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Statistically Steady State Large‐Eddy Simulations Forced by an Idealized GCM: 1. Forcing Framework and Simulation Characteristics

Shen, Zhaoyi and Pressel, Kyle G. and Tan, Zhihong and Schneider, Tapio (2020) Statistically Steady State Large‐Eddy Simulations Forced by an Idealized GCM: 1. Forcing Framework and Simulation Characteristics. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 12 (2). Art. No. e2019MS001814. ISSN 1942-2466. doi:10.1029/2019MS001814.

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Using large‐eddy simulations (LES) systematically has the potential to inform parameterizations of subgrid‐scale processes in general circulation models (GCMs), such as turbulence, convection, and clouds. Here we show how LES can be run to simulate grid columns of GCMs to generate LES across a cross section of dynamical regimes. The LES setup approximately replicates the thermodynamic and water budgets in GCM grid columns. Resolved horizontal and vertical transports of heat and water and large‐scale pressure gradients from the GCM are prescribed as forcing in the LES. The LES are forced with prescribed surface temperatures, but atmospheric temperature and moisture are free to adjust, reducing the imprinting of GCM fields on the LES. In both the GCM and LES, radiative transfer is treated in a unified but idealized manner (semigray atmosphere without water vapor feedback or cloud radiative effects). We show that the LES in this setup reaches statistically steady states without nudging to thermodynamic GCM profiles. The steady states provide training data for developing GCM parameterizations. The same LES setup also provides a good basis for studying the cloud response to global warming.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemGCM codes ItemLES codes ItemPrimary GCM and LES data
Shen, Zhaoyi0000-0002-0444-4720
Pressel, Kyle G.0000-0002-4538-3055
Tan, Zhihong0000-0002-7422-3317
Schneider, Tapio0000-0001-5687-2287
Additional Information:© 2020 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received 13 JUL 2019; Accepted 18 JAN 2020; Accepted article online 25 JAN 2020. We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Eric and Wendy Schmidt (by recommendation of Schmidt Futures), Mountain Philanthropies, EarthRise Alliance, Charles Trimble, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (Grant 1835860). The simulations were performed on Caltech's High Performance Cluster, which is partially supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The GCM codes are available on the GitHub repository ( The LES codes are available on the GitHub repository ( Primary GCM and LES data that may be used to produce the plots are available online (
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Eric and Wendy SchmidtUNSPECIFIED
Mountain PhilanthropiesUNSPECIFIED
EarthRise AllianceUNSPECIFIED
Charles TrimbleUNSPECIFIED
Paul G. Allen Family FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200127-131857757
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Official Citation:Shen, Z., Pressel, K. G., Tan, Z., & Schneider, T. (2020). Statistically steady state large‐eddy simulations forced by an idealized GCM: 1. Forcing framework and simulation characteristics. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 12, e2019MS001814.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100946
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Jan 2020 18:42
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:58

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