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Original Research Papers

Impact of vertical resolution on the transport of passive tracers in the ECHAM4 model

Authors:

C. Land ,

Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, DE
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J. Feichter,

Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, DE
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R. Sausen

Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, DE
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Abstract

The transport of the passive tracers 14CO2 and SF6 has been modelled with two versions of the general circulation model ECHAM4 with different vertical resolutions: the standard model with 19 model layers (L19) and a higher-resolution version with 39 layers (L39). We study the impact of vertical resolution on the modelled transport characteristics. Both models are able to capture the observed SF6concentrations in the troposphere, but in the stratosphere the SF6 mixing ratios are overestimated. L39 generally calculates higher stratospheric SF6 mixing ratios than L19. This deviation increases with altitude. The difference between the modelled profiles is partly attributed to the residual mean meridional circulation, which is stronger in L39 than in L19, and partly to the initial globally constant SF6 concentration. The comparison of modelled 14CO2 surface concentrations and vertical profiles with observations has shown that an increased vertical resolution in the climate model ECHAM4 reduces the strength of stratosphere–troposphere exchange. L39 allows a better representation of sharp gradients at the tropopause than L19. This results in a weaker downward transport across the tropopause. However, compared to observations the downward transport is still too strong even in the L39 simulation.

How to Cite: Land, C., Feichter, J. and Sausen, R., 2002. Impact of vertical resolution on the transport of passive tracers in the ECHAM4 model. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 54(4), pp.344–360. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v54i4.16670
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  Published on 01 Jan 2002
 Accepted on 21 May 2002            Submitted on 2 Jul 2001

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