24 Using SURFRAD and CERES Datasets to Evaluate Physics Parameterizations

Tuesday, 5 June 2018
Aspen Ballroom (Grand Hyatt Denver)
Michelle Harrold, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Zhang, J. K. Wolff, L. Bernardet, and J. K. Henderson

The Global Model Test Bed (GMTB), within the Developmental Testbed Center, has an overarching goal of making the R2O pipeline more efficient, which includes providing the research and operational communities with tools to test and evaluate physics innovations. A common testing infrastructure, aimed at enabling in-depth investigation of advanced physics suites through the use of a simple-to-complex test harness, is under active development in the GMTB. One component of the test harness is the experimental Global Forecast System (GFS) based on the Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere (FV3) dynamical core, which is part of a workflow that also includes forecast verification using the DTC’s Model Evaluation Tools (MET) verification package and advanced diagnostic tools. While standard verification is essential for assessing overall model performance, process-oriented diagnostic tools can offer more in-depth insight on strengths and/or weaknesses of physics parameterizations. As part of the GMTB’s testing infrastructure, tools are actively being developed and made available to the modeling community to facilitate the development and testing of operational and advanced physics parameterizations.

An area of active research is the assessment of radiative fluxes due to the downstream impacts on clouds, surface energy budgets, and interactions with other aspects of the model physics (e.g., land-surface model and planetary boundary layer scheme). To help in the evaluation of radiative fluxes and clouds, the GMTB has created scripts for processing, evaluating, and plotting model output against observation datasets. Initial capabilities include using NOAA’s Surface Radiation (SURFRAD) Network and NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) datasets. SURFRAD data provides an excellent way to evaluate radiative fluxes at individual stations spanning the contiguous United States for both case studies and longer-term averages. The gridded, satellite-based CERES data allows for global evaluations of radiative flux and cloud fields at several temporal resolutions. This poster will highlight and show examples of the capabilities GMTB has developed for using SURFRAD and CERES datasets in evaluating physics parameterizations.

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