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Assessing the Grell‐Freitas Convection Parameterization in the NASA GEOS Modeling System


We implemented and began to evaluate an alternative convection parameterization for the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) general circulation model (GCM). The proposed parameterization follows the mass flux approach with several closures, for equilibrium and non‐equilibrium convection, and includes scale and aerosol aware functionalities. Recently, we extended the scheme to a trimodal spectral size distribution of allowed convective plumes to simulate the transition among shallow, congestus, and deep convection regimes. In addition, the inclusion of a new closure for non‐equilibrium convection resulted in a substantial gain of realism in the model representation of the diurnal cycle of convection over the land. We demonstrated the scale‐dependence functionality with a cascade of global‐scale simulations from a nominal horizontal resolution of 50 km down to 6 km. The ability to realistically simulate the diurnal cycle of precipitation over various regions of the earth was verified against several remote sensing‐derived intradiurnal precipitation estimates. We extended the model performance evaluation for weather‐scale applications by bringing together some available operational short‐range weather forecast models and global atmospheric reanalyses. Our results demonstrate that the GEOS GCM with the alternative convective parameterization has good properties and competitive skill in comparison with state‐of‐the‐art observations and numerical simulations.

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