FACTS Climate Experiment Documentation

Climate Experiments

The table below shows the Climate Experiments that are being made available through the FACTS website. All runs cover the period 1979-2012 and will be extended as necessary (see footnotes).

Experiment Identifiers Forcings1 Number of Ensemble Members
Experiment Name2 File Name ID3 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Sea Ice Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Ozone ECHAM55 CAM45 ESRL-GFSv25
AMIP with Observed Radiative Forcing amip_obs_rf Obs Obs Obs Obs 306 206 506
AMIP with 1880s Radiative Forcing amip_1880s_rf Obs Detrended to 1880 Present Climatology Past Climatology Past Climatology 10 20  
AMIP with Climatological Radiative Forcing amip_clim_rf Obs Obs Present Climatology Present Climatology 10    
AMIP with Observed Radiative Forcing, Climatological Sea Ice and Polar SST amip_clim_polar Obs/Present Climatology Present Climatology Obs Obs 10 20  
AMIP with Observed Radiative Forcing, Climatological Ozone amip_clim_o3 Obs Obs Obs Present Climatology 10    
Leading Pattern of Global SST Variabilty4 with Observed Radiative Forcing eof1_sst 1st EOF4 Obs Obs Obs 306   506
First 2 Leading Patterns of Global SST Variabilty4 with Observed Radiative Forcing eof1+eof2_sst 1st & 2nd EOF4 Obs Obs Obs 10    

1 Obs - Observed conditions, Present Climatology (varies by forcing, but generally some average conditions between 1981-2010), Past Climatology (1881-1910 climatology, or a specific pre-industrial date). See experiment desciptions for complete details.
2 Text for "experiment" global attribute in files
3 Experiment identifier in file and directory names
4 Leading Patterns are the first and second Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) of Global monthly SST variability 1979-2011 (EOF1, EOF2)
5Model Resolution: ECHAM5 - 480x240 (0.75 degrees - T159/L31), CAM4 - 288x192 (~1.0 degrees - L26), ESRL-GFSv2 - 360x180 (~1.0 degrees - T126/L64)
6Updated through April, 2014

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Climate Experiment Variables

The table below shows a list of variables being made available through the FACTS website. Each experiment may have only some of the variable available. The netCDF files use the CMIP5 variable names and units where possible and include variable attributes to show the original model variable name and units.

  CMIP5 Variables and Units Model Variables
Variable Description
(long_name attribute)
Variable Name Units CF Standard name ECHAM5 CAM42 ESRL-GFSv22 AM32
Total Cloud Fraction clt % cloud_area_fraction aclcov      
Surface Upward Latent Heat Flux hfls W m-2 surface_upward_latent_heat_flux ahfl LHFLX lhtfl  
Surface Upward Sensible Heat Flux hfss W m-2 surface_upward_sensible_heat_flux ahfs      
Convective Precipitation prc kg m-2 s-1 convective_precipitation_flux aprc PRECC    
Large Scale Precipitation prl1 kg m-2 s-1 large_scale_precipitation_flux aprl PRECL    
Snowfall Flux prsn kg m-2 s-1 snowfall_flux aprs      
Surface Air Pressure ps Pa surface_air_pressue aps PS    
Evaporation evspsbl kg m-2 s-1 water_evaporation_flux evap      
Geopotential Height zg m geopotential_height geopoth Z3 hgt  
Omega wap Pa s-1 lagrangian_tendency_of_air_pressure omega      
Precipitation pr kg m-2 s-1 precipitation_flux precip precip precip precip
Specific Humidity hus kg kg-1 specific_humidity q      
Vertically Integrated Water Vapor prw kg m-2 atmospheric_water_vapor_content qvi      
Relative Humidity hur % relative_humidity relhum      
Surface Runoff mrro kg m-2 s-1 runoff_flux runoff      
Sea Level Pressure psl Pa air_pressure_at_sea_level slp PSL prmsl  
Snow Depth snd m surface_snow_thickness sn      
Air Temperature ta K air_temperature st T tmp  
Daily Maximum Near-Surface Air Temperature tasmax K air_temperature t2max      
Daily Minimum Near-Surface Air Temperature tasmin K air_temperature t2min      
Near-Surface Air Temperature tas K air_temperature temp2 TREFHT t2m t_ref
Surface Temperature ts K surface_temperature tsurf TS    
Eastward Wind ua m s-1 eastward_wind u U ugrd  
Eastward Near-Surface Wind uas m s-1 eastward_wind u10      
Northward Wind va m s-1 northward_wind v V vgrd  
Northward Near-Surface Wind vas m s-1 northward_wind v10      
Surface Albedo alb1 1 surface_albedo albedo      
Near-Surface Dew Point Temperature dtas1 K dew_point_temperature dew2      
Velocity Potential velpot1 m2 s-1 atmosphere_horizontal_velocity_potential velopot      
Streamfunction stream1 m2 s-1 atmosphere_horizontal_streamfunction stream      
WMO-defined Tropopause Pressure trop1 Pa N/A tropo      

1There is no CMIP5 variable for this field - these are made up.
2Empty cells in the column indicate that those variables have not been processed.

