, Volume 25, Issue 7-8, pp 851-868
Date: 14 Oct 2005

The stratospheric version of LMDz: dynamical climatologies, arctic oscillation, and impact on the surface climate

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Abstract

A climatology of the stratosphere is determined from a 20-year integration with the stratospheric version of the Atmospheric General Circulation Model LMDz. The model has an upper boundary at near 65 km, uses a Doppler spread non-orographic gravity waves drag parameterization and a subgrid-scale orography parameterization. It also has a Rayleigh damping layer for resolved waves only (not the zonal mean flow) over the top 5 km. This paper describes the basic features of the model and some aspects of its radiative-dynamical climatology. Standard first order diagnostics are presented but some emphasis is given to the model’s ability to reproduce the low frequency variability of the stratosphere in the winter northern hemisphere. In this model, the stratospheric variability is dominated at each altitudes by patterns which have some similarities with the arctic oscillation (AO). For those patterns, the signal sometimes descends from the stratosphere to the troposphere. In an experiment where the parameterized orographic gravity waves that reach the stratosphere are exaggerated, the model stratosphere in the NH presents much less variability. Although the stratospheric variability is still dominated by patterns that resemble to the AO, the downward influence of the stratosphere along these patterns is near entirely lost. In the same time, the persistence of the surface AO decreases, which is consistent with the picture that this persistence is linked to the descent of the AO signal from the stratosphere to the troposphere. A comparison between the stratospheric version of the model, and its routinely used tropospheric version is also done. It shows that the introduction of the stratosphere in a model that already has a realistic AO persistence can lead to overestimate the actual influence of the stratospheric dynamics onto the surface AO. Although this result is certainly model dependent, it suggests that the introduction of the stratosphere in a GCM also call for a new adjustment of the model parameters that affect the tropospheric variability.