Sensitivity of Arctic climate simulations to different boundary-layer parameterizations in a regional climate model

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Dethloff, K. ; Abegg, C. ; Rinke, A. ; Hebestadt, I. ; Romanov, V. F. (2011)

Arctic climate simulations with the high resolution regional climate model HIRHAM showsome deviations from station data in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) during winter, whichindicates the necessity of improvements in the atmospheric PBL parameterization for a betterdescription of the vertical stratification and atmosphere–surface energy exchange. A1-dimensional single column model scheme has been used to investigate the influence of twodifferent PBL parameterizations in monthly integrations for January 1991 and July 1990. Thefirst scheme uses the boundary layer parameterization of the atmospheric circulation modelECHAM3, including the Monin–Obukhov similarity theory in the surface layer and a mixinglength approach above. The second scheme applies the Rossby-number similarity theory forthe whole PBL, connecting external parameters with turbulent fluxes and with universal functionsdetermined on the basis of Arctic data. For both schemes the heat and humidity advectionhas been determined as residual term of the PBL balance equations. Diabatic sources havebeen computed from the current model solution and local temperature and humidity changesare estimated from radiosonde data. The simulated vertical structure and the atmosphere–surface energy exchange during January strongly depends on the used PBL parameterizationscheme. These different PBL parameterization schemes were then applied for simulations of theArctic climate in the 3-dimensional regional atmospheric climate model HIRHAM, usingECHAM3 with Monin–Obukhov similarity theory, ECHAM3 with Rossby-number similaritytheory and ECHAM4 parameterizations with a turbulent kinetic energy closure. The nearsurface temperature, the large-scale fields of geopotential and horizontal wind are simulatedsatisfactorily by all three schemes, but strong regional differences occur. The results show asensitivity to the type of turbulence exchange scheme used. The comparison with ECMWFanalyses and with radiosonde data reveals that during January ECHAM3 with Rossby numbersimilarity theory more succesfully simulates the cold and stable PBL over land surfaces, whereasover the open ocean ECHAM3 with Monin Obukhov similarity works better. ECHAM3 withRossby-number similarity theory delivers a better adapted vertical heat exchange under stableArctic conditions and reduces the cold bias at the surface. The monthly mean surface turbulentheat flux distribution strongly depends on the use of different PBL parameterizations and leadsto different Arctic climate structures throughout the atmosphere with the strongest changes atthe ice edge for January.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0870.2001.01073.x
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