Submitted as: model evaluation paper
12 Apr 2022
Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 12 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Checkerboard Patterns in E3SMv2 and E3SM-MMFv2

Walter M. Hannah1, Kyle G. Pressel2, Mikhail Ovchinnikov2, and Gregory S. Elsaesser3,4 Walter M. Hannah et al.
  • 1Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA
  • 2Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
  • 3Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • 4NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY

Abstract. An unphysical checkerboard pattern is identified in E3SMv2 and E3SM-MMF that is detectable across a wide range of time scales, from instantaneous snapshots to multi-year averages. A detection method is developed to quantify characteristics of the checkerboard signal by cataloguing all possible configurations of the 8 adjacent neighbors for each cell on the model's cubed sphere grid using daily mean data. The checkerboard pattern is only found in cloud related quantities, such as precipitation and liquid water path. Instances of pure and partial checkerboard are found to occur more often in E3SMv2 and E3SM-MMF when compared to satellite data regridded to the model grid. Continuous periods of partial checkerboard state are found to be more persistent in both models compared to satellite data, with E3SM-MMF exhibiting more persistence than E3SMv2. The checkerboard signal in E3SMv2 is found to be a direct consequence of the recently added deep convective trigger condition based on dynamically generated CAPE (DCAPE). In E3SM-MMF the checkerboard signal is found to be associated with the "trapping" of cloud scale fluctuations within the embedded CRM. Solutions to remedy this issue are discussed.

Walter M. Hannah 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-2022-35', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 May 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2022-35', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 May 2022

Walter M. Hannah et al.

Model code and software

DOE Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 2 DOE

Walter M. Hannah et al.


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Short summary
An unphysical checkerboard signal is identified in two configurations of the atmospheric component of E3SM. The signal is very persistent, and visible after averaging years of data. The signal is very difficult to study because it is often mixed with realistic weather. A method is presented to detect checkerboard patterns and compare the model with satellite observations. The causes of the signal are identified and a solution for one configuration is discussed.