Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 45-64, 2007
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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.
Towards a better representation of the solar cycle in general circulation models
K. M. Nissen1, K. Matthes1,2, U. Langematz1, and B. Mayer3
1Institut für Meteorologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Carl-Heinrich-Becker-Weg 6–10, 12165 Berlin, Germany
2National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
3Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. It is shown that a high-resolution short-wave (SW) heating rate parameterization is necessary to simulate solar cycle variations in atmospheric models. The improved Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) high-resolution radiation scheme (FUBRad) is introduced and compared to the 4-band ECHAM5 SW radiation scheme of Fouquart and Bonnel (FB). Both schemes are validated against the detailed radiative transfer model libRadtran. FUBRad produces realistic heating rate variations during the solar cycle and a temperature response that is in good agreement with observations. The SW heating rate response with the FB scheme is about 20 times smaller than with FUBRad and cannot produce the observed temperature signal. Comparison of the total short-wave heating rates under moderate solar conditions shows good agreement between FUBRad, FB and libRadtran up to 80 km indicating that both parameterizations are well suited for climate integrations that do not take solar variability into account. The FUBRad scheme has been implemented as a sub-submodel of the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy).

Citation: Nissen, K. M., Matthes, K., Langematz, U., and Mayer, B.: Towards a better representation of the solar cycle in general circulation models, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 45-64, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-45-2007, 2007.
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