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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An Interactive Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 2435-2445, 2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Observationally derived transport diagnostics for the lowermost stratosphere and their application to the GMI chemistry and transport model
S. E. Strahan1, B. N. Duncan1, and P. Hoor2
1Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Air Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. Transport from the surface to the lowermost stratosphere (LMS) can occur on timescales of a few months or less, making it possible for short-lived tropospheric pollutants to influence stratospheric composition and chemistry. Models used to study this influence must demonstrate the credibility of their chemistry and transport in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UT/LS). Data sets from satellite and aircraft instruments measuring CO, O3, N2O, and CO2 in the UT/LS are used to create a suite of diagnostics for the seasonally-varying transport into and within the lowermost stratosphere, and of the coupling between the troposphere and stratosphere in the extratropics. The diagnostics are used to evaluate a version of the Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) Chemistry and Transport Model (CTM) that uses a combined tropospheric and stratospheric chemical mechanism and meteorological fields from the GEOS-4 general circulation model. The diagnostics derived from N2O and O3 show that the model lowermost stratosphere has realistic input from the overlying high latitude stratosphere in all seasons. Diagnostics for the LMS show two distinct layers. The upper layer begins ~30 K potential temperature above the tropopause and has a strong annual cycle in its composition. The lower layer is a mixed region ~30 K thick near the tropopause that shows no clear seasonal variation in the degree of tropospheric coupling. Diagnostics applied to the GMI CTM show credible seasonally-varying transport in the LMS and a tropopause layer that is realistically coupled to the UT in all seasons. The vertical resolution of the GMI CTM in the UT/LS, ~1 km, is sufficient to realistically represent the extratropical tropopause layer. This study demonstrates that the GMI CTM has the transport credibility required to study the impact of tropospheric emissions on the stratosphere.

Citation: Strahan, S. E., Duncan, B. N., and Hoor, P.: Observationally derived transport diagnostics for the lowermost stratosphere and their application to the GMI chemistry and transport model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 2435-2445, doi:10.5194/acp-7-2435-2007, 2007.
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