Evaluation of a unique approach to high-resolution climate modeling using the Model for Prediction Across Scales – Atmosphere (MPAS-A) version 5.1
We present multi-seasonal simulations representative of present-day and future environments using the global Model for Prediction Across Scales – Atmosphere (MPAS-A) version 5.1 with high resolution (15 km) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We select 10 simulation years with varying phases of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and integrate each for 14.5 months. We use analyzed sea surface temperature (SST) patterns for present-day simulations. For the future climate simulations, we alter present-day SSTs by applying monthly-averaged temperature changes derived from a 20-member ensemble of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) general circulation models (GCMs) following the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 emissions scenario. Daily sea ice fields, obtained from the monthly-averaged CMIP5 ensemble mean sea ice, are used for present-day and future simulations. The present-day simulations provide a reasonable reproduction of large-scale atmospheric features in the Northern Hemisphere such as the wintertime midlatitude storm tracks, upper-tropospheric jets, and maritime sea-level pressure features as well as annual precipitation patterns across the tropics. The simulations also adequately represent tropical cyclone (TC) characteristics such as strength, spatial distribution, and seasonal cycles for most Northern Hemisphere basins. These results demonstrate the applicability of these model simulations for future studies examining climate change effects on various Northern Hemisphere phenomena, and, more generally, the utility of MPAS-A for studying climate change at spatial scales generally unachievable in GCMs.