Physics–Dynamics Coupling in Weather, Climate, and Earth System Models: Challenges and Recent Progress

Abstract : Geophysical models of the atmosphere and ocean invariably involve parameterizations. These represent two distinct areas: a) Subgrid processes which the model cannot (yet) resolve, due to its discrete resolution, and b) sources in the equation, due to radiation for example. Hence coupling between these physics parameterizations and the resolved fluid dynamics and also between the dynamics of the different fluids in the system (air and water) is necessary. This coupling is an important aspect of geophysical models. However, often model development is strictly segregated into either physics or dynamics. Hence, this area has many more unanswered questions than in-depth understanding. Furthermore, recent developments in the design of dynamical cores (e.g. significant increase of resolution, move to non-hydrostatic equation sets etc), extended process physics (e.g. prognostic micro physics, 3D turbulence, non-vertical radiation etc) and predicted future changes of the computational infrastructure (e.g. Exascale with its need for task parallelism, data locality and asynchronous time stepping for example) is adding even more complexity and new questions. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of the physics-dynamics coupling in geophysical models, surveys the analysis techniques, and points out the open questions in this research field.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 10:37:41 AM
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Markus Gross, Hui Wan, Philip J. Rasch, Peter M. Caldwell, David L. Williamson, et al.. Physics–Dynamics Coupling in Weather, Climate, and Earth System Models: Challenges and Recent Progress. Monthly Weather Review, American Meteorological Society, 2018, 146 (11), pp.3505-3544. ⟨10.1175/MWR-D-17-0345.1⟩. ⟨hal-01323768⟩

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