Climatology and Forcing of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in the MAECHAM5 Model

M. A. Giorgetta Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Search for other papers by M. A. Giorgetta in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
E. Manzini National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology, Bologna, Italy

Search for other papers by E. Manzini in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
E. Roeckner Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Search for other papers by E. Roeckner in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
M. Esch Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Search for other papers by M. Esch in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
L. Bengtsson Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, and Environmental Systems Science Centre, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Search for other papers by L. Bengtsson in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the equatorial zonal wind is an outstanding phenomenon of the atmosphere. The QBO is driven by a broad spectrum of waves excited in the tropical troposphere and modulates transport and mixing of chemical compounds in the whole middle atmosphere. Therefore, the simulation of the QBO in general circulation models and chemistry climate models is an important issue. Here, aspects of the climatology and forcing of a spontaneously occurring QBO in a middle-atmosphere model are evaluated, and its influence on the climate and variability of the tropical middle atmosphere is investigated. Westerly and easterly phases are considered separately, and 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data are used as a reference where appropriate. It is found that the simulated QBO is realistic in many details. Resolved large-scale waves are particularly important for the westerly phase, while parameterized gravity wave drag is more important for the easterly phase. Advective zonal wind tendencies are important for asymmetries between westerly and easterly phases, as found for the suppression of the easterly phase downward propagation. The simulation of the QBO improves the tropical upwelling and the atmospheric tape recorder compared to a model without a QBO. The semiannual oscillation is simulated realistically only if the QBO is represented. In sensitivity tests, it is found that the simulated QBO is strongly sensitive to changes in the gravity wave sources. The sensitivity to the tested range of horizontal resolutions is small. The stratospheric vertical resolution must be better than 1 km to simulate a realistic QBO.

Corresponding author address: Marco A. Giorgetta, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. Email: marco.giorgetta@zmaw.de

Abstract

The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the equatorial zonal wind is an outstanding phenomenon of the atmosphere. The QBO is driven by a broad spectrum of waves excited in the tropical troposphere and modulates transport and mixing of chemical compounds in the whole middle atmosphere. Therefore, the simulation of the QBO in general circulation models and chemistry climate models is an important issue. Here, aspects of the climatology and forcing of a spontaneously occurring QBO in a middle-atmosphere model are evaluated, and its influence on the climate and variability of the tropical middle atmosphere is investigated. Westerly and easterly phases are considered separately, and 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data are used as a reference where appropriate. It is found that the simulated QBO is realistic in many details. Resolved large-scale waves are particularly important for the westerly phase, while parameterized gravity wave drag is more important for the easterly phase. Advective zonal wind tendencies are important for asymmetries between westerly and easterly phases, as found for the suppression of the easterly phase downward propagation. The simulation of the QBO improves the tropical upwelling and the atmospheric tape recorder compared to a model without a QBO. The semiannual oscillation is simulated realistically only if the QBO is represented. In sensitivity tests, it is found that the simulated QBO is strongly sensitive to changes in the gravity wave sources. The sensitivity to the tested range of horizontal resolutions is small. The stratospheric vertical resolution must be better than 1 km to simulate a realistic QBO.

Corresponding author address: Marco A. Giorgetta, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. Email: marco.giorgetta@zmaw.de

Save
  • Andrews, D. G., J. R. Holton, and C. B. Leovy, 1987: Middle Atmosphere Dynamics. Academic Press, 489 pp.

  • Baldwin, M. P. and L. J. Gray, 2005: Tropical stratospheric zonal winds in ECMWF ERA-40 reanalysis, rocketsonde data, and rawinsonde data. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32.L09806, doi:10.1029/2004GL022328.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baldwin, M. P., Coauthors 2001: The quasi-biennial oscillation. Rev. Geophys., 39:179229.

  • Belmont, A. D., D. G. Dartt, and G. D. Nastrom, 1975: Variations of stratospheric zonal winds, 20–65 km, 1961–1971. J. Appl. Meteor., 14:585602.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bengtsson, L., K. I. Hodges, and S. Hagemann, 2004: Sensitivity of the ERA-40 reanalysis to the observing system: Determination of the global atmospheric circulation from reduced observations. Tellus, 56A:456471.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burrage, M. D., R. A. Vincent, H. G. Mayr, W. R. Skinner, N. F. Arnold, and P. B. Hays, 1996: Long term variability in the equatorial mesosphere and lower thermosphere zonal winds. J. Geophys. Res., 101:1284712854.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Charron, M. and E. Manzini, 2002: Gravity waves from fronts: Parameterization and middle atmosphere response in a general circulation model. J. Atmos. Sci., 59:923941.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Delisi, D. P. and T. J. Dunkerton, 1988: Equatorial semiannual oscillation in zonally averaged temperature observed by the Nimbus 7 SAMS and LIMS. J. Geophys. Res., 93:38993904.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunkerton, T. J., 1997: The role of gravity waves in the quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Geophys. Res., 102:2605326076.

