AOGCM Description

The GEOS-5 Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model (AOGCM) has been developed to simulate climate variability on a wide range of time scales, from synoptic time scales to multi-century climate change, and have been tested in coupled simulations and data assimilation mode. Its main components are the GEOS-5 atmospheric model, the catchment land surface model and MOM4, the ocean model developed by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. The ocean and atmosphere exchange fluxes of momentum, heat and fresh water through a ''skin layer'' interface which includes parameterization of the diurnal cycle and a sea ice model, LANL CICE. All components are coupled together using the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF). The goal in having a multi-scale modeling system with unified physics is to be able to propagate improvements made to a physical process in one component into the other components smoothly and efficiently. The GEOS-5 AOGCM was configured to participate in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP-5), which provides a standard protocol for evaluation of coupled GCMs. To evaluate the model's ability to simulate the Earth's climate, it was validated against observational data and against the reanalysis products.