Publications


Diagnosing the Origin of Extended-Range Forecast Errors

MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW 138 (2010) 2434-2446

T Jung, MJ Miller, TN Palmer


A comparative method to evaluate and validate stochastic parametrizations

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 135 (2009) 1095-1103

L Hermanson, B Hoskins, T Palmer

There is a growing interest in using stochastic parametrizations in numerical weather and climate prediction models. Previously, Palmer (2001) outlined the issues that give rise to the need for a stochastic parametrization and the forms such a parametrization could take. In this article a method is presented that uses a comparison between a standard-resolution version and a high-resolution version of the same model to gain information relevant for a stochastic parametrization in that model. A correction term that could be used in a stochastic parametrization is derived from the thermodynamic equations of both models. The origin of the components of this term is discussed. It is found that the component related to unresolved wave-wave interactions is important and can act to compensate for large parametrized tendencies. The correction term is not proportional to the parametrized tendency. Finally, it is explained how the correction term could be used to give information about the shape of the random distribution to be used in a stochastic parametrization. © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society.


Decadal variability: Processes, predictability and prediction. ECMWF Tech Memo.

(2009) 591

D Anderson, FJ Doblas-Reyes, MA Balmaseda, A Weisheimer


Impact of a quasi-stochastic cellular automaton backscatter scheme on the systematic error and seasonal prediction skill of a global climate model

in Stochastic Physics and Climate Modelling, Cambridge University Press (2009) 15

J Berner, FJ Doblas-Reyes, TN Palmer, GJ Shutts, A Weisheimer


Future change in wintertime atmospheric blocking simulated using a 20-km-mesh atmospheric global circulation model

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 114 (2009)

M Matsueda, R Mizuta, S Kusunoki

Future change in the frequency of atmospheric blocking is investigated through present-day (1979-2003) and future (2075-2099) simulations using 20-, 60-, 120-, and 180-km-mesh atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Reports on Emission Scenarios AlB emission scenario, focusing on the Northern Hemisphere winter (December-February). The results of present-day climate simulations reveal that the AGCM with the highest horizontal resolution is required to accurately simulate Euro-Atlantic blocking, whereas the AGCM with the lowest horizontal resolution is in good agreement with reanalysis data regarding the frequency of Pacific blocking. While the lower-resolution models accurately reproduce long-lived Pacific blocking, they are unable to accurately simulate long-lived Euro-Atlantic blocking. This result suggests that the maintenance mechanism of Euro-Atlantic blocking is different from that of Pacific blocking. In the future climate simulations, both frequencies of Euro-Atlantic and Pacific blockings are predicted to show a significant decrease, mainly in the western part of each peak in present-day blocking frequency, where the westerly jet is predicted to increase in strength; no significant change is predicted in the eastern part of each peak. The number of Euro-Atlantic blocking events is predicted to decrease for almost all blocking durations, whereas the decrease in the number of Pacific blockings is remarkable for long-duration events. It is possible that long-lived (>25 days) Euro-Atlantic and Pacific blockings will disappear altogether in the future. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.


Addressing model uncertainty in seasonal and annual dynamical ensemble forecasts

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 135 (2009) 1538-1559

FJ Doblas-Reyes, A Weisheimer, A Déqué, N Keenlyside, M McVean, JM Murphy, P Rogel, D Smith, TN Palmer

The relative merits of three forecast systems addressing the impact of model uncertainty on seasonal/annual forecasts are described. One system consists of a multi-model, whereas two other systems sample uncertainties by perturbing the parametrization of reference models through perturbed parameter and stochastic physics techniques. Ensemble reforecasts over 1991 to 2001 were performed with coupled climate models started from realistic initial conditions. Forecast quality varies due to the different strategies for sampling uncertainties, but also to differences in initialisation methods and in the reference forecast system. Both the stochastic-physics and perturbed-parameter ensembles improve the reliability with respect to their reference forecast systems, but not the discrimination ability. Although the multi-model experiment has an ensemble size larger than the other two experiments, most of the assessment was done using equally-sized ensembles. The three ensembles show similar levels of skill: significant differences in performance typically range between 5 and 20%. However, a nine-member multi-model shows better results for seasonal predictions with lead times shorter than five months, followed by the stochastic-physics and perturbed-parameter ensembles. Conversely, for seasonal predictions with lead times longer than four months, the perturbed-parameter ensemble gives more often better results. All systems suggest that spread cannot be considered a useful predictor of skill. Annual-mean predictions showed lower forecast quality than seasonal predictions. Only small differences between the systems were found. The full multi-model ensemble has improved quality with respect to all other systems, mainly from the larger ensemble size for lead times longer than four months and annual predictions. © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright.


