National Weather Center Colloquium

Dogmas and folklore in regional-weather and global-climate modeling

Dr. Shiann-Jian Lin

NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

12 April 2016, 4:00 PM

National Weather Center, Room 1313
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

The linkage between Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate modeling existed since the 1960s when the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) was formed. Climate modeling that emphasizes robustness of the weather statistics has undergone significant transformation since that time. While global climate models are highly diversified, NWP developments in the U.S. take on a different philosophy. In particular, the overemphasis on a specific linear aspect of the numerical formulation may have actually hindered the advancement of NWP modeling. Different priorities naturally led to different paths. With resolution of global models now approaching cloud-resolving and the globalization of the regional NWP model, NWP and climate models are now converging to the same spatial scale from two opposite ends of the spectrum. The urgency of the U.S. global NWP catching up with the extremely successful European effort motivated the Next Generation Global Prediction System project with participation from five U.S. modeling centers. This project highlighted the sharp contrast between various modeling philosophies, inside and outside of scientific context, with myths and misinformation propagating in the literature and on the internet. In this presentation, I will discuss the struggles in the design of the numerical modeling framework for overcoming various dogmas and folklores that suppress innovations in both communities.

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National Weather Center Colloquium Seminar Series website