Development of the UKESM-TOPAZ Earth System Model (Version 1.0) and Preliminary Evaluation of its Biogeochemical Simulations

Hyomee Lee, Byung Kwon Moon, Hyun Chae Jung, Jong Yeon Park, Sungbo Shim, Nary La, Ah Hyun Kim, Seong Soo Yum, Jong Chul Ha, Young Hwa Byun, Hyun Min Sung, Johan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Earth system models (ESMs) comprise various Earth system components and simulate the interactions between these components. ESMs can be used to understand climate feedbacks between physical, chemical, and biological processes and predict future climate. We developed a new ESM, UKESM-TOPAZ, by coupling the UK ESM (UKESM1) and the Tracers of Phytoplankton with Allometric Zooplankton (TOPAZ) biogeochemical module. We then compared the preliminary simulated biogeochemical variables, which were conducted over a period of 70 years, using observational and existing UKESM1 model data. Similar to UKESM1, the newly developed UKESM-TOPAZ closely simulated the relationship between the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and chlorophyll concentration anomalies during the boreal winter. However, there were differences in the chlorophyll distributions in the eastern equatorial Pacific between the two models, which were due to dissolved iron, as this value was higher in UKESM-TOPAZ than in UKESM1. In a mean field analysis, the distributions of the major marine biogeochemical variables in UKESM-TOPAZ (i.e., nitrate, silicate, dissolved oxygen, dissolved inorganic carbon, and alkalinity) were not significantly different from those of UKESM1, likely because the models share the same initial conditions. Our results indicate that TOPAZ has a simulation performance that does not lag behind UKESM1’s basic biogeochemical model (Model of Ecosystem Dynamics, nutrient Utilisation, Sequestration, and Acidification; MEDUSA). The UKESM-TOPAZ model can simulate the variability of the observed Niño 3.4 and 4 indices more closely than UKESM1. Thus, the UKESM-TOPAZ model can be used to deepen our understanding of the Earth system and to estimate ESM uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program (No. KMI2018-03513) and the project “Development and Assessment of IPCC AR6 Climate Change Scenario” (No. KMA2018-00321). The main calculations were performed using the supercomputing resources of the Korea Meteorological Administration (National Center for Meteorological Supercomputer). This work is part of the Ph.D. thesis of H. Lee.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of the UKESM-TOPAZ Earth System Model (Version 1.0) and Preliminary Evaluation of its Biogeochemical Simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this