Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
Development and technical paper
20 Mar 2017
Development and technical paper |  | 20 Mar 2017

The Met Office HadGEM3-ES chemistry–climate model: evaluation of stratospheric dynamics and its impact on ozone

Steven C. Hardiman, Neal Butchart, Fiona M. O'Connor, and Steven T. Rumbold

Abstract. Free-running and nudged versions of a Met Office chemistry–climate model are evaluated and used to investigate the impact of dynamics versus transport and chemistry within the model on the simulated evolution of stratospheric ozone. Metrics of the dynamical processes relevant for simulating stratospheric ozone are calculated, and the free-running model is found to outperform the previous model version in 10 of the 14 metrics. In particular, large biases in stratospheric transport and tropical tropopause temperature, which existed in the previous model version, are substantially reduced, making the current model more suitable for the simulation of stratospheric ozone. The spatial structure of the ozone hole, the area of polar stratospheric clouds, and the increased ozone concentrations in the Northern Hemisphere winter stratosphere following sudden stratospheric warmings, were all found to be sensitive to the accuracy of the dynamics and were better simulated in the nudged model than in the free-running model. Whilst nudging can, in general, provide a useful tool for removing the influence of dynamical biases from the evolution of chemical fields, this study shows that issues can remain in the climatology of nudged models. Significant biases in stratospheric vertical velocities, age of air, water vapour, and total column ozone still exist in the Met Office nudged model. Further, these can lead to biases in the downward flux of ozone into the troposphere.

Short summary
HadGEM3-ES is improved, with respect to the previous model, in 10 of the 14 metrics considered. A significant bias in stratospheric water vapour is reduced, allowing more accurate simulation of water vapour and ozone concentrations in the stratosphere. Dynamics are found to influence the spatial structure of the simulated ozone hole and the area of polar stratospheric clouds. This research was carried out as part of involvement in the Chemistry-Climate Model Initiative (CCM-I).