AbstractLarge-scale tracer transport in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) is investigated using simulations of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) over the period 1955–2099. The analyses are based on e90, an artificial passive tracer with constant emissions and atmospheric loss rates. The separate contributions of advection by the residual circulation, eddy mixing, and subgrid convection to total transport are explicitly evaluated. The results highlight distinct large-scale transport regimes in the tropics, characterized by efficient vertical tracer transport, and the extratropics, dominated by isentropic mixing. One novel result is the important role of vertical eddy mixing in the tropical upper troposphere. It is shown that interannual variability in e90 is largely driven by El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the quasi-biennial oscillation. The long-term trends emphasize a strong impact of a rising tropopause with climate change on UTLS dynamics and tracer transport. The analyses directly attribute the e90 trends to changes in the different transport components. Stronger residual circulation in the future leads to increased tracer concentrations in the tropical lower stratosphere. Enhanced eddy mixing increases e90 in the extratropical lowermost stratosphere, linked to an upward shift of wave dissipation tied to the tropopause rise. In the troposphere, reduced concentrations in the future are due to weaker convective transport out of the boundary layer and weaker extratropical isentropic eddy mixing.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 26, 2017
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