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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-835
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-835
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Sep 2018

Research article | 20 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Three-dimensional simulation of stratospheric gravitational separation using the NIES global atmospheric tracer transport model

Dmitry Belikov1, Satoshi Sugawara2, Shigeyuki Ishidoya3, Fumio Hasebe1, Shamil Maksyutov4, Shuji Aoki5, Shinji Morimoto5, and Takakiyo Nakazawa5 Dmitry Belikov et al.
  • 1Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
  • 2Miyagi University of Education, Sendai 980-0845, Japan
  • 3National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba 305-8569, Japan
  • 4National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba 305-8506, Japan
  • 5Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578, Japan

Abstract. A three-dimensional simulation of gravitational separation, defined as the process of atmospheric molecule separation under gravity according to their molar masses, is performed for the first time in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. We analyze distributions of two isotopes with a small difference in molecular mass (13C16O2 (Mi = 45) and 12C16O2 (Mi = 44)) simulated by the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) chemical transport model with a parameterization of molecular diffusion. The NIES model employs global reanalysis and an isentropic vertical coordinate and uses optimized CO2 fluxes. This study includes a comparison with measurements recorded by cryogenic balloon-borne samplers in the lower stratosphere and two-dimensional model simulations. The benefits of the NIES TM simulations are discussed. We investigate the processes affecting gravitational separation by a detailed estimation of terms in the molecular diffusion equation. At the same time, we study the age of air derived from the tracer distributions. We find a strong relationship between age of air and gravitational separation for the main climatic zones. The advantages and limitations of using age of air and gravitational separation as indicators of the variability in the stratosphere circulation are discussed.

Dmitry Belikov et al.
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Dmitry Belikov et al.
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