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The effect of large-scale model time step and multiscale coupling frequency on cloud climatology, vertical structure, and rainfall extremes in a superparameterized GCM

  • Author(s): Yu, S
  • Pritchard, MS
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015. The Authors. The effect of global climate model (GCM) time step-which also controls how frequently global and embedded cloud resolving scales are coupled-is examined in the Superparameterized Community Atmosphere Model ver 3.0. Systematic bias reductions of time-mean shortwave cloud forcing (-10 W/m2) and longwave cloud forcing (-5 W/m2) occur as scale coupling frequency increases, but with systematically increasing rainfall variance and extremes throughout the tropics. An overarching change in the vertical structure of deep tropical convection, favoring more bottom-heavy deep convection as a global model time step is reduced may help orchestrate these responses. The weak temperature gradient approximation is more faithfully satisfied when a high scale coupling frequency (a short global model time step) is used. These findings are distinct from the global model time step sensitivities of conventionally parameterized GCMs and have implications for understanding emergent behaviors of multiscale deep convective organization in superparameterized GCMs. The results may also be useful for helping to tune them.

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