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A stochastic representation of subgrid uncertainty for dynamical core development

TitleA stochastic representation of subgrid uncertainty for dynamical core development
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSubramanian A., Juricke S., Dueben P., Palmer T.
Date Published2019/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0003-0007
Accession NumberWOS:000472767600011
Keywordsclimate; ensemble prediction; impact; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; model uncertainties; parameterization; parametrization; physics; precision; seamless prediction; weather

Numerical weather prediction and climate models comprise a) a dynamical core describing resolved parts of the climate system and b) parameterizations describing unresolved components. Development of new subgrid-scale parameterizations is particularly uncertain compared to representing resolved scales in the dynamical core. This uncertainty is currently represented by stochastic approaches in several operational weather models, which will inevitably percolate into the dynamical core. Hence, implementing dynamical cores with excessive numerical accuracy will not bring forecast gains, may even hinder them since valuable computer resources will be tied up doing insignificant computation, and therefore cannot be deployed for more useful gains, such as increasing model resolution or ensemble sizes. Here we describe a low-cost stochastic scheme that can be implemented in any existing deterministic dynamical core as an additive noise term. This scheme could be used to adjust accuracy in future dynamical core development work. We propose that such an additive stochastic noise test case should become a part of the routine testing and development of dynamical cores in a stochastic framework. The overall key point of the study is that we should not develop dynamical cores that are more precise than the level of uncertainty provided by our stochastic scheme. In this way, we present a new paradigm for dynamical core development work, ensuring that weather and climate models become more computationally efficient. We show some results based on tests done with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) dynamical core.

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