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On the potential of assimilating meteorological analyses in a global climate model for the purpose of model validation

Jeuken, A. B. M., Siegmund, P. C., Heijboer, L. C., Feichter, J. and Bengtsson, L. (1996) On the potential of assimilating meteorological analyses in a global climate model for the purpose of model validation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 101 (D12). p. 16939. ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/96JD01218


A simple four-dimensional assimilation technique, called Newtonian relaxation, has been applied to the Hamburg climate model (ECHAM), to enable comparison of model output with observations for short periods of time. The prognostic model variables vorticity, divergence, temperature, and surface pressure have been relaxed toward European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) global meteorological analyses. Several experiments have been carried out, in which the values of the relaxation coefficients have been varied to find out which values are most usable for our purpose. To be able to use the method for validation of model physics or chemistry, good agreement of the model simulated mass and wind field is required. In addition, the model physics should not be disturbed too strongly by the relaxation forcing itself. Both aspects have been investigated. Good agreement with basic observed quantities, like wind, temperature, and pressure is obtained for most simulations in the extratropics. Derived variables, like precipitation and evaporation, have been compared with ECMWF forecasts and observations. Agreement for these variables is smaller than for the basic observed quantities. Nevertheless, considerable improvement is obtained relative to a control run without assimilation. Differences between tropics and extratropics are smaller than for the basic observed quantities. Results also show that precipitation and evaporation are affected by a sort of continuous spin-up which is introduced by the relaxation: the bias (ECMWF-ECHAM) is increasing with increasing relaxation forcing. In agreement with this result we found that with increasing relaxation forcing the vertical exchange of tracers by turbulent boundary layer mixing and, in a lesser extent, by convection, is reduced.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:31678
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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