Tropical Cumulus Convection and Upward Propagating Waves in Middle Atmospheric GCMs
- Hamilton, K. P.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Shibata, K., Langematz, U., Pawson, S., Giorgetta, M. A., deGranpre, J., Wilson, R. J., Sassi, F., Manzini, E., Atlas, Robert, and Horinouchi, T.
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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
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- It is recognized that the resolved tropical wave spectrum can vary considerably between general circulation models (GCMs) and that these differences can have an important impact on the simulated climate. A comprehensive comparison of the waves is presented for the December-January-February period using high-frequency (three-hourly) data archives from eight GCMs and one simple model participating in the GCM Reality Intercomparison Project for SPARC (GRIPS). Quantitative measures of the structure and causes of the wavenumber-frequency structure of resolved waves and their impacts on the climate are given. Space-time spectral analysis reveals that the wave spectrum throughout the middle atmosphere is linked to variability of convective precipitation, which is determined by the parameterized convection. The variability of the precipitation spectrum differs by more than an order of magnitude between the models, with additional changes in the spectral distribution (especially the frequency). These differences can be explained primarily by the choice of different, cumulus par amet erizations: quasi-equilibrium mass-flux schemes tend to produce small variability, while the moist-convective adjustment scheme is most active. Comparison with observational estimates of precipitation variability suggests that the model values are scattered around the truth. This result indicates that a significant portion of the forcing of the equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is provided by waves with scales that are not resolved in present-day GCMs, since only the moist convective adjustment scheme (which has the largest transient variability) can force a QBO in models that have no parameterization of non-stationary gravity waves. Parameterized cumulus convection also impacts the nonmigrating tides in the equatorial region. In most of the models, momentum transport by diurnal nonmigrating tides in the mesosphere is larger than that by Kelvin waves, being more significant than has been thought. It is shown that the equatorial semi-annual oscillation in the models examined is driven mainly by gravity waves with periods shorter than three days, with at least some contribution from parameterized gravity waves; the contribution from the ultra-fast zonal wavenumber-1 Kelvin waves is negligible.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20020080729.
- No Copyright.
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