Recent advances in the development of a European Mars climate model in Oxford

Read, P.L.; Lewis, S.R.; Newman, C.E.; Bottger, H.; Forget, F.; Hourdin, F. and Talagrand, O. (2003). Recent advances in the development of a European Mars climate model in Oxford. In: First international workshop on Mars atmosphere modelling and observations, 13-15 Jan 2003, Granada, Spain.



Since the early 1990s, efforts have been under way in Oxford to develop a range of numerical weather and climate prediction models for various studies of the Martian atmosphere and near-surface environment. Early versions of the Oxford model were more in the way of 'process models', aimed at relatively idealised studies e.g. of baroclinic instability[1] and low-level western boundary currents in the cross-equatorial solsticial Hadley circulation[2]. Since the mid-1990s, however, the group in Oxford have worked closely with the modelling group at LMD in Paris to develop a joint suite of more sophisticated and comprehensive numerical models of Mars' atmosphere. This collaboration, partly sponsored in recent years by the European Space Agency in connection with the associated development of a climate database for Mars[3], culminated in a suite of global circulation models[4], in which both groups share a library of parametrisation schemes, but in which the Oxford team use a spectral representation of horizontal fields (in the form of spherical harmonics) and the LMD group use a grid-point finite difference representation. These models were described in some detail by Forget et al.[4], and their preliminary validation and use in the construction of first versions of the European Mars Climate Database by Lewis et al.[3]. In the present report, we will review further developments which have taken place since the latter papers were published. Aspects of these developments which are common to both the LMD and Oxford groups will also be covered in the companion contribution by Forget et al. in this meeting, and so will only be touched on briefly here. Instead, we will concentrate on those advances which are more specific to the Oxford version of the model. In the following sections, we outline the main new developments to the model formulation since 1999. Subsequent sections then describe some recent examples where the new model is being utilised to advance a diverse range of studies of Mars atmospheric science.

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