Kinetic energy-conserving hyperdiffusion can improve low resolution atmospheric models

Pablo Zurita-Gotor, Isaac M. Held, Malte F. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Motivated by findings that energetically consistent subgrid dissipation schemes can improve eddy-permitting ocean simulations, this work investigates the impact of the subgrid dissipation scheme on low-resolution atmospheric dynamical cores. A kinetic energy-conserving dissipation scheme is implemented in the model adding a negative viscosity term that injects back into the eddy field the kinetic energy dissipated by horizontal hyperdiffusion. The kinetic energy-conserving scheme enhances numerical convergence when horizontal resolution is changed with fixed vertical resolution and gives superior low-resolution results. Improvements are most obvious for eddy kinetic energy but also found in other fields, particularly with strong or little scale-selective horizontal hyperdiffusion. One advantage of the kinetic energy-conserving scheme is that it reduces the sensitivity of the model to changes in the subgrid dissipation rate, providing more robust results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1135
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • atmospheric model
  • subgrid dissipation


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