Numerical simulation of cloud-clear air interfacial mixing: Homogeneous versus inhomogeneous mixing

Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 66 (2009) 2493-2500

M Andrejczuk, WW Grabowski, SP Malinowski, PK Smolarkiewicz

This note presents an analysis of several dozens of direct numerical simulations of the cloud - clear air mixing in a setup of decaying moist turbulence with bin microphysics. The goal is to assess the instantaneous relationship between the homogeneity of mixing and the ratio of the time scales of droplet evaporation and turbulent homogenization. Such a relationship is important for developing improved microphysical parameterizations for large-eddy simulation of clouds. The analysis suggests a robust relationship for the range of time scale ratios between 0.5 and 10. Outside this range, the scatter of numerical data is significant, with smaller and larger time scale ratios corresponding to mixing scenarios that approach the extremely inhomogeneous and homogeneous limits, respectively. This is consistent with the heuristic argument relating the homogeneity of mixing to the time scale ratio. © 2009 American Meteorological Society.


Blocking Predictability in Operational Medium-Range Ensemble Forecasts

SOLA 5 (2009) 113-116

M Matsueda


ENSEMBLES: A new multi-model ensemble for seasonal-to-annual predictions - Skill and progress beyond DEMETER in forecasting tropical Pacific SSTs

Geophysical Research Letters 36 (2009)

A Weisheimer, FJ Doblas-Reyes, TN Palmer, A Alessandri, A Arribas, M Déqué, N Keenlyside, M MacVean, A Navarra, P Rogel

A new 46-year hindcast dataset for seasonal-to-annual ensemble predictions has been created using a multi-model ensemble of 5 state-of-the-art coupled atmosphere-ocean circulation models. The multi-model outperforms any of the single-models in forecasting tropical Pacific SSTs because of reduced RMS errors and enhanced ensemble dispersion at all lead-times. Systematic errors are considerably reduced over the previous generation (DEMETER). Probabilistic skill scores show higher skill for the new multi-model ensemble than for DEMETER in the 4-6 month forecast range. However, substantially improved models would be required to achieve strongly statistical significant skill increases. The combination of ENSEMBLES and DEMETER into a grand multi-model ensemble does not improve the forecast skill further. Annual-range hindcasts show anomaly correlation skill of ∼0.5 up to 14 months ahead. A wide range of output from the multi-model simulations is becoming publicly available and the international community is invited to explore the full scientific potential of these data. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.


Toward Seamless Prediction: Calibration of Climate Change Projections Using Seasonal Forecasts Reply

BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY 90 (2009) 1551-1554

TN Palmer, FJ Doblas-Reyes, A Weisheimer, MJ Rodwell


Stochastic parametrization and model uncertainty. ECMWF Tech Memo.

(2009) 598

TN Palmer, R Buizza, FJ Doblas-Reyes, T Jung, M Leutbecher, GJ Shutts, M Steinheimer, A Weisheimer


Monte Carlo approach to turbulence

Proceedings of the XXVII International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory ‘Lattice 2009' (2009)

Dueben, D Homeier, K Jansen, D Mesterhazy, G Muenster


Revolution in climate prediction is both necessary and possible: A declaration at the world modelling summit for climate prediction

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90 (2009) 175-178

J Shukla, R Hagedorn, B Hoskins, J Kinter, J Marotzke, M Miller, TN Palmer, J Sungo

Addressing the global climate change, the World climate Research Program (WCRP) held a World Modeling summit for Climate Prediction on 6-9 May 2008 in Reading, England, to develop a strategy in revolutionizing prediction of the climate. The summit was cosponsored by the World Weather Research Program (WWRP) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP). The event has given emphasis on the simulation and prediction of the physical climate system. The summit tried to identify challenges which are grouped into following areas such as process-based model evaluation; data assimilation, analysis, and initialization; detection and attribution of climate events; and ensembles.


