01 Nov 2023
 | 01 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Updating the radiation infrastructure in MESSy (based on MESSy version 2.55)

Matthias Nützel, Laura Stecher, Patrick Jöckel, Franziska Winterstein, Martin Dameris, Michael Ponater, Phoebe Graf, and Markus Kunze

Abstract. The calculation of the radiative transfer is a key component of global circulation models. In this manuscript we describe the most recent updates of the radiation infrastructure in the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy). These updates include the implementation of the PSrad radiation scheme within the RAD submodel. Further, the radiation-related submodels CLOUDOPT (for the calculation of cloud optical properties) and AEROPT (for the calculation of aerosol optical properties) have been updated and are now more flexible in order to deal with different sets of shortwave and longwave bands of radiation schemes. In the wake of these updates a new submodel (ALBEDO), which features solar zenith angle dependent albedos and a new satellite-based background (white-sky) albedo, was created. All of these developments are backward compatible and previous features of the MESSy radiation infrastructure remain available. Moreover, these developments mark an important step in the use of the ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) model as the update of the radiation scheme was a key aspect in the development of sixth generation of the the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts – HAMburg (ECHAM6) model from ECHAM5 and they also aim towards the use of MESSy with the ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (ICON) model. The improved infrastructure will also aid in the implementation of additional radiation schemes once this should be needed.

We have optimized the set of free parameters for two dynamical model setups for pre-industrial and present-day conditions: one with the radiation scheme that was used up to date (i.e. the radiation scheme of ECHAM5) and one with the newly implemented PSrad radiation scheme. After this parameter optimization, we performed four model simulations and evaluated the corresponding model results using reanalysis and observational data. The most apparent improvements related to the updated radiation scheme are the reduced cold biases in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere and the extratropical lower stratosphere, and a strengthened polar vortex. The former is also related to improved stratospheric humidity and its variability if the new radiation scheme is employed.

Using the multiple radiation call capability of MESSy, we have applied the two model configurations to calculate instantaneous and stratospheric adjusted radiative forcings related to changes in greenhouse gases. Overall, we find that for many forcing experiments the simulations with the new radiation scheme show improved radiative forcing values. This is in particular the case for methane radiative forcings, which are considerably higher when asessed with the new radiation scheme and thus in better agreement with reference values.

Matthias Nützel et al.

Status: open (until 31 Dec 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Matthias Nützel et al.

Data sets

Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Monthly Analysis Product provided by the NOAA PSL, Boulder, Colorado, USA

ERA5 monthly averaged data on pressure levels from 1940 to present, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Climate Data Store (CDS) H. Hersbach, B. Bell, P. Berrisford, G. Biavati, A. Horányi, J. Muñoz-Sabater, J. Nicolas, C. Peubey, R. Radu, I. Rozum, D. Schepers, A. Simmons, C. Soci, D. Dee, and J.-N. Thépaut

Matthias Nützel et al.


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Short summary
We extended the infrastructure of our modelling system to enable the use of an additional radiation scheme. After calibrating the model setups to the old and the new radiation scheme, we find that the simulation with the new scheme shows considerable improvements e.g. concerning the cold point temperature and stratospheric water vapour. Further, perturbations of radiative fluxes associated with greenhouse gas changes, e.g. of methane, tend to be improved when the new scheme is employed.