Gravity waves simulated by high-resolution Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 9:15 AM
227A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Han-Li Liu, NCAR, Boulder, CO

Gravity waves play a key role in the vertical coupling of atmosphere regions, because they can carry momentum flux from their source region to where they are dissipated and thus alter the large-scale flow and can cause increasingly large atmospheric perturbations at higher altitudes, including the thermosphere and ionosphere. At the same time they also pose a stiff challenge to the study of vertical coupling, mainly because of the very broad range of spatial and temporal scales of these waves, and the even broader range of scales of the wave impacts, and observations and numerical simulations usually can only cover a limited range of spatial and temporal scales. The gravity waves in the global context are generally poorly quantified, and they are one of the most important causes of bias and uncertainty in middle and upper atmosphere models. However, the recent development of model capability and computing power is expanding the horizon of gravity wave research, and affording the opportunity to explore increasingly broader scales over the whole atmosphere domain. Recently we have performed Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) simulations at ~0.25 degree horizontal and 0.1 scale height vertical resolution. In this talk, I will present results from this simulation. I will focus on evaluating various gravity wave quantities against previous observational and numerical studies, including the wave spectrum, wave energy density and their spatial distribution, and wave forcing in the middle and upper atmosphere.