CR 52:7-29 (2012)  -  doi:10.3354/cr01018

RegCM4: model description and preliminary tests over multiple CORDEX domains

F. Giorgi1,*, E. Coppola1, F. Solmon1, L. Mariotti1, M. B. Sylla1, X. Bi1, N. Elguindi1, G. T. Diro1, V. Nair1, G. Giuliani1, U. U. Turuncoglu1, S. Cozzini2, I. Güttler3, T. A. O’Brien4, A. B. Tawfik5, A. Shalaby6, A. S. Zakey7, A. L. Steiner5, F. Stordal8, L. C. Sloan4, C. Brankovic

1Earth System Physics Section, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, 34151 Trieste, Italy
2Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 34100 Trieste, Italy
3Croatian Meteorological Service, Zagreb, Croatia
4University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
5University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA
6Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
7Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
8University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

ABSTRACT: A new version of the RegCM regional climate modeling system, RegCM4, has been recently developed and made available for public use. Compared to previous versions, RegCM4 includes new land surface, planetary boundary layer, and air–sea flux schemes, a mixed convection and tropical band configuration, modifications to the pre-existing radiative transfer and boundary layer schemes, and a full upgrade of the model code towards improved flexibility, portability, and user friendliness. The model can be interactively coupled to a 1D lake model, a simplified aerosol scheme (including organic carbon, black carbon, SO4, dust, and sea spray), and a gas phase chemistry module (CBM-Z). After a general description of the model, a series of test experiments are presented over 4 domains prescribed under the CORDEX framework (Africa, South America, East Asia, and Europe) to provide illustrative examples of the model behavior and sensitivities under different climatic regimes. These experiments indicate that, overall, RegCM4 shows an improved performance in several respects compared to previous versions, although further testing by the user community is needed to fully explore its sensitivities and range of applications.

KEY WORDS: RegCM4 · Regional climate model · CORDEX · Model validation

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Cite this article as: Giorgi F, Coppola E, Solmon F, Mariotti L and others (2012) RegCM4: model description and preliminary tests over multiple CORDEX domains. Clim Res 52:7-29

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