Impact of an improved radiation scheme in the MAECHAM5 General Circulation Model
1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Bologna, Italy
2Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
3School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK
Abstract. In order to improve the representation of the shortwave radiative transfer in the MAECHAM5 general circulation model, the spectral resolution of the shortwave radiation parameterization used in the model has been increased and extended in the UV-B and UV-C bands. The upgraded shortwave parameterization is first validated offline with a 4 stream discrete-ordinate line-by-line model. Thereafter, two 20-years simulations with the MAECHAM5 middle atmosphere general circulation model are performed to evaluate the temperature changes and the dynamical feedbacks arising from the newly introduced parameterization. The offline clear-sky comparison of the standard and upgraded parameterizations with the discrete ordinate model shows considerable improvement for the upgraded parameterization in terms of shortwave fluxes and heating rates. In the simulation with the upgraded ratiation parameterization, we report a significant warming of almost the entire atmosphere, largest at 1 hPa at the stratopause, and stronger zonal mean zonal winds in the middle atmosphere. The warming at the summer stratopause alleviates the cold bias present in the model when the standard radiation scheme is used. The stronger zonal mean zonal winds induce a dynamical feedback that results in a dynamical warming (cooling) of the polar winter (summer) mesosphere, caused by an increased downward (upward) circulation in the winter (summer) hemisphere. In the troposphere, the changes in the spectral resolution and the associated changes in the cloud optical parameters introduce a relatively small warming and, consistenly, a moisteneing. The warming occurs mostly in the upper troposphere and can contribute to a possible improvement of the model temperature climatology.