The low-resolution version of HadGEM3 GC3.1: development and evaluation for global climate

Kuhlbrodt, Till; Jones, Colin G.; Sellar, Alistair; Storkey, Dave; Blockley, Ed; Stringer, Marc; Hill, Richard; Graham, Tim; Ridley, Jeff; Blaker, Adam ORCID:; Calvert, Daley; Copsey, Dan; Ellis, Richard; Hewitt, Helene; Hyder, Patrick; Ineson, Sarah; Mulcahy, Jane; Siahaan, Antony; Walton, Jeremy. 2018 The low-resolution version of HadGEM3 GC3.1: development and evaluation for global climate. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 10 (11). 2865-2888.

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A new climate model, HadGEM3 N96ORCA1, is presented that is part of the GC3.1 configuration of HadGEM3. N96ORCA1 has a horizontal resolution of ~135 km in the atmosphere and 1° in the ocean and requires an order of magnitude less computing power than its medium‐resolution counterpart, N216ORCA025, while retaining a high degree of performance traceability. Scientific performance is compared to both observations and the N216ORCA025 model. N96ORCA1 reproduces observed climate mean and variability almost as well as N216ORCA025. Patterns of biases are similar across the two models. In the northwest Atlantic, N96ORCA1 shows a cold surface bias of up to 6 K, typical of ocean models of this resolution. The strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (16 to 17 Sv) matches observations. In the Southern Ocean, a warm surface bias (up to 2 K) is smaller than in N216ORCA025 and linked to improved ocean circulation. Model El Niño/Southern Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Variability are close to observations. Both the cold bias in the Northern Hemisphere (N96ORCA1) and the warm bias in the Southern Hemisphere (N216ORCA025) develop in the first few decades of the simulations. As in many comparable climate models, simulated interhemispheric gradients of top‐of‐atmosphere radiation are larger than observations suggest, with contributions from both hemispheres. HadGEM3 GC3.1 N96ORCA1 constitutes the physical core of the UK Earth System Model (UKESM1) and will be used extensively in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6), both as part of the UK Earth System Model and as a stand‐alone coupled climate model.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1942-2466
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: coupled climate model, Earth system model, HadGEM, model evaluation, CMIP6
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Date made live: 05 Dec 2018 14:30 +0 (UTC)

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