Empirical Normal Mode Diagnostic Study of the GEM Model's Dynamical Core

Ayrton Zadra Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Gilbert Brunet Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, and Recherche en Prévision Numérique, Environment Canada, Dorval, Quebec, Canada

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Jacques Derome Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Bernard Dugas Recherche en Prévision Numérique, Environment Canada, Dorval, Quebec, Canada

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Abstract

An algorithm based on the empirical normal mode analysis is used in a comparative study of the climatology and variability in dynamical-core experiments of the Global Environmental Multiscale model. The algorithm is proposed as a means to assess properties of the model's dynamical core and to establish objective criteria for model intercomparison studies. In this paper, the analysis is restricted to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Two dynamical-core experiments are considered: one with the forcing proposed by Held and Suarez, later modified by Williamson et al. (called HSW experiment), and the other with a forcing inspired by the prescriptions of Boer and Denis (BD). Results are also compared with those of an earlier diagnosis of NCEP reanalyses. Normal modes and wave-activity spectra are similar to those found in the reanalysis data, although details depend on the forcing. For instance, wave-energy amplitudes are higher with the BD forcing, and an approximate energy equipartition is observed in the spectrum of wavenumber-1 modes in the NCEP data and the BD experiment but not in the HSW experiment. The HSW forcing has a relatively strong relaxation acting on the complete temperature field, whereas the BD forcing only acts on the zonal-mean temperature, letting the internal dynamics alone drive the wave-activity spectral cascade. This difference may explain why the BD forcing is more successful in reproducing the observed wave activity in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Ayrton Zadra, Environment Canada, Division de Recherche en Prévision Numérique, 2121, Route Transcanadienne, 5e étage, Dorval, QC H9P 1J3, Canada. Email: ayrton.zadra@ec.gc.ca

Abstract

An algorithm based on the empirical normal mode analysis is used in a comparative study of the climatology and variability in dynamical-core experiments of the Global Environmental Multiscale model. The algorithm is proposed as a means to assess properties of the model's dynamical core and to establish objective criteria for model intercomparison studies. In this paper, the analysis is restricted to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Two dynamical-core experiments are considered: one with the forcing proposed by Held and Suarez, later modified by Williamson et al. (called HSW experiment), and the other with a forcing inspired by the prescriptions of Boer and Denis (BD). Results are also compared with those of an earlier diagnosis of NCEP reanalyses. Normal modes and wave-activity spectra are similar to those found in the reanalysis data, although details depend on the forcing. For instance, wave-energy amplitudes are higher with the BD forcing, and an approximate energy equipartition is observed in the spectrum of wavenumber-1 modes in the NCEP data and the BD experiment but not in the HSW experiment. The HSW forcing has a relatively strong relaxation acting on the complete temperature field, whereas the BD forcing only acts on the zonal-mean temperature, letting the internal dynamics alone drive the wave-activity spectral cascade. This difference may explain why the BD forcing is more successful in reproducing the observed wave activity in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Ayrton Zadra, Environment Canada, Division de Recherche en Prévision Numérique, 2121, Route Transcanadienne, 5e étage, Dorval, QC H9P 1J3, Canada. Email: ayrton.zadra@ec.gc.ca

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