26 Oct 2023
 | 26 Oct 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Leveraging Regional Mesh Refinement to Simulate Future Climate Projections for California Using the Simplified Convection Permitting E3SM Atmosphere Model Version 0

Jishi Zhang, Peter Bogenschutz, Qi Tang, Philip Cameron-smith, and Chengzhu Zhang

Abstract. The spatial heterogeneity related to complex topography in California demands high-resolution (<5 km) modeling, but global convection-permitting climate models are computationally too expensive to run multi-decadal simulations. We developed a 3.25 km California regionally refined model (CARRM) using the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) global Simple Cloud Resolution E3SM Atmospheric Model (SCREAM) version 0. Four 5-wateryear time periods (2015–2020, 2029–2034, 2044–2049, 2094–2099) were simulated by nudging CARRM outside California to 1° coupled simulation of E3SMv1 under the SSP5-8.5 future scenario. The 3.25 km grid spacing adds considerable value to the prediction of the California climate changes, including more realistic high temperatures in the Central Valley, much improved spatial distributions of precipitation and snow in the Sierra Nevada and coastal stratocumulus. Under the SSP5-8.5 scenario, CARRM simulation predicts widespread warming of 6–10 °C over most of California, a 38 % increase in statewide average 30-day winter-spring precipitation, a near complete loss of the alpine snowpack, and a sharp reduction in shortwave cloud radiative forcing associated with marine stratocumulus by the end of the 21st century. We note a climatological wet precipitation bias for the CARRM and discuss possible reasons. We conclude that SCREAM-RRM is a technically feasible and scientifically valid tool for climate simulations in regions of interest, providing an excellent bridge to global convection-permitting simulations.

Jishi Zhang et al.

Status: open (until 21 Dec 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1989', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Nov 2023 reply

Jishi Zhang et al.

Jishi Zhang et al.


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Short summary
We developed a regionally refined climate model that allows for resolved convection and performed a 20-year projection to the end of the century. The model has a resolution of 3 km in California which allows us to predict climate with unprecedented accuracy and a resolution of 100 km for the rest of the globe to achieve efficient, self-consistent simulations. The model produces superior results in reproducing climate patterns over California that typical modern climate models cannot resolve.