A unified convection scheme (UNICON). Part II: Simulation

A unified convection scheme (UNICON) is implemented into the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5 (CAM5), and tested in single-column and global simulations forced by observed sea surface temperature. Compared to CAM5, UNICON substantially improves the single-column simulations of stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition and shallow and deep convection cases. The global performance of UNICON is similar to CAM5 with a relative spatiotemporal root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.777 (0.755 in CAM5) against the earlier version of the model (CCSM3.5). The notable improvements in the UNICON-simulated climatologies over CAM5 are seasonal precipitation patterns (i.e., monsoon) over the western Pacific and South Asia, reduced biases of cloud radiative forcing in the tropical deep convection regions, aerosol optical depth in the tropical and subtropical regions, and cumulus fraction and in-cumulus condensate. One notable degradation is that UNICON simulates warmer near-surface air temperature over the United States during summer. In addition to the climatology, UNICON significantly improves the simulation of the diurnal cycle of precipitation and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). The surface precipitation simulated by UNICON is a maximum in the late afternoon (early afternoon in CAM5) over the summer continents and in the early morning (predawn in CAM5) over the ocean with a fairly realistic amplitude of the diurnal cycle. Sensitivity simulations indicate that the key for successful MJO simulation in UNICON is a seamless parameterization of the updraft plume dilution rate as convection evolves from shallow to deep convection. The mesoscale perturbation of the vertical velocity and the thermodynamic scalars of convective updrafts is an additional requirement for simulating the observed diurnal cycle of precipitation.

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Author Park, Sungsu
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2014-11-01T00:00:00
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T18:22:26.154346
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:14432
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Park, Sungsu. (2014). A unified convection scheme (UNICON). Part II: Simulation. UCAR/NCAR - Library. http://n2t.net/ark:/85065/d79c6zdz. Accessed 15 June 2024.

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