Ha T. M. Ho-Hagemann, Matthias Gröger, Burkhardt Rockel, Matthias Zahn, Beate Geyer, and H.E. Markus Meier (2017): Effects of air-sea coupling over the North Sea and the Baltic Sea on simulated summer precipitation over Central Europe. Climate Dynamics, pp 1-26, doi:10.1007/s00382-017-3546-8


This study introduces a new approach to investigate the potential effects of air-sea coupling on simulated precipitation inland over Central Europe. We present an inter-comparison of two regional climate models (RCMs), namely, the COSMO-CLM (hereafter CCLM) and RCA4 models, which are configured for the EURO-CORDEX domain in the coupled and atmosphere-only modes. Two versions of the CCLM model, namely, 4.8 and 5.0, join the inter-comparison being almost two different models while providing pronouncedly different summer precipitation simulations because of many changes in the dynamics and physics of CCLM in version 5.0. The coupling effect on the prominent summer dry bias over Central Europe is analysed using seasonal (JJA) mean statistics for the 30-year period from 1979 to 2009, with a focus on extreme precipitation under specific weather regimes. The weather regimes are compared between the coupled and uncoupled simulations to better understand the mechanism of the coupling effects. The comparisons of the coupled systems with the atmosphere-only models show that coupling clearly reduces the dry bias over Central Europe for CCLM 4.8, which has a large dry summer bias, but not for CCLM 5.0 and RCA4, which have smaller dry biases. This result implies that if the atmosphere-only model already yields reasonable summer precipitation over Central Europe, not much room for improvement exists that can be caused by the air-sea coupling over the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. However, if the atmosphere-only model shows a pronounced summer dry bias because of a lack of moisture transport from the seas into the region, the considered coupling may create an improved simulation of summer precipitation over Central Europe, such as for CCLM 4.8. For the latter, the benefit of coupling varies over the considered timescales. The precipitation simulations that are generated by the coupled system COSTRICE 4.8 and the atmosphere-only CCLM 4.8 are mostly identical for the summer mean. However, the COSTRICE simulations are generally more accurate than the atmosphere-only CCLM simulations if extreme precipitation is considered, particularly under Northerly Circulation conditions, in which the airflow from the North Atlantic Ocean passes the North Sea in the coupling domain. The air-sea feedback (e.g., wind, evaporation and sea surface temperature) and land-sea interactions are better reproduced with the COSTRICE model system than the atmosphere-only CCLM and lead to an improved simulation of large-scale moisture convergence from the sea to land and, consequently, increased heavy precipitation over Central Europe.

Kathrin Wahle, Joanna Staneva, Wolfgang Koch, Luciana Fenoglio-Marc, Ha T. M. Ho-Hagemann, and Emil V. Stanev (2017): An atmosphere–wave regional coupled model: improving predictions of wave heights and surface winds in the southern North Sea. Ocean Science 13: 289–301, doi:10.5194/os-13-289-2017


The coupling of models is a commonly used approach when addressing the complex interactions between different components of earth systems. We demonstrate that this approach can result in a reduction of errors in wave forecasting, especially in dynamically complicated coastal ocean areas, such as the southern part of the North Sea – the German Bight. Here, we study the effects of coupling of an atmospheric model (COSMO) and a wind wave model (WAM), which is enabled by implementing wave-induced drag in the atmospheric model. The numerical simulations use a regional North Sea coupled wave–atmosphere model as well as a nested-grid high-resolution German Bight wave model. Using one atmospheric and two wind wave models simultaneously allows for study of the individual and combined effects of two-way coupling and grid resolution. This approach proved to be particularly important under severe storm conditions as the German Bight is a very shallow and dynamically complex coastal area exposed to storm floods. The two-way coupling leads to a reduction of both surface wind speeds and simulated wave heights. In this study, the sensitivity of atmospheric parameters, such as wind speed and atmospheric pressure, to the wave-induced drag, in particular under storm conditions, and the impact of two-way coupling on the wave model performance, is quantified. Comparisons between data from in situ and satellite altimeter observations indicate that two-way coupling improves the simulation of wind and wave parameters of the model and justify its implementation for both operational and climate simulations.

Andreas Will, Naveed Akhtar, Jennifer Brauch, Marcus Breil, Edouard Davin, Ha T. M. Ho-Hagemann, Eric Maisonnave, Markus Thürkow, and Stefan Weiher (2017): The COSMO-CLM 4.8 regional climate model coupled to regional ocean, land surface and global earth system models using OASIS3-MCT: description and performance. Geoscientific Model Development, 10:1549–1586, doi:10.5194/gmd-10-1549-2017


We developed a coupled regional climate system model based on the CCLM regional climate model. Within this model system, using OASIS3-MCT as a coupler, CCLM can be coupled to two land surface models (the Community Land Model (CLM) and VEG3D), the NEMO-MED12 regional ocean model for the Mediterranean Sea, two ocean models for the North and Baltic seas (NEMO-NORDIC and TRIMNP+CICE) and the MPI-ESM Earth system model. We first present the different model components and the unified OASIS3-MCT interface which handles all couplings in a consistent way, minimising the model source code modifications and defining the physical and numerical aspects of the couplings. We also address specific coupling issues like the handling of different domains, multiple usage of the MCT library and exchange of 3-D fields. We analyse and compare the computational performance of the different couplings based on real-case simulations over Europe. The usage of the LUCIA tool implemented in OASIS3-MCT enables the quantification of the contributions of the coupled components to the overall coupling cost. These individual contributions are (1) cost of the model(s) coupled, (2) direct cost of coupling including horizontal interpolation and communication between the components, (3) load imbalance, (4) cost of different usage of processors by CCLM in coupled and stand-alone mode and (5) residual cost including i.a. CCLM additional computations. Finally a procedure for finding an optimum processor configuration for each of the couplings was developed considering the time to solution, computing cost and parallel efficiency of the simulation. The optimum configurations are presented for sequential, concurrent and mixed (sequential+concurrent) coupling layouts. The procedure applied can be regarded as independent of the specific coupling layout and coupling details. We found that the direct cost of coupling, i.e. communications and horizontal interpolation, in OASIS3-MCT remains below 7 % of the CCLM stand-alone cost for all couplings investigated. This is in particular true for the exchange of 450 2-D fields between CCLM and MPI-ESM. We identified remaining limitations in the coupling strategies and discuss possible future improvements of the computational efficiency.

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