Articles | Volume 19, issue 1
Research article
15 Feb 2012
Research article |  | 15 Feb 2012

On closure parameter estimation in chaotic systems

J. Hakkarainen, A. Ilin, A. Solonen, M. Laine, H. Haario, J. Tamminen, E. Oja, and H. Järvinen

Abstract. Many dynamical models, such as numerical weather prediction and climate models, contain so called closure parameters. These parameters usually appear in physical parameterizations of sub-grid scale processes, and they act as "tuning handles" of the models. Currently, the values of these parameters are specified mostly manually, but the increasing complexity of the models calls for more algorithmic ways to perform the tuning. Traditionally, parameters of dynamical systems are estimated by directly comparing the model simulations to observed data using, for instance, a least squares approach. However, if the models are chaotic, the classical approach can be ineffective, since small errors in the initial conditions can lead to large, unpredictable deviations from the observations. In this paper, we study numerical methods available for estimating closure parameters in chaotic models. We discuss three techniques: off-line likelihood calculations using filtering methods, the state augmentation method, and the approach that utilizes summary statistics from long model simulations. The properties of the methods are studied using a modified version of the Lorenz 95 system, where the effect of fast variables are described using a simple parameterization.