IMPROVING THE SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION FOR Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations

REPORT OF A WORKSHOP

Committee on Challenges in Representing Physical Processes in Coupled Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Models

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop IMPROVING THE SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION FOR Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations REPORT OF A WORKSHOP Committee on Challenges in Representing Physical Processes in Coupled Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Models Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. ATM-0135923 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Contract No. 52-DGNA-1-90024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agencies that provided support for this project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09609-X (Book) Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council www.national-academies.org

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop COMMITTEE ON CHALLENGES IN REPRESENTING PHYSICAL PROCESSES IN COUPLED ATMOSPHERE-LAND-OCEAN MODELS KERRY A. EMANUEL (Co-chair), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JOHN C. WYNGAARD (Co-chair), Pennsylvania State University, University Park JAMES C. McWILLIAMS, University of California, Los Angeles DAVID A. RANDALL, Colorado State University, Fort Collins YUK L. YUNG, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena NRC Staff JULIE DEMUTH, Study Director DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Coordinator

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C. ROBERT C. BEARDSLEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor RAFAEL L. BRAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado KERRY A. EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge CASSANDRA G. FESEN, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire JENNIFER A. LOGAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts WILLIAM J. RANDEL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ROGER M. WAKIMOTO, University of California, Los Angeles JOHN C. WYNGAARD, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Ex Officio Members ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer JULIE DEMUTH, Program Officer SHELDON DROBOT, Program Officer PARIKHIT SINHA, Program Officer ELIZABETH GALINIS, Senior Program Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Coordinator ANDREAS SOHRE, Financial Associate

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop Preface The majority of studies conducted by the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) are requested by government organizations or Congress. However, each year the members of BASC select a topic for special study (often called our summer study). These summer workshops provide an informal atmosphere where scientists and agency staff can talk frankly about current issues. BASC picks topics that serve agency needs but that might not be done otherwise. Sometimes case study approaches are used to highlight lessons learned about some practical problem, like communicating weather information accurately (NRC, 2003). Other times, as in this report, an issue is selected that is highly technical, philosophical, or forward looking and thus beyond what agencies often address given their immediate priorities. For the 2004 summer workshop, BASC decided to explore the challenges in representing physical processes in coupled atmosphere-land-ocean (A-L-O) models. Modeling is a fundamental part of the infrastructure of the atmospheric and climate sciences, and progress in developing and testing physical parameterizations to accurately represent Earth’s system is critical. The goals of this workshop were to identify physical processes that are poorly parameterized; explore impediments to modeling efforts, including issues related to how research is done and how the next generation of modelers is being developed; and discuss ways to invigorate model development and evolution.

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop To explore these issues, a five-person steering committee organized a workshop held July 12-13, 2004, at the J. Erik Jonsson Woods Hole Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Nearly 30 people attended from various academic and research institutions, federal agencies, and the private sector, including 12 invited presenters and discussion leaders (see Appendix D for the workshop agenda and Appendix E for the participant list). All the invitees brought a specific area of modeling expertise to the table, but their perspectives and experience as members of the atmospheric and climate science communities were as important as their scientific proficiency. Other members of the community attended as well, each lending his or her own additional expertise to the discussions. Although all the BASC summer workshops are organized to encourage interaction and discussion, this workshop was designed to be even more discussion-oriented than usual to allow participants to identify and explore a wide variety of issues. The workshop included two overarching presentations that challenged the participants to think creatively, and each session began with comments from a discussion leader. But most of the time was devoted to discussion and interaction, during which committee members served as rapporteurs to capture all the key points. This workshop report recapitulates those discussions, presenting a broad look at the science of geophysical modeling, some impediments to progress, and ideas for invigorating this field. Following regular National Academies rules for this type of workshop, this report does not contain consensus findings or recommendations. Rather it is a representation of the discussions that occurred during the workshop; the report presents the opinions of the participants but not necessarily the views of the committee. The National Academies and BASC wish to thank the committee membersKerry Emanuel, James McWilliams, David Randall, John Wyngaard, and Yuk Yungfor organizing this workshop and synthesizing the two-day discussion into this report. Thanks also are given to all the speakers and participants who contributed their time and energy to this workshop, to BASC program officer Julie Demuth for her leadership, and to BASC administrative coordinator Diane Gustafson for her tireless efforts. This BASC workshop sparked particularly animated discussion, and BASC hopes this report adequately conveys the discussions and encourages others to think about the challenges of ensuring that the atmospheric and climate communities are developing robust, accurate models. Chris Elfring, Director, and Robert Serafin, Chair Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Christopher Bretherton, University of Washington, Seattle Raffaele Ferrari, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Julian Hunt, University College London, England Bjorn Stevens, University of California, Los Angeles Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations offered by the speakers, nor did they see the final draft of this report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Eric Barron, Pennsylvania State University. Appointed

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop Contents     SUMMARY   1 1   WORKSHOP CONTEXT   3 2   DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF MODEL PARAMETERIZATIONS: SOME EXAMPLES   8 3   THE FRAMEWORK FOR DEVELOPING PARAMETERIZATIONS   12      Understanding and Parameterization,   12      Tuning versus Evaluation,   14      Community Models as a Framework for Developing and Testing Parameterizations,   16 4   IMPEDIMENTS TO AND IDEAS FOR PROGRESS IN MODEL DEVELOPMENT   19      Improvement via Education,   21      Improvement via Recharging Large Modeling Groups,   24      Improvement via Cross-Scale Interactions,   25      Improvement via Modeling Techniques,   26      Improvement via Tests in Numerical Weather Prediction Mode,   27

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Improving the Scientific Foundation for Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Simulations: Report of A Workshop 5   CONCLUDING THOUGHTS   28     REFERENCES   31     APPENDIXES     A   STATEMENT OF TASK   33 B   INPUT FROM WORKSHOP INVITEES   34 C   THE GAP BETWEEN SIMULATION AND UNDERSTANDING IN CLIMATE MODELING   56 D   WORKSHOP AGENDA   63 E   WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS   66 F   ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS   68 G   COMMITTEE AND STAFF BIOGRAPHIES   70