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Climate Dynamics

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 795–816 | Cite as

A PDF-based hybrid prognostic cloud scheme for general circulation models

  • Masahiro Watanabe
  • S. Emori
  • M. Satoh
  • H. Miura
Article

Abstract

A new cloud parameterization based on prognostic equations for the subgrid-scale fluctuations in temperature and total water content is introduced for global climate models. The proposed scheme, called hybrid prognostic cloud (HPC) parameterization, employs simple probability density functions (PDFs) to the horizontal subgrid-scale inhomogeneity, allowing them to vary in shape in response to small-scale processes such as cumulus detrainment and turbulent mixing. Simple tests indicate that the HPC scheme is highly favorable as compared to a diagnostic scheme in terms of the cloud fraction and cloud water content under either uniform or non-uniform forcing. The relevance of the HPC scheme is investigated by implementing it in an atmospheric component model of the climate model MIROC with a coarse resolution of T42. A comparison of the short-term integrations between the T42 model and a global cloud resolving model (GCRM) reveals that the HPC scheme can reproduce, to a certain degree, the subgrid-scale variance and skewness of temperature and total water content simulated in the GCRM. It is also found that the HPC scheme significantly alters the climatological distributions in cloud cover, precipitation, and moisture, which are all improved from the model using a conventional diagnostic cloud scheme.

Keywords

Cloud Parameterization GCM Prognostic scheme Subgrid-scale PDF 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Damian Wilson and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. This work was partly supported by the Global Environmental Research Fund RF-061 by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The GCRM simulations were performed using the Earth Simulator, supported by CREST/JST and the Kakushin project.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Watanabe
    • 1
  • S. Emori
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Satoh
    • 1
    • 3
  • H. Miura
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Climate System ResearchUniversity of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  2. 2.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Frontier Research Center for Global ChangeJAMSTECYokohamaJapan

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