Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Development and technical paper
08 Feb 2018
Development and technical paper |  | 08 Feb 2018

Trajectory errors of different numerical integration schemes diagnosed with the MPTRAC advection module driven by ECMWF operational analyses

Thomas Rößler, Olaf Stein, Yi Heng, Paul Baumeister, and Lars Hoffmann

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Cited articles

Bowman, K. P., Lin, J. C., Stohl, A., Draxler, R., Konopka, P., Andrews, A., and Brunner, D.: Input Data Requirements for Lagrangian Trajectory Models, B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 94, 1051–1058, 2013.
Brioude, J., Angevine, W. M., McKeen, S. A., and Hsie, E.-Y.: Numerical uncertainty at mesoscale in a Lagrangian model in complex terrain, Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 1127–1136,, 2012.
Buizza, R., Houtekamer, P. L., Toth, Z., Pellerin, G., Wei, M., and Zhu, Y.: A comparison of the ECMWF, MSC, and NCEP Global ensemble prediction systems, Mon. Weather Rev., 133, 1076–1097, 2005.
Butcher, J. C.: Numerical methods for ordinary differential equations, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
CDO: Climate Data Operators, available at: (last access: 3 May 2017), 2015.
Short summary
In this study, we performed an assessment of truncation errors and computational efficiency of trajectory calculations using six popular numerical integration schemes of the Runge–Kutta family. More than 5000 transport simulations for different seasons and regions of the free troposphere and stratosphere were conducted, driven by the latest version of ECMWF operational analyses and forecasts. The study provides guidelines to achieve the most accurate and efficient trajectory calculations.