The characteristics of Hessian singular vectors using an advanced data assimilation scheme

QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY 135 (2009) 1117-1132

AR Lawrence, A Leutbecher, TN Palmer


The Invariant Set Postulate: a new geometric framework for the foundations of quantum theory and the role played by gravity

PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES 465 (2009) 3165-3185

TN Palmer


Aerodynamic Stability and the Growth of Triangular Snow Crystals

The Microscope McCrone Research Institute 4 (2009) 157-163

KG Libbrecht, HM Arnold

We describe laboratory-grown snow crystals that exhibit a triangular, plate-like morphology, and we show that the occurrence of these crystals is much more frequent than one would expect from random growth perturbations of the more-typical hexagonal forms. We then describe an aerodynamic model that explains the formation of these crystals. A single growth perturbation on one facet of a hexagonal plate leads to air flow around the crystal that promotes the growth of alternating facets. Aerodynamic effects thus produce a weak growth instability that can cause hexagonal plates to develop into triangular plates. This mechanism solves a very old puzzle, as observers have been documenting the unexplained appearance of triangular snow crystals in nature for nearly two centuries.


A Spectral Stochastic Kinetic Energy Backscatter Scheme and Its Impact on Flow-Dependent Predictability in the ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System

JOURNAL OF THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES 66 (2009) 603-626

J Berner, GJ Shutts, M Leutbecher, TN Palmer


Laboratory and modeling studies of cloud-clear air interfacial mixing: Anisotropy of small-scale turbulence due to evaporative cooling

New Journal of Physics 10 (2008)

SP Malinowski, M Andrejczuk, WW Grabowski, P Korczyk, TA Kowalewski, PK Smolarkiewicz

Small-scale mixing between cloudy air and unsaturated clear air is investigated in numerical simulations and in a laboratory cloud chamber. Despite substantial differences in physical conditions and some differences in resolved scales of motion, results of both studies indicate that small-scale turbulence generated through cloud-clear air interfacial mixing is highly anisotropic. For velocity fluctuations, numerical simulations and cloud chamber observations demonstrate that the vertical velocity variance is up to a factor of two larger than the horizontal velocity variance. The Taylor microscales calculated separately for the horizontal and vertical directions also indicate anisotropy of turbulent eddies. This anisotropy is attributed to production of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) by buoyancy forces due to evaporative cooling of cloud droplets at the cloud-clear air interface. Numerical simulations quantify the effects of buoyancy oscillations relative to the values expected from adiabatic and isobaric mixing, standardly assumed in cloud physics. The buoyancy oscillations result from microscale transport of liquid water due to the gravitational sedimentation of cloud droplets. In the particular modeling setup considered here, these oscillations contribute to about a fifth of the total TKE production. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


The potential impacts of pollution on a nondrizzling stratus deck: Does aerosol number matter more than type?

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 113 (2008)

M Andrejczuk, JM Reisner, B Henson, MK Dubey, CA Jeffery

In this paper results from a cloud-resolving model that can efficiently examine the impact of aerosol on nondrizzling stratus clouds will be shown. Because the model tracks aerosol and cloud droplets in a Lagrangian framework, it does not suffer from numerical errors associated with advection, and unlike most Eulerian approaches, the method can track cloud boundaries as they move across a grid cell. After illustrating the capability of the model to reproduce various observed cloud statistics such as the cloud water mixing ratio and the mean cloud droplet radius from the DYCOMS-II field program, the ability of the model to assess the impact of changes in aerosol number and composition on a stratus deck will be highlighted. Specifically, by using activation curves appropriate for. soluble, insoluble, or a mixture of both types of aerosol and for certain extreme aerosol regimes, i.e., a majority of the aerosol are hydrophobic carbon aerosol, limiting situations were examined to bound their impact on clouds. However, though these situations may be somewhat extreme, they could occasionally occur in the atmosphere, e.g., an oceanic stratus field downwind of a large ship or an urban area. Not unexpectedly, results from these simulations support previous ship track observations that for increasing aerosol numbers, cloud droplet number concentrations increase, whereas cloud droplet radii decrease. However, these simulations also suggest that the correlation between cloud droplet number concentration and aerosol number concentration may be not only a function of aerosol number concentration but also aerosol types and/or cloud dynamics.


Ensemble forecasting

JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS 227 (2008) 3515-3539

M Leutbecher, TN Palmer