Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 1589-1634, 2008
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Evaluation of near-tropopause ozone distributions in the Global Modeling Initiative combined stratosphere/troposphere model with ozonesonde data
D. B. Considine1, J. A. Logan2, and M. A. Olsen3
1NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA
2Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
3Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Abstract. The NASA Global Modeling Initiative has developed a combined stratosphere/troposphere chemistry and transport model which fully represents the processes governing atmospheric composition near the tropopause. We evaluate model ozone distributions near the tropopause, using two high vertical resolution monthly mean ozone profile climatologies constructed with ozonesonde data, one by averaging on pressure levels and the other relative to the thermal tropopause. Model ozone is high-biased at the SH tropical and NH midlatitude tropopause by ~45% in a 4° latitude × 5° longitude model simulation. Increasing the resolution to 2°×2.5° increases the NH tropopause high bias to ~60%, but decreases the tropical tropopause bias to ~30%, an effect of a better-resolved residual circulation. The tropopause ozone biases appear not to be due to an overly vigorous residual circulation or excessive stratosphere/troposphere exchange, but are more likely due to insufficient vertical resolution or excessive vertical diffusion near the tropopause. In the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, model/measurement intercomparisons are strongly affected by the averaging technique. NH and tropical mean model lower stratospheric biases are <20%. In the upper troposphere, the 2°×2.5° simulation exhibits mean high biases of ~20% and~35% during April in the tropics and NH midlatitudes, respectively, compared to the pressure-averaged climatology. However, relative-to-tropopause averaging produces upper troposphere high biases of ~30% and 70% in the tropics and NH midlatitudes. This is because relative-to-tropopause averaging better preserves large cross-tropopause O3 gradients, which are seen in the daily sonde data, but not in daily model profiles. The relative annual cycle of ozone near the tropopause is reproduced very well in the model Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. In the tropics, the model amplitude of the near-tropopause annual cycle is weak. This is likely due to the annual amplitude of mean vertical upwelling near the tropopause, which analysis suggests is ~30% weaker than in the real atmosphere.

Citation: Considine, D. B., Logan, J. A., and Olsen, M. A.: Evaluation of near-tropopause ozone distributions in the Global Modeling Initiative combined stratosphere/troposphere model with ozonesonde data, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 1589-1634, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-1589-2008, 2008.
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