Sensitivity of GCM tropical middle atmosphere variability and climate to ozone and parametrized gravity wave changes
Bushell, A. C., Jackson, D. R., Butchart, N., Hardiman, S. C., Hinton, T. J., Osprey, S. M. and Gray, L. J. (2010) Sensitivity of GCM tropical middle atmosphere variability and climate to ozone and parametrized gravity wave changes. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115. D15101. ISSN 0148-0227
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2009JD013340
This paper describes the impact of changing the current imposed ozone climatology upon the tropical Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) in a high top climate configuration of the Met Office U.K. general circulation model. The aim is to help distinguish between QBO changes in chemistry climate models that result from temperature-ozone feedbacks and those that might be forced by differences in climatology between previously fixed and newly interactive ozone distributions. Different representations of zonal mean ozone climatology under present-day conditions are taken to represent the level of change expected between acceptable model realizations of the global ozone distribution and thus indicate whether more detailed investigation of such climatology issues might be required when assessing ozone feedbacks. Tropical stratospheric ozone concentrations are enhanced relative to the control climatology between 20–30 km, reduced from 30–40 km and enhanced above, impacting the model profile of clear-sky radiative heating, in particular warming the tropical stratosphere between 15–35 km. The outcome is consistent with a localized equilibrium response in the tropical stratosphere that generates increased upwelling between 100 and 4 hPa, sufficient to account for a 12 month increase of modeled mean QBO period. This response has implications for analysis of the tropical circulation in models with interactive ozone chemistry because it highlights the possibility that plausible changes in the ozone climatology could have a sizable impact upon the tropical upwelling and QBO period that ought to be distinguished from other dynamical responses such as ozone-temperature feedbacks.