, Dian Putrasahan1, Sebastian Rast1, Thomas Riddick1, Niklas Roeber2, Hauke Schmidt1, Uwe Schulzweida1, Florian Schütte1, Hans Segura1, Radomyra Shevchenko1, Vikram Singh1, Mia Specht1, Claudia Christine Stephan1, Jin-Song von Storch1,5, Raphaela Vogel6, Christian Wengel1, Marius Winkler1, Florian Ziemen2, Jochem Marotzke1,5, and Bjorn Stevens1 Cathy Hohenegger et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Institut für Meereskunde, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 4Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 6LMD/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Paris, France

Abstract. State-of-the-art Earth System models typically employ grid spacings of O(100 km), too coarse to explicitly resolve main drivers of the flow of energy and matter across the Earth System. In this paper, we present the new ICON-Sapphire model configuration, which targets a representation of the components of the Earth System and their interactions with a grid spacing of 10 km and finer. Through the use of selected simulation examples, we demonstrate that ICON-Sapphire can already now (i) be run coupled globally on seasonal time scales with a grid spacing of 5 km and on monthly time scales with a grid spacing of 2.5 km, (ii) resolve large eddies in the atmosphere using hectometer grid spacings on limited-area domains in atmosphere-only simulations, (iii) resolve submesoscale ocean eddies by using a global uniform grid of 1.25 km or a telescoping grid with a finest grid spacing of 530 m, the latter coupled to a uniform atmosphere and (iv) simulate biogeochemistry in an ocean-only simulation integrated for 4 years at 10 km. Comparison to observations of these various configurations reveals no obvious pitfall. The throughput of the coupled 5-km global simulation is 126 simulated days per day employing 21 % of the latest machine of the German Climate Computing Center. Extrapolating from these results, multi-decadal global simulations including interactive carbon are now possible and short global simulations resolving large eddies in the atmosphere and submesoscale eddies in the ocean are within reach.

Cathy Hohenegger et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-171', Malcolm Roberts, 25 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2022-171', Peter Caldwell, 31 Aug 2022

Cathy Hohenegger et al.

Cathy Hohenegger et al.


Total article views: 1,757 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
1,168 572 17 1,757 31 8
  • HTML: 1,168
  • PDF: 572
  • XML: 17
  • Total: 1,757
  • BibTeX: 31
  • EndNote: 8
Views and downloads (calculated since 21 Jul 2022)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 21 Jul 2022)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 1,590 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 1,590 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 17 Nov 2022
Short summary
Models of the Earth System use to understand climate and predict its change typically employ a grid spacing of about 100 km. Yet, many atmospheric and oceanic processes occur on much smaller scales. In this study, we present a new model configuration designed for the simulation of the components of the Earth System and their interactions at kilometer and smaller scales, allowing an explicit representation of the main drivers of the flow of energy and matter by solving the underlying equations.