Simulations of the stratosphere from thirteen coupled chemistry-climate models (CCMs) are evaluated to provide guidance for the interpretation of ozone predictions made by the same CCMs. The focus of the evaluation is on how well the fields and processes that are important for determining the ozone distribution are represented in the simulations of the recent past. The core period of the evaluation is from 1980 to 1999 but long-term trends are compared for an extended period (1960–2004). Comparisons of polar high-latitude temperatures show that most CCMs have only small biases in the Northern Hemisphere in winter and spring, but still have cold biases in the Southern Hemisphere spring below 10 hPa. Most CCMs display the correct stratospheric response of polar temperatures to wave forcing in the Northern, but not in the Southern Hemisphere. Global long-term stratospheric temperature trends are in reasonable agreement with satellite and radiosonde observations. Comparisons of simulations of methane, mean age of air, and propagation of the annual cycle in water vapor show a wide spread in the results, indicating differences in transport. However, for around half the models there is reasonable agreement with observations. In these models the mean age of air and the water vapor tape recorder signal are generally better than reported in previous model intercomparisons. Comparisons of the water vapor and inorganic chlorine (Cly) fields also show a large intermodel spread. Differences in tropical water vapor mixing ratios in the lower stratosphere are primarily related to biases in the simulated tropical tropopause temperatures and not transport. The spread in Cly, which is largest in the polar lower stratosphere, appears to be primarily related to transport differences. In general the amplitude and phase of the annual cycle in total ozone is well simulated apart from the southern high latitudes. Most CCMs show reasonable agreement with observed total ozone trends and variability on a global scale, but a greater spread in the ozone trends in polar regions in spring, especially in the Arctic. In conclusion, despite the wide range of skills in representing different processes assessed here, there is sufficient agreement between the majority of the CCMs and the observations that some confidence can be placed in their predictions.
- Climate Change and Variability,
- Global Climate Models,
- Middle Atmosphere Dynamics,
- Stratosphere/Troposphere Interactions
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/eugene_cordero/19/