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Development of a Framework for Process-Oriented Diagnosis of Global Models

“A critical need exists to improve the diagnosis of global climate and forecasting models. For example, models continue to be plagued by common biases in tropical convection and its variability, including well-known trade-offs between the quality of the mean state and of intraseasonal convective variability such as the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). A key need is incorporation of process-oriented diagnostics into standard diagnostics packages that can be applied to development versions of the models, allowing the application of diagnostics to be repeatable across multiple model versions. A significant barrier is the lack of a mechanism for getting community-developed diagnostics into the modeling center development process. The proposed work involves close collaboration between diagnostic developers and modeling centers to develop a common and extensible mechanism for rapid dissemination of process-oriented diagnostics across modeling centers. As demonstration of the process, we will implement critical diagnostics for tropical convection and its variability.

Proposed goals will be met as follows:
1) A leadership team with diagnostic developers and software developers at GFDL and NCAR will be formed to develop best practices for implementation of diagnostics into the centers’ standard evaluation packages.
2) GFDL and NCAR will coordinate development of a software framework that allows sharing of diagnostics, with an eye to extensibility to other centers (and other diagnostics) during the project lifetime. This coordinated effort will include development of software tools/standards that individual PIs may use to craft their diagnostics into a form easily useable by multiple modeling centers.
3) Initial emphasis will be placed on process-oriented diagnostics related to tropical convection and its variability. The modeling centers have a critical need for diagnostics in this area, making this topic an attractive one for a pilot diagnostics effort. PIs Maloney and Neelin have led development of existing process-oriented diagnostics that will serve as initial test diagnostics for this effort. Continued development of tropical convection diagnostics will also form a key component of the proposed work.
4) The PIs will also coordinate with international efforts that are developing general diagnostics frameworks such as those at PCMDI and the European EMBRACE project, to ensure that the efforts developed here are complementary rather than duplicative of these efforts.
5) This proposal will also provide a mechanism for PIs of the Type 2 proposals funded under this MAPP call to incorporate their new diagnostics into the diagnostics stream of modeling centers. The PIs have developed collaborations with several potential Type 2 PIs at the proposal stage to aid this integration.

Relevance to NOAA: This proposal directly addresses the FFO “MAPP – Process-oriented evaluation of climate and Earth system models and derived projections” by developing a Type 1 core team to lead development of a mechanism for inclusion of process-oriented diagnostics into standard packages of modeling centers, and also conducting scientific development of new process-oriented diagnostics. We will aid NOAA’s NGSP by improving models to provide more accurate “assessments of current and future states of the climate system that identify potential impacts and inform science, service, and stewardship decisions.””

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