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Dynamical Effects of Convective Momentum Transports on Global Climate Simulations

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  • 1 Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • | 2 Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
  • | 3 Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
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Abstract

Dynamical effects of convective momentum transports (CMT) on global climate simulations are investigated using the NCAR Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3). To isolate the dynamical effects of the CMT, an experimental setup is proposed in which all physical parameterizations except for the deep convection scheme are replaced with idealized forcing. The CMT scheme is incorporated into the convection scheme to calculate the CMT forcing, which is used to force the momentum equations, while convective temperature and moisture tendencies are not passed into the model calculations in order to remove the physical feedback between convective heating and wind fields. Excluding the response of complex physical processes, the model with the experimental setup contains a complete dynamical core and the CMT forcing.

Comparison between two sets of 5-yr simulations using this idealized general circulation model (GCM) shows that the Hadley circulation is enhanced when the CMT forcing is included, in agreement with previous studies that used full GCMs. It suggests that dynamical processes make significant contributions to the total response of circulation to CMT forcing in the full GCMs. The momentum budget shows that the Coriolis force, boundary layer friction, and nonlinear interactions of velocity fields affect the responses of zonal wind field, and the adjustment of circulation follows an approximate geostrophic balance. The adjustment mechanism of meridional circulation in response to ageostrophic CMT forcing is examined. It is found that the strengthening of the Hadley circulation is an indirect response of the meridional wind to the zonal CMT forcing through the Coriolis effect, which is required for maintaining near-geostrophic balance.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xiaoliang Song, Iowa State University, 3010 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011. Email: songxl@iastate.edu

Abstract

Dynamical effects of convective momentum transports (CMT) on global climate simulations are investigated using the NCAR Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3). To isolate the dynamical effects of the CMT, an experimental setup is proposed in which all physical parameterizations except for the deep convection scheme are replaced with idealized forcing. The CMT scheme is incorporated into the convection scheme to calculate the CMT forcing, which is used to force the momentum equations, while convective temperature and moisture tendencies are not passed into the model calculations in order to remove the physical feedback between convective heating and wind fields. Excluding the response of complex physical processes, the model with the experimental setup contains a complete dynamical core and the CMT forcing.

Comparison between two sets of 5-yr simulations using this idealized general circulation model (GCM) shows that the Hadley circulation is enhanced when the CMT forcing is included, in agreement with previous studies that used full GCMs. It suggests that dynamical processes make significant contributions to the total response of circulation to CMT forcing in the full GCMs. The momentum budget shows that the Coriolis force, boundary layer friction, and nonlinear interactions of velocity fields affect the responses of zonal wind field, and the adjustment of circulation follows an approximate geostrophic balance. The adjustment mechanism of meridional circulation in response to ageostrophic CMT forcing is examined. It is found that the strengthening of the Hadley circulation is an indirect response of the meridional wind to the zonal CMT forcing through the Coriolis effect, which is required for maintaining near-geostrophic balance.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xiaoliang Song, Iowa State University, 3010 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011. Email: songxl@iastate.edu

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