A Strategy for Process-Oriented Validation of Coupled Chemistry–Climate Models

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Accurate and reliable predictions and an understanding of future changes in the stratosphere are major aspects of the subject of climate change. Simulating the interaction between chemistry and climate is of particular importance, because continued increases in greenhouse gases and a slow decrease in halogen loading are expected. These both influence the abundance of stratospheric ozone. In recent years a number of coupled chemistry–climate models (CCMs) with different levels of complexity have been developed. They produce a wide range of results concerning the timing and extent of ozone-layer recovery. Interest in reducing this range has created a need to address how the main dynamical, chemical, and physical processes that determine the long-term behavior of ozone are represented in the models and to validate these model processes through comparisons with observations and other models. A set of core validation processes structured around four major topics (transport, dynamics, radiation, and stratospheric chemistry and microphysics) has been developed. Each process is associated with one or more model diagnostics and with relevant datasets that can be used for validation. This approach provides a coherent framework for validating CCMs and can be used as a basis for future assessments. Similar efforts may benefit other modeling communities with a focus on earth science research as their models increase in complexity.

DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany

Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Canada

NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

NOAA GFDL, Princeton, New Jersey

University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Leeds, United Kingdom

DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

University of Reading, Department of Meteorology, Reading, United Kingdom

NCAR, Boulder, Colorado

University of Cambridge, Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Geography, Cambridge, United Kingdom

National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Earth System Science Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California

University of Cambridge, Centre for Atmospheric Science, Chemistry Department, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Veronika Eyring, DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, E-mail: Veronika.Eyring@dlr.de

Accurate and reliable predictions and an understanding of future changes in the stratosphere are major aspects of the subject of climate change. Simulating the interaction between chemistry and climate is of particular importance, because continued increases in greenhouse gases and a slow decrease in halogen loading are expected. These both influence the abundance of stratospheric ozone. In recent years a number of coupled chemistry–climate models (CCMs) with different levels of complexity have been developed. They produce a wide range of results concerning the timing and extent of ozone-layer recovery. Interest in reducing this range has created a need to address how the main dynamical, chemical, and physical processes that determine the long-term behavior of ozone are represented in the models and to validate these model processes through comparisons with observations and other models. A set of core validation processes structured around four major topics (transport, dynamics, radiation, and stratospheric chemistry and microphysics) has been developed. Each process is associated with one or more model diagnostics and with relevant datasets that can be used for validation. This approach provides a coherent framework for validating CCMs and can be used as a basis for future assessments. Similar efforts may benefit other modeling communities with a focus on earth science research as their models increase in complexity.

DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany

Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Canada

NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

NOAA GFDL, Princeton, New Jersey

University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Leeds, United Kingdom

DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

University of Reading, Department of Meteorology, Reading, United Kingdom

NCAR, Boulder, Colorado

University of Cambridge, Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Geography, Cambridge, United Kingdom

National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Earth System Science Department, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California

University of Cambridge, Centre for Atmospheric Science, Chemistry Department, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Veronika Eyring, DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, E-mail: Veronika.Eyring@dlr.de
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