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Journal Article

The effects of sampling frequency on the climate statistics of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast General Circulation Model


Arpe,  Klaus
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast;
MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Phillips, T. J., Gates, W. L., & Arpe, K. (1992). The effects of sampling frequency on the climate statistics of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast General Circulation Model. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 97, 20427-20436. doi:10.1029/92JD02020.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-29E1-8
The effects of sampling frequency on the first- and second-moment statistics of selected European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model variables are investigated in a simulation of ''perpetual July'' with a diurnal cycle included and with surface and atmospheric fields saved at hourly intervals. The shortest characteristic time scales (as determined by the e-folding time of lagged autocorrelation functions) are those of ground heat fluxes and temperatures, precipitation and runoff, convective processes, cloud properties, and atmospheric vertical motion, while the longest time scales are exhibited by soil temperature and moisture, surface pressure, and atmospheric specific humidity, temperature, and wind. The time scales of surface heat and momentum fluxes and of convective processes are substantially shorter over land than over oceans. An appropriate sampling frequency for each model variable is obtained by comparing the estimates of first- and second-moment statistics determined at intervals ranging from 2 to 24 hours with the ''best'' estimates obtained from hourly sampling. Relatively accurate estimation of first- and second-moment climate statistics (10% errors in means, 20% errors in variances) can be achieved by sampling a model variable at intervals that usually are longer than the bandwidth of its time series but that often are shorter than its characteristic time scale. For the surface variables, sampling at intervals that are nonintegral divisors of a 24-hour day yields relatively more accurate time-mean statistics because of a reduction in errors associated with aliasing of the diurnal cycle and higher-frequency harmonics. The superior estimates of first-moment statistics are accompanied by inferior estimates of the variance of the daily means due to the presence of systematic biases, but these probably can be avoided by defining a different measure of low-frequency variability. Estimates of the intradiurnal variance of accumulated precipitation and surface runoff also are strongly impacted by the length of the storage interval. In light of these results, several alternative strategies for storage of the EMWF model variables are recommended.