Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 8805-8830, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Large differences in the diabatic heat budget of the tropical UTLS in reanalyses
J. S. Wright1 and S. Fueglistaler2
1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Abstract. We present the time mean heat budgets of the tropical upper troposphere (UT) and lower stratosphere (LS) as simulated by five reanalysis models: MERRA, ERA-Interim, CFSR, JRA-25/JCDAS, and NCEP/NCAR. The simulated diabatic heat budget in the tropical UTLS differs significantly from model to model, with substantial implications for representations of transport and mixing. Large differences are apparent both in the net heat budget and in all comparable individual components, including latent heating, heating due to radiative transfer, and heating due to parameterised vertical mixing. We describe and discuss the most pronounced differences. Although they may be expected given difficulties in representing moist convection in models, the discrepancies in latent heating are still disturbing. We pay particular attention to discrepancies in radiative heating (which may be surprising given the strength of observational constraints on temperature and tropospheric water vapour) and discrepancies in heating due to turbulent mixing (which have received comparatively little attention).

Citation: Wright, J. S. and Fueglistaler, S.: Large differences in the diabatic heat budget of the tropical UTLS in reanalyses, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 8805-8830, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-8805-2013, 2013.
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