I'm looking for a graph of improvements in spatial resolution for any atmospheric model (such as the UK Met Office Unified Model or ECMWF IFS). Ideally it would include a range of historical model versions and perhaps forecasts for future model resolutions.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean global atmospheric models for numerical weather prediction? Or climate model configurations? Or limited area configurations? Deterministic or ensemble ensemble setups? $\endgroup$ – BHF Mar 22 '16 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ Any of those are fine, I just wanted a figure to illustrate the fact that model resolutions have, in general, been increasing over time. $\endgroup$ – hertzsprung Mar 24 '16 at 8:48

Europe is looking nicer and nicer every year (source):

Improvements in climate model resolution and process representation over time.

This is a little bit out of date, since AR5 is already out - the dates for the first 4 IPCC reports were:

  • IPCC First Assessment Report, 1990
  • IPCC Second Assessment Report, 1995
  • IPCC Third Assessment Report, 2001
  • IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007
  • IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014

And an updated image for AR5 looks like this (both of these are AR5 model resolutions) (source, p145):

Improvements in modelling resolution in AR5

And that same PDF has another representation of increasing complexity, where cylinder height indicates complexity (source, p144):

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Superb figures, thank you. The fact that they show how small scale steeper slopes are also resolved at higher resolutions was also something that I wanted to illustrate. $\endgroup$ – hertzsprung Mar 24 '16 at 8:49

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