The Met Office HadGEM3-ES chemistry-climate model: Evaluation of stratospheric dynamics and its impact on ozone

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Abstract

Free-running and nudged versions of a Met Office chemistry-climate model are evaluated and used to investigate the impact of dynamics versus transport and chemistry within the model on the simulated evolution of stratospheric ozone. Metrics of the dynamical processes relevant for simulating stratospheric ozone are calculated, and the free-running model is found to outperform the previous model version in 12 of the 14 metrics. In particular, large biases in stratospheric transport and tropical tropopause temperature, which existed in the previous model version, are substantially reduced, making the current model more suitable for the simulation of stratospheric ozone. The spatial structure of the ozone hole, the area of polar stratospheric clouds, and the increased ozone concentrations in the northern hemisphere winter stratosphere following sudden stratospheric warmings, were all found to be sensitive to the accuracy of the dynamics and were better simulated in the nudged model than the free-running model. However, significant biases in stratospheric transport, water vapour and ozone concentrations still exist in the nudged model. Further, stratospheric transport biases lead to biases in the downward ozone flux into the troposphere. Thus, whilst nudging can, in general, provide a useful tool for removing the influence of dynamical biases from the evolution of chemical fields, this study shows that nudged models still remain far from perfect.

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Hardiman, S. C., Butchart, N., O’Connor, F. M., & Rumbold, S. T. (2017). The Met Office HadGEM3-ES chemistry-climate model: Evaluation of stratospheric dynamics and its impact on ozone. Geoscientific Model Development, 10(3), 1209–1232. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-1209-2017

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