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Haile Xue and Marco A. Giorgetta

Abstract

The diurnally evolving trapped lee wave over a small-scale two-dimensional steep mountain is investigated in large-eddy simulations based on a fully compressible and nonhydrostatic model [Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic (ICON)] with triangular grids of 50-m-edge length. An idealized atmospheric profile derived from a realistic case is designed to account for influences from the stagnant layer near the surface, the stability of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and the upper-level jet. First, simulations were done to bridge from the linear regime to the nonlinear regime by increasing the mountain height, which showed that larger-amplitude lee waves with longer wavelength can be produced in the nonlinear regime than in the linear regime. Second, the effects of the stagnant layer near the surface and the ABL stability were explored, which showed that the stagnant layer or the stable ABL can play a similar wave-absorbing role in the nonlinear regime as in linear theories or simulations. Third, the role of the upper-level jet was explored, indicating that a stronger (weaker) upper-level jet can help to produce longer (shorter) lee waves. The stable ABL with a stagnant layer can more (less) efficiently absorb the longer (shorter) lee waves due to the stronger (weaker) jet, so that the wave response is more sensitive to the wave-absorption layer when an upper-level jet is present. Finally, the momentum budget was analyzed to explore the interaction between the upper and lower levels of the troposphere, which showed that the momentum flux due to the upward-propagating waves and trapped waves varies with the upper-level jet strength and low-level stagnancy and ABL stability.

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Hui Wan, Marco A. Giorgetta, and Luca Bonaventura

Abstract

The idealized test case proposed by Held and Suarez is carried out with the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5 of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. The aim is to investigate the sensitivity of the solutions of the spectral dynamical core to spatial and temporal resolution, and to evaluate the numerical convergence of the solutions. Low-frequency fluctuations at time scales as long as thousands of days are found in ultralong integrations. To distinguish the effect of changed resolution from the fluctuations caused by the internal variability, the ensemble method is employed in experiments at resolutions ranging from T31 to T159 with 16 to 81 vertical levels. Significance of the differences between ensembles is assessed by three different statistical tests. Convergence property of the numerical solution is concisely summarized by a ratio index.

Results show that the simulated climate state in the Held–Suarez test is sensitive to spatial resolution. Increase of horizontal resolution leads to slight weakening and poleward shift of the westerly jets. Significant warming is detected in high latitudes, especially near the polar tropopause, while the tropical tropopause becomes cooler. The baroclinic wave activity intensifies considerably with increased horizontal resolution. Higher vertical resolution also leads to stronger eddy variances and cooling near the tropical tropopause, but equatorward shift of the westerly jets. The solutions show an indication of convergence at T85L31 resolution according to all the three statistical tests applied. Differences between integrations with various time steps are judged to be within the noise level induced by the inherent low-frequency variability.

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Thomas R. Krismer and Marco A. Giorgetta

Abstract

This study investigates the resolved wave forcing of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model truncated at T63 with 95 vertical levels. The model, which parameterizes unresolved gravity waves, internally generates a QBO. The resolved waves contribute up to 50% and 30% to the total wave forcing (resolved plus parameterized) of the QBO westerly and easterly jet, respectively, mostly owing to waves with zonal wavenumbers lower than 20 and frequencies lower than 0.5 cpd. At higher frequencies and wavenumbers, the model underestimates the strength of the tropospheric wave sources when compared to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observations and applies strong horizontal diffusion, which explains the shortage of wave momentum at these scales (relative to recent studies based on high-resolution models). The study further relates the vertical structure of equatorial Kelvin waves, which contribute most to the transport and deposition of westerly wave momentum, to their radiative dissipation and compares the role of longwave radiation and horizontal diffusion in the dissipation of the resolved waves in general. The Kelvin waves adjust their vertical wavelength according to their intrinsic phase speed and are efficiently damped by longwave radiation within westerly flow, where the vertical wavelength strongly decreases. Waves with zonal wavenumbers larger than 10, however, are mostly damped by horizontal diffusion. The latitudinal distribution of the resolved wave forcing reflects the latitudinal structure of the waves and is asymmetric with respect to the equator.

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Cristina Peña-Ortiz, Elisa Manzini, and Marco A. Giorgetta

Abstract

The impact of tropical deep convection on southern winter stationary waves and its modulation by the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) have been investigated in a long (210 year) climate model simulation and in ERA-Interim reanalysis data for the period 1979–2018. Model results reveal that tropical deep convection over the region of its climatological maximum modulates high-latitude stationary planetary waves in the southern winter hemisphere, corroborating the dominant role of tropical thermal forcing in the generation of these waves. In the tropics, deep convection enhancement leads to wavenumber-1 eddy anomalies that reinforce the climatological Rossby–Kelvin wave couplet. The Rossby wave propagates toward the extratropical southern winter hemisphere and upward through the winter stratosphere reinforcing wavenumber-1 climatological eddies. As a consequence, stronger tropical deep convection is related to greater upward wave propagation and, consequently, to a stronger Brewer–Dobson circulation and a warmer polar winter stratosphere. This linkage between tropical deep convection and the Southern Hemisphere (SH) winter polar vortex is also found in the ERA-Interim reanalysis. Furthermore, model results indicate that the enhancement of deep convection observed during the easterly phase of the QBO (E-QBO) gives rise to a similar modulation of the southern winter extratropical stratosphere, which suggests that the QBO modulation of convection plays a fundamental role in the transmission of the QBO signature to the southern stratosphere during the austral winter, revealing a new pathway for the QBO–SH polar vortex connection. ERA-Interim corroborates a QBO modulation of deep convection; however, the shorter data record does not allow us to assess its possible impact on the SH polar vortex.

