An EC-Earth coupled atmosphere-ocean single-column model (AOSCM.v1-EC-Earth3) for studying coupled marine and polar processes

Kerstin Hartung*, Gunilla Svensson, Hamish Struthers, Anna Lena Deppenmeier, Wilco Hazeleger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Single-column models (SCMs) have been used as tools to help develop numerical weather prediction and global climate models for several decades. SCMs decouple small-scale processes from large-scale forcing, which allows the testing of physical parameterisations in a controlled environment with reduced computational cost. Typically, either the ocean, sea ice or atmosphere is fully modelled and assumptions have to be made regarding the boundary conditions from other subsystems, adding a potential source of error. Here, we present a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean SCM (AOSCM), which is based on the global climate model EC-Earth3. The initial configuration of the AOSCM consists of the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO3.6) (ocean), the Louvain-la-Neuve Sea Ice Model (LIM3) (sea ice), the Open Integrated Forecasting System (OpenIFS) cycle 40r1 (atmosphere), and OASIS3-MCT (coupler). Results from the AOSCM are presented at three locations: the tropical Atlantic, the midlatitude Pacific and the Arctic. At all three locations, in situ observations are available for comparison. We find that the coupled AOSCM can capture the observed atmospheric and oceanic evolution based on comparisons with buoy data, soundings and ship-based observations. The model evolution is sensitive to the initial conditions and forcing data imposed on the column. Comparing coupled and uncoupled configurations of the model can help disentangle model feedbacks. We demonstrate that the AOSCM in the current set-up is a valuable tool to advance our understanding in marine and polar boundary layer processes and the interactions between the individual components of the system (atmosphere, sea ice and ocean).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4117-4137
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2018


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