TITLE

Quantification of the Lateral Boundary Forcing of a Regional Climate Model Using an Aging Tracer

AUTHOR(S)
Lucas-Picher, Philippe; Caya, Daniel; Biner, Sébastien; Laprise, René
PUB. DATE
December 2008
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Dec2008, Vol. 136 Issue 12, p4980
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The present work introduces a new and useful tool to quantify the lateral boundary forcing of a regional climate model (RCM). This tool, an aging tracer, computes the time the air parcels spend inside the limited-area domain of an RCM. The aging tracers are initialized to zero when the air parcels enter the domain and grow older during their migrations through the domain with each time step in the integration of the model. This technique was employed in a 10-member ensemble of 10-yr (1980–89) simulations with the Canadian RCM on a large domain covering North America. The residency time is treated and archived as the other simulated meteorological variables, therefore allowing computation of its climate diagnostics. These diagnostics show that the domain-averaged residency time is shorter in winter than in summer as a result of the faster winter atmospheric circulation. The residency time decreases with increasing height above the surface because of the faster atmospheric circulation at high levels dominated by the jet stream. Within the domain, the residency time increases from west to east according to the transportation of the aging tracer with the westerly general atmospheric circulation. A linear relation is found between the spatial distribution of the internal variability—computed with the variance between the ensemble members—and residency time. This relation indicates that the residency time can be used as a quantitative indicator to estimate the level of control exerted by the lateral boundary conditions on the RCM simulations.
ACCESSION #
36092247

 

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