Sensitivity of simulated mesospheric transport of nitrogen oxides to parameterized gravity waves

DOI: 
10.1002/2016JD025012
Publication date: 
01/10/2016
Main author: 
Meraner K.
IAA authors: 
Funke, B.;Gardini, A.
Authors: 
Meraner K., Schmidt H., Manzini E., Funke B., Gardini A.
Journal: 
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Refereed: 
Yes
Publication type: 
Article
Volume: 
121
Pages: 
12,045-12,061
Number: 
Abstract: 
Gravity waves strongly influence the circulation and transport processes in the middle atmosphere. We analyze the sensitivity of the simulated mesospheric transport of nitrogen oxides (NOx) to differences in a parameterization of nonorographic gravity waves. After particularly strong sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events as in January 2009, satellite instruments measured a strong mesospheric descent of NOx. However, this downward transport is in general underestimated in models covering this altitude range. We use simulations of the atmospheric general circulation and chemistry model HAMMONIA (Hamburg Model of Neutral and Ionized Atmosphere) to discuss both differences in a homogeneous background gravity wave source and a source related to frontal activity. The results show that the transport of NOx is highly sensitive to such differences. With a stronger gravity wave source, less NOx is transported after the SSW to the mesosphere and the elevated stratopause descends more rapidly to its climatological altitude. We observe the opposite by weakening the gravity wave sources yielding a better agreement with the observations. The amount of the transported NOx is controlled by the altitude at which momentum is deposited in the atmosphere. The higher the altitude where the momentum is deposited in the upper mesosphere, the stronger is the descent of NOx. A small wave amplitude favors the transition to turbulence at a higher altitude due to the exponential increase of the amplitude with height. ©2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Database: 
SCOPUS
ADS
URL: 
https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/#abs/2016JGRD..12112045M/abstract
ADS Bibcode: 
2016JGRD..12112045M
Keywords: 
Gravity Wave Sources; HAMMONIA; Mesospheric Transport