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Constraints on wave drag parameterization schemes for simulating the quasi-biennial oscillation. Part II: combined effects of gravity waves and equatorial planetary waves

Campbell, L. J. and Shepherd, T. G. (2005) Constraints on wave drag parameterization schemes for simulating the quasi-biennial oscillation. Part II: combined effects of gravity waves and equatorial planetary waves. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62 (12). pp. 4196-4205. ISSN 1520-0469

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/JAS3617.1

Abstract/Summary

This study examines the effect of combining equatorial planetary wave drag and gravity wave drag in a one-dimensional zonal mean model of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Several different combinations of planetary wave and gravity wave drag schemes are considered in the investigations, with the aim being to assess which aspects of the different schemes affect the nature of the modeled QBO. Results show that it is possible to generate a realistic-looking QBO with various combinations of drag from the two types of waves, but there are some constraints on the wave input spectra and amplitudes. For example, if the phase speeds of the gravity waves in the input spectrum are large relative to those of the equatorial planetary waves, critical level absorption of the equatorial planetary waves may occur. The resulting mean-wind oscillation, in that case, is driven almost exclusively by the gravity wave drag, with only a small contribution from the planetary waves at low levels. With an appropriate choice of wave input parameters, it is possible to obtain a QBO with a realistic period and to which both types of waves contribute. This is the regime in which the terrestrial QBO appears to reside. There may also be constraints on the initial strength of the wind shear, and these are similar to the constraints that apply when gravity wave drag is used without any planetary wave drag. In recent years, it has been observed that, in order to simulate the QBO accurately, general circulation models require parameterized gravity wave drag, in addition to the drag from resolved planetary-scale waves, and that even if the planetary wave amplitudes are incorrect, the gravity wave drag can be adjusted to compensate. This study provides a basis for knowing that such a compensation is possible.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:32102
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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