RCEMIP: Radiative-Convective Equilbrium Model Intercomparison Project

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Radiative-convective equilibrium (RCE) is an idealization of the tropical atmosphere, in which there is a statistical balance between radiative cooling and convective heating. RCE has long been used to study basic questions in climate science, from the vertical temperature structure of the tropics and the first estimates of climate sensitivity, to the scaling of the hydrological cycle with warming, interactions between convection and radiation, and the organization of convection.

Arising from discussions at the WCRP Model Hierarchies Workshop, we have designed RCEMIP, a coordinated intercomparison of models configured in RCE, to include both cloud resolving models (CRMs) and general circulation models (GCMs). There are a large variety of scientific questions that could be explored with RCEMIP, but we focus on changes in clouds and convective activity with warming, cloud feedbacks and climate sensitivity, and the aggregation of convection and its role in climate. These topics are related to some of the biggest open questions in climate dynamics, as detailed by the WCRP Grand Challenge on Clouds, Circulation, and Climate Sensitivity (Bony et al., 2015). In addition to addressing these important questions, RCEMIP will serve as a common baseline, enabling assessment of the formulaic sensitivity of simulations of RCE and providing a fixed point for past and future studies.

The following documents provide more information on RCEMIP and describe the simulation protocol:

Paper describing RCEMIP Protocol, published in Geoscientific Model Development:
Wing, A. A., Reed, K. A., Satoh, M., Stevens, B., Bony, S., and Ohno, T. (2018): Radiative-Convective Equilibrium Model Intercomparison Project, Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 793-813, doi:10.5194/gmd-11-793-2018.
***Some clarification on the output specification can be found here (Updated October 2, 2018).
***A correction to the definition of frozen moist static energy can be found here.

Paper providing an overview of the RCEMIP simulations, published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems:
Wing, A.A., C.L. Stauffer, T. Becker, K.A. Reed, M.-S. Ahn, N.P. Arnold, S. Bony, M. Branson, G.H. Bryan, J.-P. Chaboureau, S.R. de Roode, K. Gayatri, C. Hohenegger, I.-K. Hu, F. Jansson, T.R. Jones, M. Khairoutdionv, D. Kim, Z.K. Martin, S. Matsugishi, B. Medeiros, H. Miura, Y. Moon, S.K. Müller, T. Ohno, M. Popp, T. Prabhakaran, D. Randall, R. Rios-Berrios, N. Rochetin, R. Roehrig, D.M. Romps, J.H. Ruppert, Jr., M. Satoh, L.G. Silvers, M.S. Singh, B. Stevens, L. Tomassini, C.C. van Heerwaarden, S. Wang, and M. Zhao (2020): Clouds and convective self-aggregation in a multi-model ensemble of radiative-convective equilibrium simulations, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 12, e2020MS002138, doi:10.1029/2020MS002138.

RCEMIP Scientific Objectives, including links to relevant presentations and papers
RCEMIP Simulations: experimental design, diagnostic code, data access

Data Access and Usage Guidelines

The standardized RCEMIP output is hosted by the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) and is publicly available at http://hdl.handle.net/21.14101/d4beee8e-6996-453e-bbd1-ff53b6874c0e. In addition to the raw data, several post-processed domain- and time-average statistics are available in the A-Statistics folder as .csv files. Please let us know that you are using the RCEMIP data by filling out the below form. We recommend reviewing the list of known bugs and inconsistencies with the RCEMIP protocol, which can be found here. If you use RCEMIP data in a publication, we ask that you cite the RCEMIP protocol paper (Wing et al. 2018), the RCEMIP overview paper (Wing et al. 2020), and including the following acknowledgement statement:

We thank the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) for hosting the standardized RCEMIP data, which is publicly available at http://hdl.handle.net/21.14101/d4beee8e-6996-453e-bbd1-ff53b6874c0e.

AGU Special Collection:
Using radiative-convective equilibrium to understand convective organization, clouds, and tropical climate

We are pleased to announce a Special Collection across several AGU journals. The host journal for the special collection is JAMES, with other partner journals including GRL, ESS, and JGR Atmospheres. Submissions are open now through 31 December 2021. The call for papers is as follows:

Radiative-convective equilibrium (RCE) is a time-honored idealization of the tropical atmosphere suitable for studying basic questions in climate science and accessible to a wide range of model types. This special collection consists of studies that employ RCE frameworks to better understand convective organization, clouds, and tropical climate. This includes questions about the role of convective organization in modulating climate sensitivity, changes in cloudiness with warming, controls on convective organization, and the representation of the equilibrium climate. Studies using results from the RCE model intercomparison project (RCEMIP), an ensemble of more than 30 models of many types following a standard protocol, or that employ the RCEMIP protocol, are especially encouraged.

Sign-up to stay in the loop!

It is too late to contribute a model to the first phase of RCEMIP, but if you would like to join our email list to receive updates or participate in a possible second phase, please fill out the registration form: RCEMIP Registration Form

RCEMIP Organizers:

Allison A. Wing (Florida State University), Kevin A. Reed (Stony Brook University), Masaki Satoh (University of Tokyo), Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology), Sandrine Bony (LMD/IPSL/CNRS), Tomoki Ohno (JAMSTEC)

Questions? Email awing at fsu.edu