Coordinate Variables

  CMIP5 Variables and Units Model Variables
Variable Description
(long_name attribute)
Variable Name Units CF Standard name ECHAM5 CAM4 ESRL-GFSv2 AM3
time time days since ? time time time time time
latitude lat degrees_north latitude lat lat lat grid_yt
longitude lon degrees_east longitude lon lon lon grid_xt
pressure plev Pa air_pressure lev level lev  

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Descriptions of the models available in FACTS


Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)
Horizontal Resolution:
~1.9ox1.9o (192x92)
Vertical Resolution:
48 layers
Donner, Leo J., Bruce Wyman, Richard S Hemler, Larry W Horowitz, Yi Ming, Ming Zhao, J-C Golaz, Paul Ginoux, Shian-Jiann Lin, M Daniel Schwarzkopf, John Austin, G Alaka, W F Cooke, Thomas L Delworth, Stuart Freidenreich, C Tony Gordon, Stephen M Griffies, Isaac M Held, William J Hurlin, Stephen A Klein, Thomas R Knutson, Amy R Langenhorst, H C Lee, Y Lin, B I Magi, Sergey Malyshev, P C D Milly, Vaishali Naik, Mary Jo Nath, R Pincus, Jeff J Ploshay, V Ramaswamy, Charles J Seman, Elena Shevliakova, Joseph J Sirutis, William F Stern, Ronald J Stouffer, R John Wilson, Michael Winton, Andrew T Wittenberg, and Fanrong Zeng, July 2011: The dynamical core, physical parameterizations, and basic simulation characteristics of the atmospheric component AM3 of the GFDL Global Coupled Model CM3. Journal of Climate, 24(13), doi:10.1175/2011JCLI3955.1.

Bretherton, Christopher S., James R McCaa, Herve Grenier, 2004: A New Parameterization for Shallow Cumulus Convection and Its Application to Marine Subtropical Cloud-Topped Boundary Layers. Part I: Description and 1D Results. Monthly Weather Review, 132, 864-882.

Donner, Leo J., Charles J Seman, Richard S Hemler, and Song-Miao Fan, 2001: A Cumulus Parameterization Including Mass Fluxes, Convective Vertical Velocities, and Mesoscale Effects: Thermodynamic and Hydrological Aspects in a General Circulation model. Journal of Climate, 14(16), 3444-3463.

Golaz, J-C, M Salzmann, Leo J Donner, Larry W Horowitz, Yi Ming, and Ming Zhao, July 2011: Sensitivity of the Aerosol Indirect Effect to Subgrid Variability in the Cloud Parameterization of the GFDL Atmosphere General Circulation Model AM3. Journal of Climate, 24(13), DOI:10.1175/2010JCLI3945.1.

Ming, Yi, V Ramaswamy, Leo J Donner, and V T J Phillips, 2006: A new parameterization of cloud droplet activation applicable to general circulation models. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 63(4), DOI:10.1175/JAS3686.1.

Wilcox, E M., and Leo J Donner, 2007: The Frequency of Extreme Rain Events in Satellite Rain-Rate Estimates and an Atmospheric General Circulation Model. Journal of Climate, 20(1), DOI:10.1175/JCLI3987.1


National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Horizontal Resolution:
~1.0oX1.0o (288x192)
Vertical Resolution:
25 layers
Neale, R. B., et al., (2010a), Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 4.0), NCAR Tech. Note NCAR/TN-XXX+STR, 206 pp., Natl. Cent. for Atmos. Res, Boulder, Colo.


Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI)
Horizontal Resolution:
0.75ox0.75o (480x240)
Vertical Resolution:
31 layers
Roeckner, E., G. Bäuml, L. Bonaventura, R. Brokopf, M. Esch, M. Giorgetta, S. Hagemann, I. Kirchner, L. Kornblueh, E. Manzini, A. Rhodin, U. Schlese, U. Schulzweida, and A. Tompkins, 2003: The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5. Part I: Model description. Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Rep. 349, 127 pp.


GFSv2 run at ESRL
NOAA/NWS Environmental Modeling Center (EMC)
Horizontal Resolution:
1.0ox1.0o (360x181)
Vertical Resolution:
64 layers
Suranjana Saha, Shrinivas Moorthi, Xingren Wu, Jiande Wang, Sudhir Nadiga, Patrick Tripp, David Behringer, Yu-Tai Hou, Hui-ya Chuang, Mark Iredell, Michael Ek, Jesse Meng, Rongqian Yang, Malaquías Peña Mendez, Huug van den Dool, Qin Zhang, Wanqiu Wang, Mingyue Chen, and Emily Becker, 2014: The NCEP Climate Forecast System Version 2. J. Climate, 27, 2185–2208. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00823.1


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Horizontal Resolution:
1.25ox1o (288x181)
Vertical Resolution:
72 layers
Molod, A., L. Takacs, M. Suarez, J. Bacmeister, I. Somg, and A. Eichmann, 2012: The GEOS-5 Atmospheric General Circulation Model: Mean Climate and Development from MERRA to Fortuna. Tech. rep., NASA Technical Report Series on Global Modeling and Data Assimilation, NASA TM2012-104606, Vol. 28, 117 pp.

Siegfried D. Schubert, Hailan Wang, Randal D. Koster, Max J. Suarez, and Pavel Ya. Groisman, 2014: Northern Eurasian Heat Waves and Droughts. J. Climate, 27, 3169–3207.
(click on a model name to show the details of that model)

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