COSP (The CFMIP Observation Simulator Package)

Simulated device: ISCCP, CALIPSO, CloudSat, MODIS

Contact: (within HD(CP)²) Christine Nam (christine.nam@uni-leipzig.de)

Output parameter

cloud fraction, sunlit fraction, Lidar (CALIPSO) high, mid, and lowlevel cloud fractions, ISCCP total cloud area fraction, cloud top pressure (Pa), cloud albedo, optical thickness tau

Technical specification

Column or 3D? both
Operation on model time step? Operates based on one model time step
Required libraries netcdf, GRIB, HDF-5
Programming language FORTRAN90 or FORTRAN2003
If online, is it modular? Online and modular
Ground-based or space-borne? space-borne (ground-based is possible for some instruments)


Minimum set of physical quantities:

  • Profiles of temperature, pressure, geometric altitude of model levels (and half-levels), geopotential height (and half-levels), specific humidity,
  • total/convective cloud amount, mixing ratio of cloud water and cloud ice, fractional surface coverage (ice, water, land) and corresponding surface temperatures, surface pressure,
  • effective radius of ice and liquid particles, flux of rain, snow, graupel, assumed lidar ice shape (spherical),  sunlit region, optical depth of statiform/convective clouds at 0.67micron, longwave emissivity of stratiform/convective clouds at 10.5microns, and model cloud overlap assumption,
  • offline: the hydrometeor spectrum

Need for a special grid?

  • No special grid necessary.

Are parameters given via namelist or have to be coded?

  • via namelist

Are there special requirements to the input quantities?

  • no

Documentation: yes (http://cfmip.metoffice.com/COSP.html)

Models for application:  at least ECHAM5, ECHAM6, CNRM, IPSL/LMD, HADGEM, CANAM, CAM, etc...

Suitable for MESSy?:

Format of input data: 

Format of output data:  netcdf or GRIB or HDF-5

Computational costs: Depends on calling frequency. If it's called in every time step around the same as the host model itself.


Please visit: http://cfmip.metoffice.com/COSP.html

"COSP is now managed by a Project Management Committee (PMC), that consists of the following members: Y. Zhang, M. J. Webb, R. Pincus, R. Marchand, S. A. Klein (co-chair), V. O. John, J. M. Haynes, J.-L. Dufresne, H. Chepfer, S. Bony, and A. Bodas-Salcedo (co-chair). "

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