Oak Ridge National Laboratory - National Center for Computational Sciences - Scientific Computing Group

CCSM3 T341 / HOMME - TMQ (Water Vapor)

The proper simulation of the distribution of water vapor in the climate system is essential to the accurate treatment of the hydrological cycle and the planetary radiation budget. These images show the simulated monthly-averaged distribution of the total column water vapor from a high-resolution configuration of the CCSM Community Atmospheric Model.

Format: MPEG-1
Resolution: 1280x640
Notes: HOMME: 1/8 degree resolution; Two-hourly; Two months (Dec. and Jan.). Original cubed-sphere gridded data was interpolated to a grid 25% higher resolution than the original run to avoid interpolation artifacts. CAM 3.5.1 'track 1' physics configuration, but with no surface roughness term in the gravity wave drag parametrization. The data is comprised of instantaneous fields.
Visualization Notes: The pulsing that can be detected over low-latitude terrestrial surfaces reflects the strong diurnal oscillation in water vapor driven largely by energy exchange between the Earth's surface and the free atmosphere. The increase in water vapor over a 24 hour period is driven by the "evaporation" of water into the atmosphere (a portion of this is evapotranspiration) where the sharp decrease occurs due to condensation and rainout of water in deep cumulus convection. Therefore, there is an ongoing source of energy to the atmosphere in the form of evaporation (latent energy flux), and a sharp reduction that occurs when the atmosphere becomes unstable enough (e.g., in response to the daytime heating of the surface) to allow deep thunderstorms to form and rain out the evaporated water.
Climate simulations are not deterministic forecasts, however, which have a theoretical limit of a couple of weeks. The research is not attempting to simulate specific events, but rather the statistics of those events. From a scientific perspective a more complete climate characterization would exploit many simulations of the same period (an ensemble of simulations) from which one would produce a more complete statistical characterization. The goal is to accurately reproduce the statistics in order to be able to provide probabilities about specific aspects of climate (e.g., the likelihood that there would be more tropical storms for a particular season, or the likelihood of drought or heat waves, etc.).

Static Images
Format: PNG
Resolution: 3000x1500
Notes: HOMME: 1/8 degree resolution;

Static Image
Format: PNG
Resolution: 3000x2000
Notes: T341

Format: MPEG-1
Resolution: 1125x563
Notes: T341: Three-hourly; Three months (Dec-1850, Jan-1851, Feb-1851). The data is comprised of averaged fields. The appearance of ringing in this visualization is of interest. Is the ringing a result of a numerical artifact of the Gibbs phenomena (the peculiar manner in which the Fourier series of a piecewise continuously differentiable periodic function behaves at a jump discontinuity), or is it inertia-gravity waves resulting from the latent heat release occuring on too fast a time scale? Here is an example of excessive generation of intertia gravity waves because of the deficiencies in the convective parameterization (ccm2_aus_jan.mpg) An experiment is currently being developed that will allow our vis capabilities to answer this question.

CCSM3 T341 - TMQ (Water Vapor) - 2005 Averages - Pseudo-color plot exploration.

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0.png (Resolution: 5120 x 3200)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_01_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_01_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_02_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_02_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_03_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_03_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_04_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_04_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_05_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_05_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_06_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_06_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_07_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_07_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_08_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_08_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_09_d.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500)
TMQ_cam35_2005_cam2_h0_09_a.png (Resolution: 3500 x 3500 - No Annotation)

Visualizations by Jamison Daniel - d65@ornl.gov - 865-576-5823