A Spectral Element Version of CAM2
Monthly Weather Review
The authors describe a recent development and some applications of a spectral element dynamical core. The improvements and development include the following: (i) the code was converted from FORTRAN 77 to FORTRAN 90; (ii) the dynamical core was extended to the generalized terrain-following, or hybrid , vertical coordinates; (iii) a fourth-order Runge-Kutta (RK4) method for time integration was implemented; (iv) moisture effects were added in the dynamical system and a semi-Lagrangian method for
... oisture transport was implemented; and (v) the improved dynamical core was coupled with the Community Atmosphere Model version 2 (CAM2) physical parameterizations and Community Land Model version 2 (CLM2) in such a way that it can be used as an alternative dynamical core in CAM2. This spectral element version of CAM2 is denoted as CAM-SEM. A mass fixer as used in the Eulerian version of CAM2 (CAM-EUL) is also implemented in CAM-SEM. Results from multiyear simulations with CAM-SEM (coupled with CLM2) with climatology SST are also presented and compared with simulations from CAM-EUL. Close resemblances are shown in simulations from CAM-SEM and CAM-EUL. The authors found that contrary to what is suggested by some other studies, the high-order Lagrangian interpolation (with a limiter) using the spectral element basis functions may not be suitable for moisture and other strongly varying fields such as cloud and precipitation.