Effect of horizontal resolution on the simulation of tropical cyclones in the Chinese Academy of Sciences FGOALS-f3 climate system model

Li, Jinxiao; Bao, Qing; Liu, Yimin; Wang, Lei; Yang, Jing; Wu, Guoxiong; Wu, Xiaofei; He, Bian; Wang, Xiaocong; Zhang, Xiaoqi; Yang, Yaoxian; Shen, Zili

The effects of horizontal resolution on the simulation of tropical cyclones were studied using the Chinese Academy of Sciences Flexible Global Ocean–Atmosphere–Land System Finite-Volume version 3 (FGOALS-f3) climate system model from the High-Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP) for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6). Both the low-resolution (about 100 km resolution) FGOALS-f3 model (FGOALS-f3-L) and the high-resolution (about 25 km resolution) FGOALS-f3 (FGOALS-f3-H) models were used to achieve the standard Tier 1 experiment required by HighResMIP. FGOALS-f3-L and FGOALS-f3-H have the same model parameterizations with the exactly the same parameters. The only differences between the two models are the horizontal resolution and the time step. The performance of FGOALS-f3-H and FGOALS-f3-L in simulating tropical cyclones was evaluated using observations. FGOALS-f3-H (25 km resolution) simulated more realistic distributions of the formation, movement and intensity of the climatology of tropical cyclones than FGOALS-f3-L at 100 km resolution. Although the number of tropical cyclones increased by about 50 % at the higher resolution and better matched the observed values in the peak month, both FGOALS-f3-L and FGOALS-f3-H appear to replicate the timing of the seasonal cycle of tropical cyclones. The simulated average and interannual variabilities of the number of tropical cyclones and the accumulated cyclone energy were both significantly improved from FGOALS-f3-L to FGOALS-f3-H over most of the ocean basins. The characteristics of tropical cyclones (e.g., the average lifetime, the wind–pressure relationship and the horizontal structure) were more realistic in the simulation using the high-resolution model. The possible physical linkage between the performance of the tropical cyclone simulation and the horizontal resolution were revealed by further analyses. The improvement in the response between the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the number of tropical cyclones and the accumulated cyclone energy in FGOALS-f3 contributed to the realistic simulation of tropical cyclones. The genesis potential index and the vorticity, relative humidity, maximum potential intensity and the windpage6114 shear terms were used to diagnose the effects of resolution. We discuss the current insufficiencies and future directions of improvement for the simulation of tropical cyclones and the potential applications of the FGOALS-f3-H model in the subseasonal to seasonal prediction of tropical cyclones.

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Li, Jinxiao / Bao, Qing / Liu, Yimin / et al: Effect of horizontal resolution on the simulation of tropical cyclones in the Chinese Academy of Sciences FGOALS-f3 climate system model. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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