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  • Author or Editor: Natalia Calvo x
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Natalia Calvo and Rolando R. Garcia

Abstract

Two simulations from the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, covering the periods 1950–2003 and 1980–2050, are used to investigate the nature of the waves that force the increase of the tropical upwelling in the lower stratosphere as the concentration of greenhouse gases increases. Decomposition of the wave field resolved by the model into stationary and transient wavenumber spectra allows attribution of trends in the Eliassen–Palm (EP) flux and its divergence to specific wave components. This analysis reveals that enhanced dissipation of stationary planetary waves is the main driver of trends in the tropical upwelling in the lower stratosphere. The contribution of transient waves is smaller and is responsible mainly for trends in wave forcing in the subtropics and middle latitudes, which, however, provide only minor contributions to the mean tropical upwelling. Examination of individual wave structures shows that the stationary waves are tropical Rossby waves trapped in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, whereas the transient components are synoptic waves present in the subtropics and middle latitudes. The authors also present evidence that trends in resolved wave forcing in the lower stratosphere are due to both changes in wave transmissivity and changes in wave excitation, with the first mechanism dominating the behavior of the simulation during the last half of the twentieth century, while the second is clearly more important in the simulation during the first half of the twenty-first century.

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Froila M. Palmeiro, Natalia Calvo, and Rolando R. Garcia

Abstract

The climatology and future changes of the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC) in three climate change scenarios are studied using the latest version of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM4), which is fully coupled to an ocean model. The results show an acceleration in both the shallow and deep branches of circulation in response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) together with an upward displacement of the tropical upwelling in the deep branch near the stratopause. The downward control principle reveals that different waves are involved in forcing the acceleration of the upper and lower branches. Climatological-mean tropical upwelling in both the lower and upper stratosphere is dominated by explicitly resolved, planetary-scale waves. Trends in the tropical upwelling in the lower stratosphere are mainly attributed to explicitly resolved, planetary-scale waves. However, in the upper stratosphere, despite the fact that resolved waves control the forcing of the climatological upwelling, their contribution to the long-term trend diminishes with increasing GHGs, while the role of gravity waves associated with fronts increases and becomes dominant in the model scenario with the largest GHG increases. The intensification and upward displacement of the subtropical tropospheric jets due to climate change leads to filtering of the westerly part of the frontal gravity wave spectrum, leaving the easterly components to reach the upper stratosphere and force the changes in the circulation there.

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