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Synergistic CPO-funded Project and OAR Climate and Weather Portfolios Project Yield Improved Modeling:


A new joint Climate and Weather portfolio-funded project will leverage data products developed from a CPO-supported competitive research investment at GML and CIRES to benefit the weather and climate modeling communities. The project highlights how competitive research investments in dataset development provide a foundation to support OAR Portfolio priorities.

The cross-portfolio project is focused on climate regime-specific cloud-radiation coupling. Scientists from ESRL’s GML and GSL will form a NOAA-led task force consisting of developers, diagnostic experts, and subject-matter experts to improve the physics in the interaction of sub-grid scale clouds and radiation. Project outcomes will improve physics for the GFS v17 and the RRFS v1, downward shortwave radiation at the surface, and cloud-radiation interactions amongst different cloud regimes.

The new project builds on COM-supported FY20-23 research at GML, which will develop three new data products to evaluate and improve boundary layer height and cloud interactions in climate models. These observational data products, developed in collaboration with NOAA’s climate modeling community, will fill gaps in quantifying how clouds impact surface radiation and the growth of the convective mixed layer over the course of the day for multiple climate regimes.

Outcomes from this COM-funded project will be directly leveraged by the Portfolios’ project. The improved boundary layer height product will be used to characterize the state of the lower atmosphere. This will be further refined by a cloud type classification product being developed as part of the COM project.

Both projects address how boundary layer clouds are represented in weather and climate models. In particular, evaluating how well a model represents the daytime boundary layer height is connected to how accurately that same model simulates the boundary layer height within different cloud regimes, and vice versa.

This synergy will lead to model improvements in regime-specific cloud-boundary layer interactions and cloud physics, allowing for longer-term improvements in radiation and surface energy budget forecasts.

Learn more about the COM FY20 Project »

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