Data Assimilation in a Multi-Scale Model

Guannan Hu 1  and Christian L. E. Franzke 2
  • 1 School of Integrated Climate System Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany and Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany and Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, University of Hamburg, , Hamburg, Germany
  • 2 Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany and Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, University of Hamburg, , Hamburg, Germany


Data assimilation for multi-scale models is an important contemporary research topic. Especially the role of unresolved scales and model error in data assimilation needs to be systematically addressed. Here we examine these issues using the Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) with the two-level Lorenz-96 model as a conceptual prototype model of the multi-scale climate system. We use stochastic parameterization schemes to mitigate the model errors from the unresolved scales. Our results indicate that a third-order autoregressive process performs better than a first-order autoregressive process in the stochastic parameterization schemes, especially for the system with a large time-scale separation.Model errors can also arise from imprecise model parameters. We find that the accuracy of the analysis (an optimal estimate of a model state) is linearly correlated to the forcing error in the Lorenz-96 model. Furthermore, we propose novel observation strategies to deal with the fact that the dimension of the observations is much smaller than the model states. We also propose a new analog method to increase the size of the ensemble when its size is too small.

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Mathematics of Climate and Weather Forecasting (MCWF) is a fully peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes articles that use new or existing mathematical methods in climate change science and weather forecasting. The scope includes, but is not limited to, numerical methods, stochastic processes, PDE analysis, time series analysis, data filtering and assimilation, applied to any topic of atmosphere and ocean sciences.