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Earth system model parameter adjustment using a Green's functions approach
Year:
2022
Source of publication :
Geoscientific Model Development
Authors :
Volume :
Co-Authors:

Ehud Strobach
Andrea Molod
Donifan Barahona
Atanas Trayanov
Dimitris Menemenlis
Gael Forget

Facilitators :
From page:
2309
To page:
2324
(
Total pages:
16
)
Abstract:

We demonstrate the practicality and effectiveness of using a Green's functions estimation approach for adjusting uncertain parameters in an Earth system model (ESM). This estimation approach has previously been applied to an intermediate-complexity climate model and to individual ESM components, e.g., ocean, sea ice, or carbon cycle components. Here, the Green's functions approach is applied to a state-of-the-art ESM that comprises a global atmosphere/land configuration of the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) coupled to an ocean and sea ice configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm). Horizontal grid spacing is approximately 110 km for GEOS and 37–110 km for MITgcm. In addition to the reference GEOS-MITgcm simulation, we carried out a series of model sensitivity experiments, in which 20 uncertain parameters are perturbed. These “control” parameters can be used to adjust sea ice, microphysics, turbulence, radiation, and surface schemes in the coupled simulation. We defined eight observational targets: sea ice fraction, net surface shortwave radiation, downward longwave radiation, near-surface temperature, sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity, and ocean temperature and salinity at 300 m. We applied the Green's functions approach to optimize the values of the 20 control parameters so as to minimize a weighted least-squares distance between the model and the eight observational targets. The new experiment with the optimized parameters resulted in a total cost reduction of 9 % relative to a simulation that had already been adjusted using other methods. The optimized experiment attained a balanced cost reduction over most of the observational targets. We also report on results from a set of sensitivity experiments that are not used in the final optimized simulation but helped explore options and guided the optimization process. These experiments include an assessment of sensitivity to the number of control parameters and to the selection of observational targets and weights in the cost function. Based on these sensitivity experiments, we selected a specific definition for the cost function. The sensitivity experiments also revealed a decreasing overall cost as the number of control variables was increased. In summary, we recommend using the Green's functions estimation approach as an additional fine-tuning step in the model development process. The method is not a replacement for modelers' experience in choosing and adjusting sensitive model parameters. Instead, it is an additional practical and effective tool for carrying out final adjustments of uncertain ESM parameters.

Note:
Related Files :
Earth system model
Green function
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More details
DOI :
10.5194/gmd-15-2309-2022
Article number:
0
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
58561
Last updated date:
11/04/2022 18:29
Creation date:
11/04/2022 18:25
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Scientific Publication
Earth system model parameter adjustment using a Green's functions approach

Ehud Strobach
Andrea Molod
Donifan Barahona
Atanas Trayanov
Dimitris Menemenlis
Gael Forget

Earth system model parameter adjustment using a Green's functions approach

We demonstrate the practicality and effectiveness of using a Green's functions estimation approach for adjusting uncertain parameters in an Earth system model (ESM). This estimation approach has previously been applied to an intermediate-complexity climate model and to individual ESM components, e.g., ocean, sea ice, or carbon cycle components. Here, the Green's functions approach is applied to a state-of-the-art ESM that comprises a global atmosphere/land configuration of the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) coupled to an ocean and sea ice configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm). Horizontal grid spacing is approximately 110 km for GEOS and 37–110 km for MITgcm. In addition to the reference GEOS-MITgcm simulation, we carried out a series of model sensitivity experiments, in which 20 uncertain parameters are perturbed. These “control” parameters can be used to adjust sea ice, microphysics, turbulence, radiation, and surface schemes in the coupled simulation. We defined eight observational targets: sea ice fraction, net surface shortwave radiation, downward longwave radiation, near-surface temperature, sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity, and ocean temperature and salinity at 300 m. We applied the Green's functions approach to optimize the values of the 20 control parameters so as to minimize a weighted least-squares distance between the model and the eight observational targets. The new experiment with the optimized parameters resulted in a total cost reduction of 9 % relative to a simulation that had already been adjusted using other methods. The optimized experiment attained a balanced cost reduction over most of the observational targets. We also report on results from a set of sensitivity experiments that are not used in the final optimized simulation but helped explore options and guided the optimization process. These experiments include an assessment of sensitivity to the number of control parameters and to the selection of observational targets and weights in the cost function. Based on these sensitivity experiments, we selected a specific definition for the cost function. The sensitivity experiments also revealed a decreasing overall cost as the number of control variables was increased. In summary, we recommend using the Green's functions estimation approach as an additional fine-tuning step in the model development process. The method is not a replacement for modelers' experience in choosing and adjusting sensitive model parameters. Instead, it is an additional practical and effective tool for carrying out final adjustments of uncertain ESM parameters.

Scientific Publication
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