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A flexible and efficient radiation scheme for the ECMWF model

Hogan, R. J. and Bozzo, A. (2018) A flexible and efficient radiation scheme for the ECMWF model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 10 (8). pp. 1990-2008. ISSN 1942-2466

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2018MS001364


This paper describes a new radiation scheme ecRad for use both in the model of the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and off‐line for noncommercial research. Its modular structure allows the spectral resolution, the description of cloud and aerosol optical properties, and the solver, to be changed independently. The available solvers include the Monte Carlo Independent Column Approximation (McICA), Tripleclouds, and the Speedy Algorithm for Radiative Transfer through Cloud Sides (SPARTACUS), the latter which makes ECMWF the first global model capable of representing the 3‐D radiative effects of clouds. The new implementation of the operational McICA solver produces less noise in atmospheric heating rates, and is 41% faster, which can yield indirect forecast skill improvements via calling the radiation scheme more frequently. We demonstrate how longwave scattering may be implemented for clouds but not aerosols, which is only 4% more computationally costly overall than neglecting longwave scattering and yields further modest forecast improvements. It is also shown how a sequence of radiation changes in the last few years has led to a substantial reduction in stratospheric temperature biases.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:80474
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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