AbstractSimply diagnostic tools are useful to understand transport processes in complex chemistry transport models (CTMs). For this purpose, a combined use of the air-mass origin fractions (AOFs) and regionally resolved mean ages (RMAs) is presented. This approach merges the concept of the origin of air with the well-known theory of the mean age of air (AoA) for different regions covering the whole Earth. We show how the AoA calculated relative to the Earth’s surface can be decomposed into regionally resolved components (i.e. into RMAs). Using both AOFs and RMAs, we discuss differences in the seasonality of transport from the northern and southern hemispheres into the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), the asymmetries of the interhemispheric exchange as well as differences in relation to the continental or oceanic origin of air. Furthermore, a simplified transport model for a chemically passive species (tracer) is formulated, which has some potential to approximate the full transport within a CTM. This analytic approach uses the AOFs as well as the RMAs as parameters to propagate a tracer prescribed on the Earth’s surface (lower boundary condition). This method is exactly valid for sources which change linearly with time in each of the considered regions. We analyze how well this approach approximates the propagation of CO2 from the planetary boundary layer (PBL) into the whole atmosphere. The CO2 values in the PBL are specified by the CarbonTracker data set. We discuss how this approach can be used for inverse modeling of CO2.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 21, 2017
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