CCM0A (Community Climate Model version 0A)

The original version of the CCM (CCM0A) was based on the Australian spectral model.




Initial contribute: 2021-02-25


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Application-focused categoriesNatural-perspectiveAtmospheric regions

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Over the last decade, the NCAR Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) Division has provided a comprehensive, three-dimensional global atmospheric model to university and NCAR scientists for use in the analysis and understanding of global climate. Because of its widespread use, the model was designated a Community Climate Model (CCM). The original version of the CCM (CCM0A) was based on the Australian spectral model developed by W. Bourke, B. McAvaney, K. Puri, and R. Thurling [6] [26] and was described in [37]. An important broadening of the concept of the NCAR community model occurred in late 1981 with NCAR's decision to utilize the same basic code for global forecast studies (both medium- and long-range) and for climate simulation. Economy and increased efficiency could then be achieved by documenting and maintaining only one set of modular codes. The use of one basic model for both forecasting and climate studies was also seen to have great potential scientific value since a major part of medium-range (one- to two-week) forecast error is due to the drift toward a model climate which differs from that of the atmosphere. Thus, improvements in the climate aspects of the model should lead to improvements in forecasts. Similarly, many physical parameterizations are deterministic rather than statistical in the sense that they are based on the details of the current model state rather than on some past statistical properties. Thus, performance aspects of parameterized physics can be studied, improved, and verified by examining them in a forecast mode.

Because of the extension of the role of the CCM to include forecast studies as well as climate studies, and because of the expected widespread use for both purposes by university as well as NCAR scientists, a versatile, modular, and well-documented code became essential. The initial version designated CCM0B was developed to meet these requirements. This code grew out of an adiabatic, inviscid version of the spectral model developed at the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) by A.P.M. Baede, M. Jarraud, and U. Cubasch [2] to which physical parameterizations and numerical approximations matching those of CCM0A were added. The physical parameterizations included the radiation and cloud routines developed at NCAR [28] and convective adjustment, stable condensation, vertical diffusion, surface fluxes, and surface-energy-balance prescription developed at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) [32] [24] [33] [19]. The vertical and temporal finite differences matched those of the Australian spectral model [6]. The resulting model code, designated CCM0B, was described in a series of technical notes which included a User's Guide [31], a description of model subroutines [39], a detailed description of the continuous algorithms [38], and circulation statistics from long January and July simulations [42].

The advantages of the community model concept, in which many scientists use the same basic model for a variety of scientific studies, were demonstrated in workshops held at NCAR in July 1985 [1], July 1987 [44], and July 1990 [45]. Fundamental strengths and weaknesses of the model have been identified at these workshops through the presentation of a diverse number of applications of the CCM. Much constructive dialogue has taken place between experts in several disciplines at these meetings leading to continued improvements in the CCM with each release.



NCAR NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH (2021). CCM0A (Community Climate Model version 0A), Model Item, OpenGMS,


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