A QBO Cookbook: Sensitivity of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation to Resolution, Resolved Waves, and Parameterized Gravity Waves

Chaim I. Garfinkel, Edwin P. Gerber, Ofer Shamir, Jian Rao, Martin Jucker, Ian White, Nathan Paldor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An intermediate complexity moist general circulation model is used to investigate the sensitivity of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) to resolution, diffusion, tropical tropospheric waves, and parameterized gravity waves. Finer horizontal resolution is shown to lead to a shorter period, while finer vertical resolution is shown to lead to a longer period and to a larger amplitude in the lowermost stratosphere. More scale-selective diffusion leads to a faster and stronger QBO, while enhancing the sources of tropospheric stationary wave activity leads to a weaker QBO. In terms of parameterized gravity waves, broadening the spectral width of the source function leads to a longer period and a stronger amplitude although the amplitude effect saturates in the mid-stratosphere when the half-width exceeds (Formula presented.) m/s. A stronger gravity wave source stress leads to a faster and stronger QBO, and a higher gravity wave launch level leads to a stronger QBO. All of these sensitivities are shown to result from their impact on the resultant wave-driven momentum torque in the tropical stratosphere. Atmospheric models have struggled to accurately represent the QBO, particularly at moderate resolutions ideal for long climate integrations. In particular, capturing the amplitude and penetration of QBO anomalies into the lower stratosphere (which has been shown to be critical for the tropospheric impacts) has proven a challenge. The results provide a recipe to generate and/or improve the simulation of the QBO in an atmospheric model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021MS002568
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • gravity waves
  • quasi-biennial oscillation
  • tropical stratosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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