DCMIP2016: A review of non-hydrostatic dynamical core design and intercomparison of participating models

Paul A. Ullrich, Christiane Jablonowski, James Kent, Peter H. Lauritzen, Ramachandran Nair, Kevin A. Reed, Colin M. Zarzycki, David M. Hall, Don Dazlich, Ross Heikes, Celal Konor, David Randall, Thomas Dubos, Yann Meurdesoif, Xi Chen, Lucas Harris, Christian Kühnlein, Vivian Lee, Abdessamad Qaddouri, Claude GirardMarco Giorgetta, Daniel Reinert, Joseph Klemp, Sang Hun Park, William Skamarock, Hiroaki Miura, Tomoki Ohno, Ryuji Yoshida, Robert Walko, Alex Reinecke, Kevin Viner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric dynamical cores are a fundamental component of global atmospheric modeling systems and are responsible for capturing the dynamical behavior of the Earth's atmosphere via numerical integration of the Navier-Stokes equations. These systems have existed in one form or another for over half of a century, with the earliest discretizations having now evolved into a complex ecosystem of algorithms and computational strategies. In essence, no two dynamical cores are alike, and their individual successes suggest that no perfect model exists. To better understand modern dynamical cores, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of 11 non-hydrostatic dynamical cores, drawn from modeling centers and groups that participated in the 2016 Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project (DCMIP) workshop and summer school. This review includes a choice of model grid, variable placement, vertical coordinate, prognostic equations, temporal discretization, and the diffusion, stabilization, filters, and fixers employed by each system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4477-4509
Number of pages33
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 6

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. DCMIP2016 is sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research Computational Information Systems Laboratory, the Department of Energy Office of Science (award no. DE-SC0016015), the National Science Foundation (award no. 1629819), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (award no. NNX16AK51G), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (award no. NA12OAR4320071), the Office of Naval Research, and CU Boulder Research Computing. This work was made possible with support from our student and postdoctoral participants: Sabina Abba Omar, Scott Bachman, Amanda Back, Tobias Bauer, Vinicius Capistrano, Spencer Clark, Ross Dixon, Christopher Eldred, Robert Fajber, Jared Fer-guson, Emily Foshee, Ariane Frassoni, Alexander Goldstein, Jorge Guerra, Chasity Henson, Adam Herrington, Tsung-Lin Hsieh, Dave Lee, Theodore Letcher, Weiwei Li, Laura Mazzaro, Max-imo Menchaca, Jonathan Meyer, Farshid Nazari, John O’Brien, Bjarke Tobias Olsen, Hossein Parishani, Charles Pelletier, Thomas Rackow, Kabir Rasouli, Cameron Rencurrel, Koichi Sak-aguchi, Gökhan Sever, James Shaw, Konrad Simon, Abhishekh Sri-vastava, Nicholas Szapiro, Kazushi Takemura, Pushp Raj Tiwari, Chii-Yun Tsai, Richard Urata, Karin van der Wiel, Lei Wang, Eric Wolf, Zheng Wu, Haiyang Yu, Sungduk Yu, and Ji-awei Zhuang. We would also like to thank Rich Loft, Cecilia Banner, Kathryn Peczkowicz, and Rory Kelly (NCAR); Perla Dinger, Carmen Ho, and Gina Skyberg (UC Davis); and Kristi Hansen (University of Michigan) for administrative support during the workshop and summer school.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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