The CNRM Global Atmosphere Model ARPEGE-Climat 6.3: Description and Evaluation

Roehrig, Romain ; Beau, Isabelle ; Saint-Martin, David ; Alias, Antoinette ; Decharme, Bertrand ; Guérémy, Jean-François ; Voldoire, Aurore ; Abdel-Lathif, Ahmat Younous ; Bazile, Eric ; Belamari, Sophie ; Blein, Sebastien ; Bouniol, Dominique ; Bouteloup, Yves ; Cattiaux, Julien ; Chauvin, Fabrice ; Chevallier, Matthieu ; Colin, Jeanne ; Douville, Hervé ; Marquet, Pascal ; Michou, Martine ; Nabat, Pierre ; Oudar, Thomas ; Peyrillé, Philippe ; Piriou, Jean-Marcel ; Salas y Mélia, David ; Séférian, Roland ; Sénési, Stéphane

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<p align=justify>The present study describes the atmospheric component of the sixth-generation climate models of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM), namely, ARPEGE-Climat 6.3. It builds up on more than a decade of model development and tuning efforts, which led to major updates of its moist physics. The vertical resolution has also been significantly increased, both in the boundary layer and in the stratosphere. ARPEGE-Climat 6.3 is now coupled to the new version (8.0) of the SURFace EXternalisée (SURFEX) surface model, in which several new features (e.g., floodplains, aquifers, and snow processes) improve the water cycle realism. The model calibration is discussed in depth. An amip-type experiment, in which the sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations are prescribed, and following the CMIP6 protocol, is extensively evaluated, in terms of climate mean state and variability. ARPEGE-Climat 6.3 is shown to improve over its previous version (5.1) by many climate features. Major improvements include the top-of-atmosphere and surface energy budgets in their various components (shortwave and longwave, total and clear sky), cloud cover, near-surface temperature, precipitation climatology and daily-mean distribution, and water discharges at the outlet of major rivers. In contrast, clouds over subtropical stratocumulus decks, several dynamical variables (sea level pressure, 500-hPa geopotential height), are still significantly biased. The tropical intraseasonal variability and diurnal cycle of precipitation, though improved, remained area of concerns for further model improvement. New biases also emerge, such as a lack of precipitation over several tropical continental areas. Within the CMIP6 context, ARPEGE-Climat 6.3 is the atmospheric component of CNRM-CM6-1 and CNRM-ESM2-1.</p>
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