Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
15 Dec 2009
 | 15 Dec 2009

Quantifying atmospheric transport, chemistry, and mixing using a new trajectory-box model and a global atmospheric-chemistry GCM

H. Riede, P. Jöckel, and R. Sander

Abstract. We present a novel method for the quantification of transport, chemistry, and mixing along atmospheric trajectories based on a consistent model hierarchy. The hierarchy consists of the new atmospheric-chemistry trajectory-box model CAABA/MJT and the three-dimensional (3-D) global ECHAM/MESSy atmospheric-chemistry (EMAC) general circulation model. CAABA/MJT employs the atmospheric box model CAABA in a configuration using the atmospheric-chemistry submodel MECCA (M), the photochemistry submodel JVAL (J), and the new trajectory submodel TRAJECT (T), to simulate chemistry along atmospheric trajectories, which are provided offline. With the same chemistry submodels coupled to the 3-D EMAC model and consistent initial conditions and physical parameters, a unique consistency between the two models is achieved. Since only mixing processes within the 3-D model are excluded from the model consistency, comparisons of results from the two models allow to separate and quantify contributions of transport, chemistry, and mixing along the trajectory pathways. Consistency of transport between the trajectory-box model CAABA/MJT and the 3-D EMAC model is achieved via calculation of kinematic trajectories based on 3-D wind fields from EMAC using the trajectory model LAGRANTO. The combination of the trajectory-box model CAABA/MJT and the trajectory model LAGRANTO can be considered as a Lagrangian chemistry-transport model (CTM) moving isolated air parcels. The procedure for obtaining the necessary statistical basis for the quantification method is described as well as the comprehensive diagnostics with respect to chemistry.

The quantification method presented here allows to investigate the characteristics of transport, chemistry, and mixing in a grid-based 3-D model. The analysis of chemical processes within the trajectory-box model CAABA/MJT is easily extendable to include, for example, the impact of different transport pathways or of mixing processes onto chemistry. Under certain prerequisites described here, the results can be used to complement observations with detailed information about the history of observed air masses.