Introducing the new Regional Community Earth System Model, R-CESM Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThe development of high-resolution, fully-coupled, regional Earth system model systems is important for improving our understanding of climate variability, future projections, and extreme events at regional scales. Here we introduce and present an overview of the newly-developed Regional Community Earth System Model (R-CESM). Different from other existing regional climate models, R-CESM is based on the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2) framework. We have incorporated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) into CESM2 as additional components. As such, R-CESM can be conveniently used as a regional dynamical downscaling tool for the global CESM solutions or/and as a standalone high-resolution regional coupled model. The user interface of R-CESM follows that of CESM, making it readily accessible to the broader community. Among countless potential applications of R-CESM, we showcase here a few preliminary studies that illustrate its novel aspects and value. These include: 1) assessing the skill of R-CESM in a multi-year, high-resolution, regional coupled simulation of the Gulf of Mexico; 2) examining the impact of WRF and CESM ocean-atmosphere coupling physics on tropical cyclone simulations; and 3) a convection-permitting simulation of submesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions. We also discuss capabilities under development such as i) regional refinement using a high-resolution ROMS nested within global CESM; and ii) “online” coupled data assimilation. Our open-source framework (publicly available at can be easily adapted to a broad range of applications that are of interest to the users of CESM, WRF, and ROMS.

altmetric score

  • 2.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Fu, D., Small, J., Kurian, J., Liu, Y., Kauffman, B., Gopal, A., ... Wu, L.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • June 2021