Articles | Volume 4, issue 2
Model description paper
07 Apr 2011
Model description paper |  | 07 Apr 2011

Attribution of ozone changes to dynamical and chemical processes in CCMs and CTMs

H. Garny, V. Grewe, M. Dameris, G. E. Bodeker, and A. Stenke

Abstract. Chemistry-climate models (CCMs) are commonly used to simulate the past and future development of Earth's ozone layer. The fully coupled chemistry schemes calculate the chemical production and destruction of ozone interactively and ozone is transported by the simulated atmospheric flow. Due to the complexity of the processes acting on ozone it is not straightforward to disentangle the influence of individual processes on the temporal development of ozone concentrations. A method is introduced here that quantifies the influence of chemistry and transport on ozone concentration changes and that is easily implemented in CCMs and chemistry-transport models (CTMs). In this method, ozone tendencies (i.e. the time rate of change of ozone) are partitioned into a contribution from ozone production and destruction (chemistry) and a contribution from transport of ozone (dynamics). The influence of transport on ozone in a specific region is further divided into export of ozone out of that region and import of ozone from elsewhere into that region. For this purpose, a diagnostic is used that disaggregates the ozone mixing ratio field into 9 separate fields according to in which of 9 predefined regions of the atmosphere the ozone originated. With this diagnostic the ozone mass fluxes between these regions are obtained. Furthermore, this method is used here to attribute long-term changes in ozone to chemistry and transport. The relative change in ozone from one period to another that is due to changes in production or destruction rates, or due to changes in import or export of ozone, are quantified. As such, the diagnostics introduced here can be used to attribute changes in ozone on monthly, interannual and long-term time-scales to the responsible mechanisms. Results from a CCM simulation are shown here as examples, with the main focus of the paper being on introducing the method.