Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 18727-18764, 2008
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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.
Implications of Lagrangian transport for coupled chemistry-climate simulations
A. Stenke1, M. Dameris1, V. Grewe1, and H. Garny2
1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
2Meteorological Institute, University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Abstract. For the first time a purely Lagrangian transport algorithm is applied in a fully coupled chemistry-climate model (CCM). We use the Lagrangian scheme ATTILA for the transport of water vapour, cloud water and chemical trace species in the ECHAM4.L39(DLR)/CHEM (E39C) CCM. The advantage of the Lagrangian approach is that it is numerically non-diffusive and therefore maintains steeper and more realistic gradients than the operational semi-Lagrangian transport scheme. In case of radiatively active species changes in the simulated distributions feed back to model dynamics which in turn affect the modelled transport. The implications of the Lagrangian transport scheme for stratospheric model dynamics and tracer distributions in the upgraded model version E39C-ATTILA (E39C-A) are evaluated by comparison with observations and results of the E39C model with the operational semi-Lagrangian advection scheme. We find that several deficiencies in stratospheric dynamics in E39C seem to originate from a pronounced modelled wet bias and an associated cold bias in the extra-tropical lowermost stratosphere. The reduction of the simulated moisture and temperature bias in E39C-A leads to a significant advancement of stratospheric dynamics in terms of the mean state as well as annual and interannual variability. As a consequence of the favourable numerical characteristics of the Lagrangian transport scheme and the improved model dynamics, E39C-A generally shows more realistic stratospheric tracer distributions: Compared to E39C high stratospheric chlorine (Cly) concentrations extend further downward and agree now well with analyses derived from observations. Therefore E39C-A realistically covers the altitude of maximum ozone depletion in the stratosphere. The location of the ozonopause, i.e. the transition from low tropospheric to high stratospheric ozone values, is also clearly improved in E39C-A. Furthermore, the simulated temporal evolution of stratospheric Cly in the past is realistically reproduced which is an important step towards a more reliable projection of future changes, especially of stratospheric ozone.

Citation: Stenke, A., Dameris, M., Grewe, V., and Garny, H.: Implications of Lagrangian transport for coupled chemistry-climate simulations, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 18727-18764, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-18727-2008, 2008.
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