Optimal Spectral Nudging for Global Dynamical Downscaling


This study analyzes a method to construct a homogeneous, high-resolution global atmospheric hindcast. The method is the spectral nudging technique which was applied to a state-of-the-art general circulation model (ECHAM6, T255L95). Large spatial scales of the global climate model prognostic variables were spectrally nudged towards a reanalysis data set (NCEP1, T62L28) for the last decades. The main idea is the addition of dynamically consistent regional weather details to the coarse grid NCEP1 reanalysis. A large number of sensitivity experiments were performed, using different nudging e-folding times, vertical profiles, wave numbers, and variables. Comparisons with observations and several reanalyses showed a high dependency on the variations of the nudging configuration. At the global scale, the accordance is very high for extra-tropical regions and lower in the tropics. A wave number truncation of 30, a relatively short e-folding time of 50 min and a plateau-shaped nudging profile applied only to divergence and vorticity generally yielded the best results. This is one of the first global spectral nudging hindcast studies and the first applying an altitude-dependent profile to selected prognostic variables. The method can be applied to reconstruct the history of extreme events such as intense storms in the context of ongoing climate change.
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