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Glossary of terms for those that are new to CESM2.




Model run-type specified in env_run.xml. All model components are initialized from restart files generated by a user-specified CESM simulation, the reference case. Start date cannot be modified relative to the reference case.


Community Atmosphere Model with chemistry


A model instance set up with a specific compset of the model that will be compiled and run. Each user typically has their own cases.


Community Earth System Model

cimeCommon Infrastructure for Modeling the Earth - definition of the software infrastructure used by CESM.
cloneMake an exact copy of a different case. Can modify the set-up.


Short for “Component Set”. This is the set of CESM modules needed for a specific type of run. Components include for example which CAM version to run, what number of model levels to use as well as which aerosol and chemistry schemes are employed.

free run, or, free running

Meteorology is determined by the model, i.e. the CAM-model internal physics is used.

history file

Files that include model output for analysis. Default files are have h0 in their name.
hybridModel run-type specified in env_run.xml. In a hybrid run the model is initialized as a startup, BUT uses initialization datasets FROM A PREVIOUS case.  This is somewhat analogous to a branch run with relaxed restart constraints.

namelist variable

A variable that defines some parameter or specifications of the model run.

restart file

The files written out that may be used to restart the model where it left off.

specified dynamics (SD)

Reanalysis fields specify the meteorology that drives the model. Usually these are GEOS5 or MERRA2. Best practice is to use in a nudging at 1% to 10% so that internal model physics is consistent with the dynamics, because 100% nudging may introduce discontinuities.

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