A Comparison of Two- and Three-Dimensional Tracer Transport within a Stratospheric Circulation Model

Hans-Rainer Schneider Applied Research Corporation, Landpver, MD 20785

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Marvin A. Geller Laboratory for Planetary Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

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Abstract

Use of the residual circulation for stratospheric tracer transport has been compared to a fully three-dimensional calculation. The wind fields used in this study were obtained from a global, semispectral, primitive equation model, extending from 10 to 100 km in altitude. Comparisons were done with a passive tracer and an ozone-like substance over a two-month period corresponding to a Northern Hemisphere winter. It was found that the use of the residual circulation can lead to errors in the tracer concentrations of about a factor of 2. The error is made up of two components. One is fluctuating with a period of approximately one month and reflect directly the wave transience that occurs on that time-scale. The second part is increasing steadily over the integration period and results from an overestimate of the vertical transport by the residual circulation. Furthermore, the equatorward and upward mixing that occurs with transport by the three-dimensional circulation at low latitudes is not well reproduced when the residual circulation is used.

Abstract

Use of the residual circulation for stratospheric tracer transport has been compared to a fully three-dimensional calculation. The wind fields used in this study were obtained from a global, semispectral, primitive equation model, extending from 10 to 100 km in altitude. Comparisons were done with a passive tracer and an ozone-like substance over a two-month period corresponding to a Northern Hemisphere winter. It was found that the use of the residual circulation can lead to errors in the tracer concentrations of about a factor of 2. The error is made up of two components. One is fluctuating with a period of approximately one month and reflect directly the wave transience that occurs on that time-scale. The second part is increasing steadily over the integration period and results from an overestimate of the vertical transport by the residual circulation. Furthermore, the equatorward and upward mixing that occurs with transport by the three-dimensional circulation at low latitudes is not well reproduced when the residual circulation is used.

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