Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2022-263
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2022-263
Submitted as: development and technical paper
02 Jan 2023
Submitted as: development and technical paper | 02 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

A Sub-Grid Parameterization Scheme for Topographic Vertical Motion in CAM5-SE

Yaqi Wang1, Lanning Wang1,2, Juan Feng1, Zhenya Song3, Qizhong Wu1, and Huaqiong Cheng1 Yaqi Wang et al.
  • 1College of Global Change and Earth System Science (GCESS), Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical Modeling, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266237, China
  • 3First Institute of Oceanography, and Key Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China

Abstract. Overestimation of precipitation over steep mountains is always a common bias of atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs). One basic reason is the imperfection of parameterization scheme. Sub-grid topography has a non-negligible role in the dynamics of the actual atmosphere, and therefore the sub-grid topographic parameterization schemes have been the focus of model development. This study proposes a sub-grid parameterization scheme for topographic vertical motion in CAM5-SE to revise the original vertical velocity by adding the topographic vertical motion and then resulting a significant improvement of simulation in precipitation over steep mountains. The results show a better improvement in precipitation simulation in steep mountains, such as the steep edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the Andes. The positive deviations of the precipitation on the mountain tops and the negative deviations in the windward slope are revised. The improved scheme of topographic vertical motion reduces the model biases of summer mean precipitation simulations by up to 48 % (6.23 mm day−1) on the mountain tops. The improvement of convective precipitation (4.83 mm day−1) contributes the most to the improvement of the total precipitation simulation. In addition, we extend the dynamic lifting effect of topography from the lowest layer to multiple layers, approaching the surface layer. Moreover, the water vapor transport in low-altitude regions in front of the windward slope is also considerably improved, leading to simulations of much more realistic circulation patterns in the multi-layer scheme. Since the sub-grid parameterization scheme addresses the more detailed problem caused by topography, the water vapor is transported further to the northwest in the multi-layer scheme. The topographic vertical motion schemes in both the Single- and Multi-experiments can improve the model performance in simulating precipitation in all regions with complex terrain.

Yaqi Wang et al.

Status: open (until 27 Feb 2023)

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Yaqi Wang et al.

Yaqi Wang et al.

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Short summary
In this study, to noticeably improve precipitation simulation in steep mountains, we propose a sub-grid parameterization scheme for the topographic vertical motion in CAM5-SE to revise the original vertical velocity by adding the topographic vertical motion. And the dynamic lifting effect of topography is extended from the lowest layer to multiple layers. Thus improving the positive deviations of precipitation simulation in high-altitude regions and negative deviations in low-altitude regions.