The QBO in two GISS global climate models: 1. Generation of the QBO

Rind, D., J. Jonas, N. K. Balachandran, G. A. Schmidt, and J. Lean (2014), The QBO in two GISS global climate models: 1. Generation of the QBO, J. Geophys. Res., 119, 8798-8824, doi:10.1002/2014JD021678.

The adjustment of parameterized gravity waves associated with model convection and finer vertical resolution has made possible the generation of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in two Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) models, GISS Middle Atmosphere Global Climate Model III and a climate/middle atmosphere version of Model E2. Both extend from the surface to 0.002 hPa, with 2° × 2.5° resolution and 102 layers. Many realistic features of the QBO are simulated, including magnitude and variability of its period and amplitude. The period itself is affected by the magnitude of parameterized convective gravity wave momentum fluxes and interactive ozone (which also affects the QBO amplitude and variability), among other forcings. Although varying sea surface temperatures affect the parameterized momentum fluxes, neither aspect is responsible for the modeled variation in QBO period. Both the parameterized and resolved waves act to produce the respective easterly and westerly wind descent, although their effect is offset in altitude at each level. The modeled and observed QBO influences on tracers in the stratosphere, such as ozone, methane, and water vapor are also discussed. Due to the link between the gravity wave parameterization and the models’ convection, and the dependence on the ozone field, the models may also be used to investigate how the QBO may vary with climate change.

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