Effect of the Grell-Freitas Deep Convection Scheme in Quasi-Uniform and Variable-Resolution Aquaplanet CAM Simulations

Jihyeon Jang, William C. Skamarock, Sang Hun Park, Colin M. Zarzycki, Koichi Sakaguchi, L. Ruby Leung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Grell-Freitas deep convection scheme (GF) has been implemented in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) with the nonhydrostatic Model for Prediction Across Scales dynamical core. Aquaplanet simulations have been performed with a global quasi-uniform resolution mesh with ∼120 km grid spacing and a variable resolution mesh employing a circular refined region with ∼30 km grid spacing centering at the equator and ∼120 km elsewhere. GF produces overall patterns of the general circulations comparable to those of other aquaplanet experiments, including those produced using the default Zhang-McFarlane convection scheme (ZM) in CAM Version 5.4. GF alleviates the overestimated occurrence of weak intensity precipitation characteristic of ZM due to GF's different closure methods and deep-convection trigger conditions. Compared to ZM, the GF characteristics of the equatorial Kelvin waves are closer to observations. GF also better simulates precipitation at variable resolution, with no unrealistic wave distortion by the refinement. Overall, GF shows less sensitivity of convective precipitation and heating/moistening tendencies to changes in horizontal resolution compared to ZM. However, vertically overlapped total cloud fraction simulated with GF in the tropics is more sensitive to the resolution than ZM due to the larger resolution-sensitivity of high-level cloud fraction in the tropics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020MS002459
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments that improved the quality and clarity of this manuscript. This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research as part of the Regional and Global Model Analysis program area. PNNL is operated for the Department of Energy by Battelle Memorial Institute under contract DE‐AC05‐76RL01830. Funding for this research was also provided by the National Center for Atmospheric Research through support from the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Support Agreement AGS‐0856145. The authors acknowledge high‐performance computing support from Cheyenne ( https://doi.org/10.5065/D6RX99HX ) provided by NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory. This study also used computing resources from the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, which is the DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE‐AC02‐05CH11231.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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