Spin‐up of UK Earth System Model 1 (UKESM1) for CMIP6

Yool, A; Palmieri, J; Jones, CG; Sellar, A. A.; de Mora, L; Kuhlbrodt, T; Popova, EE; Mulcahy, JP; Wiltshire, A; Rumbold, ST; Stringer, M; Hill, RSR; Tang, Y; Walton, J; Blaker, A; Nurser, AJG; Coward, AC; Hirschi, J; Woodward, S; Kelley, DI; Ellis, R; Rumbold‐Jones, S. 2020 Spin‐up of UK Earth System Model 1 (UKESM1) for CMIP6. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019MS001933

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019MS001933


For simulations intended to study the influence of anthropogenic forcing on climate, temporal stability of the Earth's natural heat, freshwater and biogeochemical budgets is critical. Achieving such coupled model equilibration is scientifically and computationally challenging. We describe the protocol used to spin‐up the UK Earth system model (UKESM1) with respect to pre‐industrial forcing for use in the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Due to the high computational cost of UKESM1's atmospheric model, especially when running with interactive full chemistry and aerosols, spin‐up primarily used parallel configurations using only ocean/land components. For the ocean, the resulting spin‐up permitted the carbon and heat contents of the ocean's full volume to approach equilibrium over ~5000 years. On land, a spin‐up of ~1000 years brought UKESM1's dynamic vegetation and soil carbon reservoirs towards near‐equilibrium. The end‐states of these parallel ocean‐ and land‐only phases then initialised a multi‐centennial period of spin‐up with the full Earth system model, prior to this simulation continuing as the UKESM1 CMIP6 pre‐industrial control (piControl). The realism of the fully‐coupled spin‐up was assessed for a range of ocean and land properties, as was the degree of equilibration for key variables. Lessons drawn include the importance of consistent interface physics across ocean‐ and land‐only models and the coupled (parent) model, the extreme simulation duration required to approach equilibration targets, and the occurrence of significant regional land carbon drifts despite global‐scale equilibration. Overall, the UKESM1 spin‐up underscores the expense involved and argues in favour of future development of more efficient spin‐up techniques.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Earth System Model, Spin-up, CMIP6, Carbon Cycle, Equilibrium
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Long-term Multi-Centre UKESM
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Modelling
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecosystem Models and Predictions
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 02 Jun 2020 15:15
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2020 15:15
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/8952

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