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Conference Paper

On the problem of multiple time scales in climate modelling


Hasselmann,  Klaus
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Hasselmann, K. (1979). On the problem of multiple time scales in climate modelling. In W. Bach (Ed.), Man's impact on climate: Proc. of an Int. Conference, Berlin, 1978 (pp. 43-55). Amsterdam u.a.: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-41766-4.50011-4.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-845F-9
The climatic system contains a number of interacting subsystems with natural time scales varying over many orders of magnitude. Deterministic models with realistic spatial resolution can cover only a relatively small band of the total spectrum. Thus a sequence of models is needed for different time-scale ranges, and strategies for coupling together models for different time scales must be devised. A simple example shows that climatic response experiments carried out with models designed only for a single time-scale range (for example an atmospheric GCM) can be quite misleading. A technique for coupling models in which the natural time scales are separated by a spectral gap is described. The theory yields natural climatic variance spectra of approximately the right shape and order of magnitude and provides a basis for designing climatic response experiments with proper consideration of the signal-to-noise problem.