Climate Processes in CMIP5: A look inside the development process for the atmospheric component of the next generation GFDL climate model

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 4:30 PM
Room C101 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Jean-Christophe Golaz, NOAA/GFDL, Princeton, NJ; and M. Zhao and I. M. Held

Development of the next generation (beyond CMIP5) GFDL climate model is a multi-year effort that started in early 2013. The goal is to develop a climate model suitable (a) for projecting future climate change up to several hundred years into the future, (b) for the attribution of climate change over the past century, and (c) for prediction on seasonal to decadal time scales – keeping in mind the needs for improved regional climate information and assessments of diverse climate impacts.

We will discuss the development process for the atmospheric component of this future climate model. Prototype atmospheric configurations are currently under active development. These configurations are rooted in CMIP5 GFDL models, but with increased resolution and updated physics. The target horizontal resolution is 0.5 deg, with an option for a lower resolution version of 1 deg for certain applications. We also target several level of complexity for the chemistry and physics. In particular, the model will be capable of running from “emissions” as well as from “concentrations”, in regard to both the carbon cycle and aerosols.

Clouds and convection have been an initial focus. We will describe metrics being utilized for evaluating prototype configurations. Results will be presented, highlighting areas where progress has been accomplished as well as areas where challenges remain. Opportunities for involvement by a wider community will also be discussed.