Articles | Volume 16, issue 19
Development and technical paper
 | Highlight paper
06 Oct 2023
Development and technical paper | Highlight paper |  | 06 Oct 2023

Emulating lateral gravity wave propagation in a global chemistry–climate model (EMAC v2.55.2) through horizontal flux redistribution

Roland Eichinger, Sebastian Rhode, Hella Garny, Peter Preusse, Petr Pisoft, Aleš Kuchař, Patrick Jöckel, Astrid Kerkweg, and Bastian Kern


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Latest update: 21 Feb 2024
Executive editor
Grave wave (GW) parameterisations currently used in state-of-the-art weather and climate models are based on a purely columnar approach, which does not allow for any horizontal propagation of GWs and has been identified as potential source of systematic biases in the simulation of middle atmospheric dynamics. The study by Eichinger and colleagues presents now a computationally efficient method to emulate the effects of lateral propagation of orographic GWs in climate models by horizontal momentum flux redistribution using redistribution maps derived from a GW ray-tracing model. The presented approach is an important step towards a better representation of orographic GWs in climate models, which might improve long-standing problems in atmospheric modelling.
Short summary
The columnar approach of gravity wave (GW) schemes results in dynamical model biases, but parallel decomposition makes horizontal GW propagation computationally unfeasible. In the global model EMAC, we approximate it by GW redistribution at one altitude using tailor-made redistribution maps generated with a ray tracer. More spread-out GW drag helps reconcile the model with observations and close the 60°S GW gap. Polar vortex dynamics are improved, enhancing climate model credibility.