SKRIPS v1.0: A regional coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling framework (MITgcm-WRF) using ESMF/NUOPC, description and preliminary results for the Red Sea

Rui Sun, Aneesh C. Subramanian, Arthur J. Miller, Matthew R. Mazloff, Ibrahim Hoteit, Bruce D. Cornuelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A new regional coupled ocean-atmosphere model is developed and its implementation is presented in this paper. The coupled model is based on two open-source community model components: the MITgcm ocean model and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmosphere model. The coupling between these components is performed using ESMF (Earth System Modeling Framework) and implemented according to National United Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) protocols. The coupled model is named the Scripps-KAUST Regional Integrated Prediction System (SKRIPS). SKRIPS is demonstrated with a real-world example by simulating a 30 d period including a series of extreme heat events occurring on the eastern shore of the Red Sea region in June 2012. The results obtained by using the coupled model, along with those in forced stand-alone oceanic or atmospheric simulations, are compared with observational data and reanalysis products. We show that the coupled model is capable of performing coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations, although all configurations of coupled and uncoupled models have good skill in modeling the heat events. In addition, a scalability test is performed to investigate the parallelization of the coupled model. The results indicate that the coupled model code scales well and the ESMF/NUOPC coupler accounts for less than 5% of the total computational resources in the Red Sea test case. The coupled model and documentation are available at (last access: 26 September 2019), and the source code is maintained at (last access: 26 September 2019).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4221-4244
Number of pages24
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 8 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2016-RPP-3268.02
Acknowledgements: We appreciate the computational resources provided by COMPAS (Center for Observations, Modeling and Prediction at Scripps) and KAUST used for this project. We are immensely grateful to Caroline Papadopoulos for helping with installing software, testing the coupled code, and using the HPC clusters. We appreciate Ufuk Utku Turuncoglu for sharing part of their ESMF/NUOPC code on GitHub which helps our code development. We wish to thank Ganesh Gopalakrishnan for setting up the standalone MITgcm simulation (OCN.DYN) and providing the external forcings. We thank Stephanie Dutkiewicz, Jean-Michel Campin, Chris Hill, and Dimitris Menemenlis for providing their ESMF-MITgcm interface. We wish to thank Peng Zhan for discussing the simulations of the Red Sea. We also thank the reviewers for their insightful review suggestions. This research has been supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Global Collaborative Research, (grant no. OSR-2016-RPP-3268.02).


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