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Journal Article

Global cloud-resolving models


Stevens,  Bjorn       
Director’s Research Group AES, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Satoh, M., Stevens, B., Judt, F., Khairoutdinov, M., Lin, S.-J., Putman, W. M., et al. (2019). Global cloud-resolving models. Current Climate Change Reports, 5, 172-184. doi:10.1007/s40641-019-00131-0.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-9D97-2
Purpose of Review: Global cloud-resolving models (GCRMs) are a new type of atmospheric model which resolve nonhydrostatic accelerations globally with kilometer-scale resolution. This review explains what distinguishes GCRMs from other types of models, the problems they solve, and the questions their more commonplace use is raising.

Recent Findings: GCRMs require high-resolution discretization over the sphere but can differ in many other respects. They are beginning to be used as a main stream research tool. The first GCRM intercomparison studies are being coordinated, raising new questions as to how best to exploit their advantages.

Summary: GCRMs are designed to resolve the multiscale nature of moist convection in the global dynamics context, without using cumulus parameterization. Clouds are simulated with cloud microphysical schemes in ways more comparable to observations. Because they do not suffer from ambiguity arising from cumulus parameterization, as computational resources increase, GCRMs are the promise of a new generation of global weather and climate simulations.