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Wave forcing of the quasi-biennial oscillation in the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model

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Krismer,  Thomas
Climate Modelling, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Giorgetta,  Marco A.
Climate Modelling, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Krismer, T., & Giorgetta, M. A. (2014). Wave forcing of the quasi-biennial oscillation in the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71, 1985-2006. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-13-0310.1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-BEC3-1
Abstract
This study investigates the resolved wave forcing of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model truncated at T63 with 95 vertical levels. The model, which parameterizes unresolved gravity waves, internally generates a QBO. The resolved waves contribute up to 50% and 30% to the total wave forcing (resolved plus parameterized) of the QBO westerly and easterly jet, respectively, mostly owing to waves with zonal wavenumbers lower than 20 and frequencies lower than 0.5 cpd. At higher frequencies and wavenumbers, the model underestimates the strength of the tropospheric wave sources when compared to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observations and applies strong horizontal diffusion, which explains the shortage of wave momentum at these scales (relative to recent studies based on high-resolution models). The study further relates the vertical structure of equatorial Kelvin waves, which contribute most to the transport and deposition of westerly wave momentum, to their radiative dissipation and compares the role of longwave radiation and horizontal diffusion in the dissipation of the resolved waves in general. The Kelvin waves adjust their vertical wavelength according to their intrinsic phase speed and are efficiently damped by longwave radiation within westerly flow, where the vertical wavelength strongly decreases. Waves with zonal wavenumbers larger than 10, however, are mostly damped by horizontal diffusion. The latitudinal distribution of the resolved wave forcing reflects the latitudinal structure of the waves and is asymmetric with respect to the equator. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.