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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-260
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-260
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Mar 2019

Research article | 20 Mar 2019

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

The effect of atmospheric nudging on the stratospheric residual circulation in chemistry-climate models

Andreas Chrysanthou1, Amanda C. Maycock1, Martyn P. Chipperfield1, Sandip Dhomse1, Hella Garny2,3, Douglas Kinnison4, Hideharu Akiyoshi5, Makoto Deushi6, Rolando R. Garcia4, Patrick Jöckel2, Oliver Kirner7, Olaf Morgenstern8, Giovanni Pitari9, David A. Plummer10, Laura Revell11, Eugene Rozanov12,13, Andrea Stenke12, Taichu Y. Tanaka6, Daniele Visioni14, Yousouke Yamashita15,16, and Guang Zeng8 Andreas Chrysanthou et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 3Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Meteorological Institute Munich, Munich, Germany
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 5National Institute of Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
  • 6Meteorological Research Institute (MRI), Tsukuba, Japan
  • 7Steinbuch Centre for Computing, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 8National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Wellington, New Zealand
  • 9Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Università dell’Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 10Environment and Climate Change Canada, Climate Research Division, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • 11School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 12Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich (ETHZ), Zürich, Switzerland
  • 13Physical-Meteorological Observatory/World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 14Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
  • 15Climate Modelling and Analysis Section, Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 16Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokohama, Japan

Abstract. We perform the first multi-model comparison of the impact of nudged meteorology on the stratospheric residual circulation using hindcast simulations from the Chemistry Climate Model Initiative (CCMI). We examine simulations over the period 1980–2009 from 5 models in which the meteorological fields are nudged towards reanalysis data and compare with equivalent free-running simulations from 9 models. We show that nudging meteorology does not constrain the mean strength of the stratospheric residual circulation and that the inter-model spread is similar, or even larger, than in the free-running simulations. The nudged simulations also simulate stronger upwelling in the tropical lower stratosphere compared to the residual circulation estimated directly from the reanalyses they are nudged towards. Downward control calculations reveal substantial differences between the mean lower stratospheric tropical upward mass flux (TUMF) computed from the modeled wave forcing and that calculated directly from the residual circulation. Although the mean circulation is poorly constrained, the nudged simulations show a high degree of consistency in the interannual variability of the TUMF in the lower stratosphere, which is related to the contribution to variability from the resolved wave forcing. We apply a multiple linear regression (MLR) model to separate the drivers of interannual and long-term variations in the simulated TUMF. The MLR model explains up to ~ 75 % of the variance in TUMF in the nudged simulations and reveals a statistically significant positive trend for most models in TUMF over the period 1980–2009. Overall, nudging meteorological fields leads to increased inter-model spread for most of the measures of the mean climatological stratospheric residual circulation assessed in this study. Our findings show that while nudged simulations by construction produce accurate temperatures and realistic representations of fast horizontal transport, this is not necessarily the case for the slower zonal mean vertical transport. Consequently, caution is required when using nudged simulations to interpret long-lived stratospheric tracers that are controlled by the residual circulation.

Andreas Chrysanthou et al.
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Short summary
We perform the first multi-model comparison of the impact of nudged meteorology on the stratospheric residual circulation (RC) in chemistry-climate models. Nudging leads to comparable or even larger inter-model spread for most of the measures of the mean climatological stratospheric RC compared to their free-running counterparts. Nevertheless, the resolved waves in the nudged runs modulate the remarkably similar inter-annual variability of the tropical upward mass flux in the lower stratosphere.
We perform the first multi-model comparison of the impact of nudged meteorology on the...
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