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Latest version of climate system model shows significant improvements in simulation performance

September 02, 2020

Climate change is a topic of broad concern, with everyone wondering how the climate will change in the future. However, since climate change is a slow process, it is hard to study based on short-term observations, and hence using climate models has become the most common method employed by the scientific community.

A climate model is a set of software running on a super computer that can solve the physical formulations that describe the variations in atmosphere, ocean, etc. via numerical algorithms, thus helping us to study climate changes. In recent decades, climate models have developed from simple models to complex systems, and their performances keep on improving worldwide. But what about the performance of autonomous climate models developed in China?

The climate system model FGOALS-f3-L, developed at the State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP/CAS), is one of the latest Chinese climate models, and is currently participating in phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Evaluations of the experimental outputs show that the model is able to reasonably simulate the climatic elements in historical experiments, including the long-term trends and climatological patterns. Besides, significant improvements are apparent compared with the previous version. For the simulated ocean and sea ice, the most obvious biases are cold biases and overestimation of sea ice in the Arctic.

According to Prof. Yongqiang Yu, the corresponding author of this recently published study in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, "the obvious improvements of this latest model in simulating the climate system are meaningful for us to study climate dynamics and enhance our ability to project climate change, and of course make new contributions to the development of autonomous climate models in China."
-end-


Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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