Impact of increased vertical resolution in WACCM on the climatology of major sudden stratospheric warmings
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/3434
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/13/4/546
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2502 Climatología ; 2501 Ciencias de la Atmósfera ; 1203.26 Simulación
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are a major mode of variability of the winter stratosphere. In recent years, climate models have improved their ability to simulate SSWs. However, the representation of the frequency and temporal distribution of SSWs in models depends on many factors and remains challenging. The vertical resolution of a model might be one such factor. Therefore, here we analyse the impact of increased vertical resolution on the simulation of major sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) in the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). We compare two versions of the model, WACCM3.5 and WACCM4. We find that the frequency of occurrence of SSWs is improved in the newer version and closer to that obtained using reanalysis. Furthermore, simulations with a coupled ocean best reproduce the behaviour of temperature during these events. Increasing vertical resolution increases the number of occurrences; however, it does not produce significantly different results than standard resolution. WACCM4 also does not reproduce vortex split events well, generating far fewer of these than observed. Finally, the ratio between polar vortex splits and displacement events in the model is slightly better for non-ocean-coupled simulations. We conclude that, at least for WACCM4, the use of the high vertical resolution configuration is not cost-effective for the study of SSWs.
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