Achieving Conservation of Energy in Neural Network Emulators for Climate Modeling (Research Track)

Tom G Beucler (Columbia University & UCI); Stephan Rasp (Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich); Michael Pritchard (UCI); Pierre Gentine (Columbia University)

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Climate Science & Modeling Extreme Weather


Artificial neural-networks have the potential to emulate cloud processes with higher accuracy than the semi-empirical emulators currently used in climate models. However, neural-network models do not intrinsically conserve energy and mass, which is an obstacle to using them for long-term climate predictions. Here, we propose two methods to enforce linear conservation laws in neural-network emulators of physical models: Constraining (1) the loss function or (2) the architecture of the network itself. Applied to the emulation of explicitly-resolved cloud processes in a prototype multi-scale climate model, we show that architecture constraints can enforce conservation laws to satisfactory numerical precision, while all constraints help the neural-network better generalize to conditions outside of its training set, such as global warming.