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Friday, December 27, 2013

Basic Climate Model Resolution for the New Year

New Years resolution are great!  No one, even yourself actually expects you to keep them so you can start your year out on a nice warm and fuzzy rationalization note.  Nothing quite as comforting as a rationalization.

Since I started the "Trash" Blog, which is just a place to post thoughts and crazy ideas, I have been pondering what is the minimum required for a reasonable climate model.  Now that I have a better idea of what that requires it is just as good a time as any to jot those thoughts down.

My minimum requires three meridional zones, 90S-42S, 42S-42N and 42N-90N, with the actual pole limit realistically closer to 75 ot 85 N/S due to issues with past instrumentation.  For the atmosphere there needs to be at least three vertical zones, Sea Level, Atmospheric Boundary Layer (-3000 meters) and Stratopause (~50km) each with the three meridional zones.  These need to be match with three ocean zone, 42S-42N theromcline (~15 to 20 C degrees or the 100m bulk layer), second thermocline (~8C or the 100m-700m ocean layer) and the third thermocline (~4C or the 700m to 2000m ocean layer).; 

That would be a fairly complex model with 9 atmospheric boxes and 9 ocean boxes.  The biggest problem would be the ocean boxes which have very poor coverage and a high margin of error.  
These layers don't change very quickly so that can possibly be worked around.

The final model would be very similar to the last version of the Static Model that seems to have gotten close to predicting the impact of the Stratospheric Brewer-Dobson Circulation impact.  Now that I am more familiar with the "Climate" jargon stolen from weather guys and made up on the fly, I may even be able to communicate with some of those guys.

The biggest stumbling block has been latent and sensible heat transfer which always has to option of heating to space, land or returning to the oceans.  The choice of zones is partially based on that problem.  Since 42S-90S and 42N-90N have a huge difference in land/ocean ratio, teasing out some of the latent/sensible transfer destination might be simplified using SST and Tmin versus Tmax.  Tave appears to be close to useless without considering the maximum and minimum components.

This 18 box model will be far from the final version.  It will need to be expanded zonally requiring 36 to 54 zones which I think could be a great resolution for next year. 

Now that I have that out of the way, don't expect much because this is just a resolution which no one ever really keeps :)

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