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Marco A. Giorgetta, Guy P. Brasseur, Erich Roeckner, and Jochem Marotzke
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Markus Kunze, Peter Braesicke, Ulrike Langematz, Gabriele Stiller, Slimane Bekki, Christoph Brühl, Martyn Chipperfield, Martin Dameris, Rolando Garcia, and Marco Giorgetta

Abstract

The representation of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) circulation in some current chemistry–climate models (CCMs) is assessed. The main assessment focuses on the anticyclone that forms in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere and the related changes in water vapor and ozone during July and August for the recent past. The synoptic structures are described and CCMs and reanalysis models are compared. Multiannual means and weak versus strong monsoon cases as classified by the Monsoon–Hadley index (MHI) are discussed. The authors find that current CCMs capture the average synoptic structure of the ISM anticyclone well as compared to the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) and NCEP–NCAR reanalyses. The associated impact on water vapor and ozone in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere as observed with the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) on Envisat is captured by most models to some degree. The similarities for the strong versus weak monsoon cases are limited, and even for present-day conditions the models do not agree well for extreme events. Nevertheless, some features are present in the reanalyses and more than one CCM, for example, ozone increases at 380 K eastward of the ISM. With the database available for this study, future changes of the ISM are hard to assess. The modeled monsoon activity index used here shows slight weakening of the ISM circulation in a future climate, and some of the modeled water vapor increase seems to be contained in the anticyclone at 360 K and sometimes above. The authors conclude that current CCMs capture the average large-scale synoptic structure of the ISM well during July and August, but large differences for the interannual variability make assessments of likely future changes of the ISM highly uncertain.

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Edwin P. Gerber, Amy Butler, Natalia Calvo, Andrew Charlton-Perez, Marco Giorgetta, Elisa Manzini, Judith Perlwitz, Lorenzo M. Polvani, Fabrizio Sassi, Adam A. Scaife, Tiffany A. Shaw, Seok-Woo Son, and Shingo Watanabe

Advances in weather and climate research have demonstrated the role of the stratosphere in the Earth system across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. Stratospheric ozone loss has been identified as a key driver of Southern Hemisphere tropospheric circulation trends, affecting ocean currents and carbon uptake, sea ice, and possibly even the Antarctic ice sheets. Stratospheric variability has also been shown to affect short-term and seasonal forecasts, connecting the tropics and midlatitudes and guiding storm-track dynamics. The two-way interactions between the stratosphere and the Earth system have motivated the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP) Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate's (SPARC) activity on Modelling the Dynamics and Variability of the Stratosphere-Troposphere System (DynVar) to investigate the impact of stratospheric dynamics and variability on climate. This assessment will be made possible by two new multimodel datasets. First, roughly 10 models with a well-resolved stratosphere are participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5), providing the first multimodel ensemble of climate simulations coupled from the stratopause to the sea floor. Second, the Stratosphere Resolving Historical Forecast Project (Strat-HFP) of WCRP's Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) program is forming a multimodel set of seasonal hind-casts with stratosphere-resolving models, revealing the impact of both stratospheric initial conditions and dynamics on intraseasonal prediction. The CMIP5 and Strat-HFP model datasets will offer an unprecedented opportunity to understand the role of the stratosphere in the natural and forced variability of the Earth system and to determine whether incorporating knowledge of the middle atmosphere improves seasonal forecasts and climate projections.

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Decadal Prediction

Can It Be Skillful?

Gerald A. Meehl, Lisa Goddard, James Murphy, Ronald J. Stouffer, George Boer, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Keith Dixon, Marco A. Giorgetta, Arthur M. Greene, Ed Hawkins, Gabriele Hegerl, David Karoly, Noel Keenlyside, Masahide Kimoto, Ben Kirtman, Antonio Navarra, Roger Pulwarty, Doug Smith, Detlef Stammer, and Timothy Stockdale

A new field of study, “decadal prediction,” is emerging in climate science. Decadal prediction lies between seasonal/interannual forecasting and longer-term climate change projections, and focuses on time-evolving regional climate conditions over the next 10–30 yr. Numerous assessments of climate information user needs have identified this time scale as being important to infrastructure planners, water resource managers, and many others. It is central to the information portfolio required to adapt effectively to and through climatic changes. At least three factors influence time-evolving regional climate at the decadal time scale: 1) climate change commitment (further warming as the coupled climate system comes into adjustment with increases of greenhouse gases that have already occurred), 2) external forcing, particularly from future increases of greenhouse gases and recovery of the ozone hole, and 3) internally generated variability. Some decadal prediction skill has been demonstrated to arise from the first two of these factors, and there is evidence that initialized coupled climate models can capture mechanisms of internally generated decadal climate variations, thus increasing predictive skill globally and particularly regionally. Several methods have been proposed for initializing global coupled climate models for decadal predictions, all of which involve global time-evolving three-dimensional ocean data, including temperature and salinity. An experimental framework to address decadal predictability/prediction is described in this paper and has been incorporated into the coordinated Coupled Model Intercomparison Model, phase 5 (CMIP5) experiments, some of which will be assessed for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). These experiments will likely guide work in this emerging field over the next 5 yr.

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