RCM Characteristics

Major characteristics of regional climate models used in NA-CORDEX

 

 CanRCM4CRCM5
(OURANOS)
CRCM5
(UQAM)
HIRHAM5RCA4RegCM4WRF
Dynamics Semi-
Langrangian Hydrostatic
Semi-
Lagrangian Hydrostatic
Semi-
Lagrangian Hydrostatic
HIRLAM Semi-Lagrange hydrostatic Semi-
Lagrangian
Hydrostatic Nonhydrostatic, Compressible
Land Surface
Model
CLASS2.7 CLASS3.5+ CLASS3.5+ ECHAM5 RCA LSS BATS NOAH
LSM Input
Databases
GLC2000 USGS vegetation & lake fraction; ECOCLIMAP sand & clay; Webb et al. 1993 depth to bedrock; Kourzeneva lake depth;
lake fractions adjusted to represent reservoirs and lakes and to better define Great Lakes
USGS vegetation & lake fraction; ECOCLIMAP sand & clay; Webb et al. 1993 depth to bedrock; Kourzeneva lake depth Fixed seasonally varying LAI ECOCLIMAP USGS Global Land Cover Characterization USGS 24-category data
Driving Ocean
BC Variables
(ts / tos, sea ice)
SSTs, sea-ice thickness, sea-ice fraction SST, SIC SST, SIC SST, SICE SST, sea ice tos

GFDL: tos, sic;
MPI: tos, sic;
HADGEM: tos, no sic

Sea Ice
Characteristics
thickness and fraction simple thermodynamic simple thermodynamic prescribed two-layer temperature, constant thickness inferred from tos GFDL & MPI: sea ice provided as LBC; HADGEM: sea ice threshold set to 272.0 K (sea ice present at threshold); fractional sea ice used if sic available as LBC
Lake Model
Characteristics
prescribed from driver FLake FLake No lake model; interpolate lapse-rate corrected SST for lakes > 0.5 gridbox FLake Hostetler et al. (1993) lake model Default WRF interpolation from nearby ocean SSTs
Sub-Grid
Lakes
no yes yes no yes no no
Thermal/Water
Layers
N/A 17 to 15m soil depth +1 for snow / soil to depth to bedrock + 1 for snow 26 to 60m 5/1 (+snow) 5/3 3/3, 1 for snow N/A
Vegetation
Types
4 4 (plus urban and bare soil) 4 (plus urban and bare soil) 75 classes 12 generic PFTs 20 surface types, 12 soil types 24 types
Boundary
Layer
Parameterization
Bulk Richardson Formulation Delage 1997 Delage 1997 ECHAM5 TKE scheme with diagnostic mixing length and moist processes Holtslag (1990) MYJ
Explicit
Moist
Physics
Prognostic cloud liquid water and ice, statistical cloud scheme, interactive with aerosols Sundqvist Sundqvist Prognostic liquid water and ice Prognostic equation for total cloud water mixing ratio, diagnostic cloud fraction based on threshold relative humidity SUBEX scheme, Pal et al (2000) WSM3
Cumulus
Parameterization
Mass flux scheme for shallow and deep convection Kain and Fritsch Kain and Fritsch Tiedke, Nordeng Modified Kain-Fritsch Grell scheme with Fritsch-Chappell type closure over land, Emanuel scheme over oceans Kain-Fritsch (cu_physics=1)
Vertical
Coordinate
Hybrid sigma-pressure 58 hybrid levels, top at 10 hPa 58 hybrid levels, top at 10 hPa Hybrid, 31 levels Hybrid sigma-pressure, 40 levels Sigma, 18 levels Terrain-following hydrostatic pressure coordinate, 28 levels
Spectral
Nudging
Yes Yes No No No No  Yes
Lateral
Boundary
Treatment
cos^2 relaxation with 1h-24h time scale 10 semi-lag departure points 10 semi-lag departure points Tanh functional form of weights 8 point Davies cosine-based relaxation nudging with exponential weights linear relaxation
Original
Grid Size
200 x 180 (0.44°)
380 x 340 (0.22°)
212 x 200 (0.44°)
380 x 340 (0.22°)
212 x 200 (0.44°)
380 x 360 (0.22°)
695 x 680 (0.11°)
182 x 152 186 x 150 189 x 161 (50-km)
381 x 325 (25-km)
159 x 151 (50-km)
318 x 302 (25-km)
Sponge Zone
Depth
4.4 degrees (all resolutions) 10-point Davies blending 10-point Davies blending 10 points 10 points 12 points (50-km)
24 points (25-km)
5 points (50-km)
10 points (25-km)
Spin-up
Period
1 year None ERA-driven simulations start 1958 1 year 1 year 1 year for ERA-driven simulations 1 to 2.5 years depending on simulation
Length of
Timestep
1200s (0.44°)
600s (0.22°)
1200s (0.44°)
600s (0.22°)
1200s (0.44°)
600s (0.22°)
300s (0.11°)
600 seconds 1200 seconds 100s (50-km)
50s (25-km)
300s (50-km)
150s (25-km)
tasmin/tasmax
Calculation
timestep timestep timestep timestep timestep land surface timestep 3-hourly
Longwave
Radiation
Scheme
Correlated-k distribution and McICA for clouds Li and Barker correlated-k radiation Li and Barker correlated-k radiation Morcrette (1984) Sass et al. (1994) Kiehl et al (1996) RRTM
Shortwave
Radiation
Scheme
Correlated-k distribution and McICA for clouds Li and Barker correlated-k radiation Li and Barker correlated-k radiation Fouquart and Bonnel (1980) Sass et al. (1994) Kiehl et al (1996) Goddard (ra_sw_physics=2)
Uniform
Aerosols
prognostic bulk aerosols ozone ozone yes yes no yes
Modeler J. Scinocca S. Biner K. Winger F. Boberg
O. Christensen
G. Nikulin R. Arritt
M. Bukovsky
M. Bukovsky
C. Castro
H-I Chang
Institution CCCma Ouranos UQAM DMI SMHI Iowa State
NCAR
NCAR
U Arizona
Reference Scinocca et al (2015), J. Clim. 29, p.17 Zadra et al., 2008
Martynov et al. 2013
Šeparović et al. 2013
Zadra et al., 2008
Martynov et al. 2013
Šeparović et al. 2013
DMI report 06-17 Samuelsson et al. (2011), Tellus A 63.1; SMHI-RCA4 setup description Giorgi et al (2012) Climate Research Skamarock et al (2008) NCAR Tech Note