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Reconciling and improving formulations for thermodynamics and conservation principles in Earth System Models (ESMs)

Lauritzen, P. H., Kevlahan, N. K.- R., Toniazzo, T., Eldred, C., Dubos, T., Gassmann, A., Larson, V. E., Jablonowski, C., Guba, O., Shipway, B., Harrop, B. E., Lemarié, F., Tailleux, R. ORCID:, Herrington, A. R., Large, W., Rash, P. J., Donahue, A. S., Wan, H., Conley, A. and Bacmeister, J. T. (2022) Reconciling and improving formulations for thermodynamics and conservation principles in Earth System Models (ESMs). Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 14 (9). e2022MS003117. ISSN 1942-2466

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2022MS003117


This paper provides a comprehensive derivation of the total energy equations for the atmospheric components of Earth system models (ESMs). The assumptions and approximations made in this derivation are motivated and discussed. In particular, it is emphasized that closing the energy budget is conceptually challenging and hard to achieve in practice without resorting to \textit{ad hoc\/} fixers. As a concrete example, the energy budget terms are diagnosed in a realistic climate simulation using a global atmosphere model. The largest total energy errors in this example are spurious dynamical core energy dissipation, thermodynamic inconsistencies (e.g.\ coupling parameterizations with the host model) and missing processes/terms associated with falling precipitation and evaporation (e.g.\ enthalpy flux between components). The latter two errors are not, in general, reduced by increasing horizontal resolution. They are due to incomplete thermodynamic and dynamic formulations. Future research directions are proposed to reconcile and improve thermodynamics formulations and conservation principles.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:106485
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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