The GFDL Global Atmosphere and Land Model AM4.0/LM4.0: 1. Simulation Characteristics With Prescribed SSTs

M. Zhao, J. C. Golaz, I. M. Held, H. Guo, V. Balaji, R. Benson, J. H. Chen, X. Chen, L. J. Donner, J. P. Dunne, K. Dunne, J. Durachta, S. M. Fan, S. M. Freidenreich, S. T. Garner, P. Ginoux, L. M. Harris, L. W. Horowitz, J. P. Krasting, A. R. LangenhorstZ. Liang, P. Lin, S. J. Lin, S. L. Malyshev, E. Mason, P. C.D. Milly, Y. Ming, V. Naik, F. Paulot, D. Paynter, P. Phillipps, A. Radhakrishnan, V. Ramaswamy, T. Robinson, D. Schwarzkopf, C. J. Seman, E. Shevliakova, Z. Shen, H. Shin, L. G. Silvers, J. R. Wilson, M. Winton, A. T. Wittenberg, B. Wyman, B. Xiang

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In this two-part paper, a description is provided of a version of the AM4.0/LM4.0 atmosphere/land model that will serve as a base for a new set of climate and Earth system models (CM4 and ESM4) under development at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). This version, with roughly 100 km horizontal resolution and 33 levels in the vertical, contains an aerosol model that generates aerosol fields from emissions and a “light” chemistry mechanism designed to support the aerosol model but with prescribed ozone. In Part 1, the quality of the simulation in AMIP (Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project) mode—with prescribed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and sea-ice distribution—is described and compared with previous GFDL models and with the CMIP5 archive of AMIP simulations. The model's Cess sensitivity (response in the top-of-atmosphere radiative flux to uniform warming of SSTs) and effective radiative forcing are also presented. In Part 2, the model formulation is described more fully and key sensitivities to aspects of the model formulation are discussed, along with the approach to model tuning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-734
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • atmospheric variability
  • climate simulation
  • cloud and aerosol effect
  • convection and clouds
  • global atmospheric model
  • global climate model development


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