Simulations of idealised 3D atmospheric flows on terrestrial planets using LFRic-Atmosphere

Sergeev, Denis E.; Mayne, Nathan J.; Bendall, Thomas; Boutle, Ian A.; Brown, Alex; Kavčič, Iva; Kent, James; Kohary, Krisztian; Manners, James; Melvin, Thomas; Olivier, Enrico; Ragta, Lokesh K.; Shipway, Ben; Wakelin, Jon; Wood, Nigel; Zerroukat, Mohamed

We demonstrate that LFRic-Atmosphere, a model built using the Met Office's GungHo dynamical core, is able to reproduce idealised large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns specified by several widely used benchmark recipes. This is motivated by the rapid rate of exoplanet discovery and the ever-growing need for numerical modelling and characterisation of their atmospheres. Here we present LFRic-Atmosphere's results for the idealised tests imitating circulation regimes commonly used in the exoplanet modelling community. The benchmarks include three analytic forcing cases: the standard Held–Suarez test, the Menou–Rauscher Earth-like test, and the Merlis–Schneider tidally locked Earth test. Qualitatively, LFRic-Atmosphere agrees well with other numerical models and shows excellent conservation properties in terms of total mass, angular momentum, and kinetic energy. We then use LFRic-Atmosphere with a more realistic representation of physical processes (radiation, subgrid-scale mixing, convection, clouds) by configuring it for the four TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) scenarios. This is the first application of LFRic-Atmosphere to a possible climate of a confirmed terrestrial exoplanet. LFRic-Atmosphere reproduces the THAI scenarios within the spread of the existing models across a range of key climatic variables. Our work shows that LFRic-Atmosphere performs well in the seven benchmark tests for terrestrial atmospheres, justifying its use in future exoplanet climate studies.

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Sergeev, Denis E. / Mayne, Nathan J. / Bendall, Thomas / et al: Simulations of idealised 3D atmospheric flows on terrestrial planets using LFRic-Atmosphere. 2023. Copernicus Publications.

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