MS-GWaM: A 3-dimensional transient gravity wave parametrization for atmospheric models

Georg S. Voelker aInstitute for Atmosphere and Environment, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

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Gergely Bölöni bDeutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach am Main, Germany

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Young-Ha Kim aInstitute for Atmosphere and Environment, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

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Günther Zängl bDeutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach am Main, Germany

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Ulrich Achatz aInstitute for Atmosphere and Environment, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

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Abstract

Parametrizations for internal gravity waves in atmospheric models are traditionally subject to a number of simplifications. Most notably, they rely on both neglecting wave propagation and advection in the horizontal direction (single-column assumption) and an instantaneous balance in the vertical direction (steady-state assumption). While these simplifications are well justified to cover some essential dynamic effects and keep the computational effort small it has been shown that both mechanisms are potentially significant. In particular, the recently introduced Multiscale Gravity Wave Model (MS-GWaM) successfully applied ray tracing methods in a novel type of transient but columnar internal gravity wave parameterization (MS-GWaM-1D). We extend this concept to a three-dimensional version of the parameterization (MS-GWaM-3D) to simulate subgrid-scale non-orographic internal gravity waves. The resulting global wave model—implemented into the weather-forecast and climate code ICON—contains three-dimensional transient propagation with accurate flux calculations, a latitude-dependent background source, and convectively generated waves. MS-GWaM-3D helps reproducing expected temperature and wind patterns in the mesopause region in the climatological zonal mean state and thus proves a viable IGW parameterization. Analyzing the global wave action budget, we find that horizontal wave propagation is as important as vertical wave propagation. The corresponding wave refraction includes previously missing but well-known effects such as wave refraction into the polar jet streams. On a global scale, three-dimensional wave refraction leads to a horizontal flow-dependent redistribution of waves such that the structures of the zonal mean wave drag and consequently the zonal mean winds are modified.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Georg S. Voelker, voelker@iau.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

Parametrizations for internal gravity waves in atmospheric models are traditionally subject to a number of simplifications. Most notably, they rely on both neglecting wave propagation and advection in the horizontal direction (single-column assumption) and an instantaneous balance in the vertical direction (steady-state assumption). While these simplifications are well justified to cover some essential dynamic effects and keep the computational effort small it has been shown that both mechanisms are potentially significant. In particular, the recently introduced Multiscale Gravity Wave Model (MS-GWaM) successfully applied ray tracing methods in a novel type of transient but columnar internal gravity wave parameterization (MS-GWaM-1D). We extend this concept to a three-dimensional version of the parameterization (MS-GWaM-3D) to simulate subgrid-scale non-orographic internal gravity waves. The resulting global wave model—implemented into the weather-forecast and climate code ICON—contains three-dimensional transient propagation with accurate flux calculations, a latitude-dependent background source, and convectively generated waves. MS-GWaM-3D helps reproducing expected temperature and wind patterns in the mesopause region in the climatological zonal mean state and thus proves a viable IGW parameterization. Analyzing the global wave action budget, we find that horizontal wave propagation is as important as vertical wave propagation. The corresponding wave refraction includes previously missing but well-known effects such as wave refraction into the polar jet streams. On a global scale, three-dimensional wave refraction leads to a horizontal flow-dependent redistribution of waves such that the structures of the zonal mean wave drag and consequently the zonal mean winds are modified.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Georg S. Voelker, voelker@iau.uni-frankfurt.de
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