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Simulation Studies on Seasonal Variations of the Stratospheric Dynamics and Trace Gases Using Coupled Chemistry-Climate Model WACCM-3

Liu Yi; Liu Chuanxi   

  • Received:1900-01-01 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-11-15 Published:2009-11-15

Abstract: The coupled chemistry-climate model WACCM-3 (Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model) developed by NCAR is applied to study the seasonal variations of the stratospheric wind, temperature and trace gases such as O3, CH4, N2O, H2O, HCl, HNO3. Comparisons of the ECMWF/ERA-40 dynamics and observed trace gases from HALOE, MLS, CLEAS on UARS satellite show that the WACCM-3 simulation forced by the climatological Sea-Surface Temperature can generally reproduce the observed characteristics in the seasonal cycles of the stratospheric zonal winds, temperatures and chemical tracers. However, some obvious biases exist in model dynamics, which are closely associated with biases in the distributions of trace gases. Especially, the circumpolar westerlies during austral winter (July) and spring (October) in WACCM-3 model are too strong, which can cause a stronger barrier to the poleward transports of warm air and long-lived trace gases (e.g., CH4, N2O, H2O) in Antarctic lower stratosphere. Moreover, this cold bias also enhances the denitrification and dehydration effects during the formation of Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC), on the surface of which more HCl are activated through a series of heterogeneous reactions. As a result, the simulated concentrations of chemical tracers (e.g., CH4, N2O, H2O, HCl, HNO3) are prominently lower than observations in the Antarctic lower stratosphere during wintertime and springtime. In addition, there are also biases in the tropical stratospheric easterlies and the meridional transports of stratospheric tracers (e.g., O3, CH4, N2O, H2O), since WACCM-3 does not generate a Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) in tropical stratospheric winds.

Key words: Sq variation, Passive tracking, Modified Spherical Coordinates