  • Dunkerton, T. J. and D. P. Delisi, 1997: Interaction of the quasi-biennial oscillation and stratopause semiannual oscillation. J. Geophys. Res., 102:2610726116.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giorgetta, M. A., E. Manzini, and E. Roeckner, 2002: Forcing of the quasi-biennial oscillation from a broad spectrum of atmospheric waves. Geophys. Res. Lett., 29.1245, doi:10.1029/2002GL014756.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hamilton, K., 1984: Mean wind evolution through the quasi-biennial cycle of the tropical lower stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 41:21132125.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hamilton, K., R. J. Wilson, and R. S. Hemler, 1999: Middle atmosphere simulations with high vertical and horizontal resolution versions of a GCM: Improvements in the cold pole bias and generation of a QBO-like oscillation in the Tropics. J. Atmos. Sci., 56:38293856.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hines, C. O., 1997: Doppler-spread parameterization of gravity wave momentum deposition in the middle atmosphere. Part 2: Broad and quasi-monochromatic spectra, and implementation. J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys., 59:387400.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holton, J. R. and R. S. Lindzen, 1972: An updated theory for the quasi-biennial cycle of the tropical stratosphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 29:10761080.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Horinouchi, T., Coauthors 2003: Tropical cumulus convection and upward-propagating waves in middle-atmospheric GCMs. J. Atmos. Sci., 60:27652782.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Labitzke, K., Coauthors 2002: The Berlin Stratospheric Data Series. Meteorological Institute, Free University of Berlin, CD-ROM.

  • Lindzen, R. S. and J. R. Holton, 1968: A theory of the quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 25:10951107.

  • Manzini, E., M. A. Giorgetta, M. Esch, L. Kornblueh, and E. Roeckner, 2006: The influence of sea surface temperatures on the northern winter stratosphere: Ensemble simulations with the MAECHAM5 model. J. Climate, 19:38633881.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mote, P. W., Coauthors 1996: An atmospheric tape recorder: The imprint of tropical tropopause temperatures on stratospheric water vapor. J. Geophys. Res., 101:39894006.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Naujokat, B., 1986: An update of the observed quasi-biennial oscillation of the stratospheric winds over the tropics. J. Atmos. Sci., 43:18731877.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pawson, S. and M. Fiorino, 1998: A comparison of reanalyses in the tropical stratosphere. Part 2: The quasi-biennial oscillation. Climate Dyn., 14:645658.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Randel, W. J., F. Wu, R. Swinbank, J. Nash, and A. O’Neill, 1999: Global QBO circulation derived from UKMO stratospheric analyses. J. Atmos. Sci., 56:457474.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Randel, W. J., Coauthors 2004: The SPARC intercomparison of middle-atmosphere climatologies. J. Climate, 17:9861003.

  • Ricciardulli, L. and R. R. Garcia, 2000: The excitation of equatorial waves by deep convection in the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM3). J. Atmos. Sci., 57:34613487.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Roeckner, E., Coauthors 2003: The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5. Part I. Model description. Tech. Rep. 349, MPI for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, 127 pp.

  • Roeckner, E., Coauthors 2006: Sensitivity of simulated climate to horizontal and vertical resolution in the ECHAM5 atmosphere model. J. Climate, 19:37713791.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rosenlof, K. H., A. F. Tuck, K. K. Kelly, J. M. Russell III, and M. P. McCormick, 1997: Hemispheric asymmetries in water vapor and inferences about transport in the lower stratosphere. J. Geophys. Res., 102:1321313234.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scaife, A., N. Butchart, C. D. Warner, D. Stainforth, and W. Norton, 2000: Realistic quasi-biennial oscillations in a simulation of the global climate. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27:34813484.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scinocca, J. F. and N. A. McFarlane, 2004: The variability of modeled tropical precipitation. J. Atmos. Sci., 61:19932015.

  • Simmons, A. J. and J. K. Gibson, 2000: The ERA-40 project plan. ERA-40 Project Report Series 1, ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom, 63 pp.

  • Steil, B., C. Brühl, E. Manzini, P. J. Crutzen, J. Lelieveld, P. J. Rasch, E. Roeckner, and K. K. Krüger, 2003: A new interactive chemistry-climate model: 1. Present-day climatology and interannual variability of the middle atmosphere using the model and 9 years of HALOE/UARS data. J. Geophys. Res., 108.4290, doi:10.1029/2002JD002971.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Takahashi, M., 1996: Simulation of the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation using a general circulation model. Geophys. Res. Lett., 23:661664.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Takahashi, M., 1999: Simulation of the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation in a general circulation model. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26:13071310.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Takahashi, M. and B. A. Boville, 1992: A three-dimensional simulation of the equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 49:10201035.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Uppala, S., Coauthors 2004: ERA-40: ECMWF 45-year reanalysis of the global atmosphere and surface conditions 1957–2002. ECMWF Newsletter, No. 101, ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom, 2–21.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 598 217 14
PDF Downloads 316 74 4