Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Assessing the Potential of Deep Learning for Emulating Cloud Superparameterization in Climate Models With Real-Geography Boundary Conditions

  • Author(s): Mooers, G;
  • Pritchard, M;
  • Beucler, T;
  • Ott, J;
  • Yacalis, G;
  • Baldi, P;
  • Gentine, P
  • et al.

We explore the potential of feed-forward deep neural networks (DNNs) for emulating cloud superparameterization in realistic geography, using offline fits to data from the superparameterized community atmospheric model. To identify the network architecture of greatest skill, we formally optimize hyperparameters using ∼250 trials. Our DNN explains over 70% of the temporal variance at the 15-min sampling scale throughout the mid-to-upper troposphere. Autocorrelation timescale analysis compared against DNN skill suggests the less good fit in the tropical, marine boundary layer is driven by neural network difficulty emulating fast, stochastic signals in convection. However, spectral analysis in the temporal domain indicates skillful emulation of signals on diurnal to synoptic scales. A closer look at the diurnal cycle reveals correct emulation of land-sea contrasts and vertical structure in the heating and moistening fields, but some distortion of precipitation. Sensitivity tests targeting precipitation skill reveal complementary effects of adding positive constraints versus hyperparameter tuning, motivating the use of both in the future. A first attempt to force an offline land model with DNN emulated atmospheric fields produces reassuring results further supporting neural network emulation viability in real-geography settings. Overall, the fit skill is competitive with recent attempts by sophisticated Residual and Convolutional Neural Network architectures trained on added information, including memory of past states. Our results confirm the parameterizability of superparameterized convection with continents through machine learning and we highlight the advantages of casting this problem locally in space and time for accurate emulation and hopefully quick implementation of hybrid climate models.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View