Submitted as: model description paper
11 Nov 2022
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 11 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

The Fully Coupled Regionally Refined Model of E3SM Version 2: Overview of the Atmosphere, Land, and River

Qi Tang, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Luke P. Van Roekel, Mark A. Taylor, Wuyin Lin, Benjamin R. Hillman, Paul A. Ullrich, Andrew M. Bradley, Oksana Guba, Jonathan D. Wolfe, Tian Zhou, Kai Zhang, Xue Zheng, Yunyan Zhang, Meng Zhang, Mingxuan Wu, Hailong Wang, Cheng Tao, Balwinder Singh, Alan M. Rhoades, Yi Qin, Hong-Yi Li, Yan Feng, Yuying Zhang, Chengzhu Zhang, Charles S. Zender, Shaocheng Xie, Erika L. Roesler, Andrew F. Roberts, Azamat Mametjanov, Mathew E. Maltrud, Noel D. Keen, Robert L. Jacob, Christiane Jablonowski, Owen K. Hughes, Ryan M. Forsyth, Alan V. Di Vittorio, Peter M. Caldwell, Gautam Bisht, Renata B. McCoy, L. Ruby Leung, and David C. Bader

Abstract. This paper provides an overview of the United States (US) Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 2 (E3SMv2) fully coupled Regionally Refined Model (RRM) and documents the overall atmosphere, land, and river results from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) DECK (Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Characterization of Klima) and historical simulations – a first-of-kind set of climate production simulations using RRM. The North American (NA) RRM (NARRM) is developed as the high-resolution configuration of E3SMv2 with the primary goal of more explicitly addressing DOE's mission needs regarding impacts to the US energy sector facing Earth system changes. The NARRM features finer horizontal resolution grids centered over NA, consisting of 25→100 km atmosphere and land, 0.125° river routing model, and 14→60 km ocean and sea ice. By design, the computational cost of NARRM is ∼3x of the uniform low-resolution (LR) model at 100 km but only ∼10–20 % of a globally uniform high-resolution model at 25 km.

A novel hybrid timestep strategy for the atmosphere is key for NARRM to achieve improved climate simulation fidelity within the high-resolution patch without sacrificing the overall global performance. The global climate, including climatology, time series, sensitivity, and feedback, is confirmed to be largely identical between NARRM and LR as quantified with typical climate metrics. Over the refined NA area, NARRM is generally superior to LR, including for precipitation and clouds over the contiguous US (CONUS), summertime marine stratocumulus clouds off the coast of California, liquid and ice phase clouds near the North polar region, extratropical cyclones, and spatial variability in land hydrological processes. The improvements over land are related to the better resolved topography in NARRM, whereas those over ocean are attributable to the improved air-sea interactions with finer grids for both atmosphere and ocean/sea ice. Some features appear insensitive to the resolution change analyzed here, for instance the diurnal propagation of organized mesoscale convective systems over CONUS, and the warm-season land-atmosphere coupling at the Southern Great Plains. In summary, our study presents a realistically efficient approach to leverage the RRM framework for a standard Earth system model release and high-resolution climate production simulations.

Qi Tang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-262', Juan Antonio Añel, 12 Dec 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on CEC1', Qi Tang, 12 Dec 2022
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-262', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2022-262', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Feb 2023

Qi Tang et al.

Qi Tang et al.


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Short summary
High-resolution simulations are superior to low-resolution ones in capturing regional climate changes and climate extremes, and thus increasingly important. However, uniformly reducing the grid size of global Earth system model is too computationally expensive. We overview the fully coupled Regionally Refined Model (RRM) of E3SMv2 and document a first-of-kind set of climate production simulations using RRM at an economic cost. The key to this success is our innovative hybrid timestep strategy.