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Sensitivity of simulated mesoscale convective systems over East Asia to the treatment of convection in a high-resolution GCM

Li, P. ORCID:, Muetzelfeldt, M. ORCID:, Schiemann, R. ORCID:, Chen, H., Li, J., Furtado, K. and Zhuang, M. (2023) Sensitivity of simulated mesoscale convective systems over East Asia to the treatment of convection in a high-resolution GCM. Climate Dynamics, 60. pp. 2783-2801. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-022-06471-2


Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) downstream of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) exhibit unique precipitation features. These MCSs can have damaging impacts and there is a critical need for improving the representation of MCSs in numerical models. However, most global climate models are typically run at resolutions that are too coarse to reasonably resolve MCSs, and it is still unclear how well higher-resolution global models can reproduce the precipitation characteristics of MCSs. In this study, the sensitivity of MCSs simulated by a global high resolution (~ 10 km), atmosphere-only climate model to different treatments of convection (with and without parametrized convection, and a hybrid representation of convection) have been investigated. The results show that explicit convection (i.e., non-parameterized) can better reproduce the observed pattern of MCS precipitation over the East Asian Summer Monsoon region. In general, explicit convection better simulates the diurnal variability of MCSs over the eastern China, and is able to represent the distinctive diurnal variations of MCS precipitation over complex terrain particularly well, such as the eastern TP and the complex terrain of central-northern China. It is shown that explicit convection is better at simulating the timing of initiation and subsequent propagating features of the MCS, resulting in better diurnal variations and further a better spatial pattern of summer mean MCS precipitation. All three experiments simulate MCS rainfall areas which are notably smaller than those in observations, but with much stronger rainfall intensities, implying that these biases in simulated MCS morphological characteristics are not sensitive to the different treatment of convection.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:107100


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