A Comparison of Inert Trace Constituent Transport between the University of Wisconsin Isentropic–Sigma Model and the NCAR Community Climate Model
Monthly Weather Review
Five-and 10-day inert trace constituent distributions prognostically simulated with the University of Wisconsin (UW) hybrid isentropic-sigma (-) model, the nominally identical UW sigma () model, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate Model 2 (CCM2) are analyzed and compared in this study. The UWand gridpoint models utilize the flux form of the primitive equations, while CCM2 is based on the spectral representation and uses semi-Lagrangian transport (SLT) for trace
... (SLT) for trace constituents. Results are also compared against a version of the CCM that uses spectral transport for the trace constituent. These comparisons 1) contrast the spatial and temporal evolution of the filamentary transport of inert trace constituents simulated with the UWand models against a "state of the art" GCM under both isentropic and nonisentropic conditions and 2) examine the ability of the models to conserve the initial trace constituent maximum value during 10-day integrations. Results show that the spatial distributions of trace constituent evolve in a similar manner, regardless of the transport scheme or model type. However, when compared to the UWmodel's ability to simulate filamentary structure and conserve the initial trace constituent maximum value, results from the other models in this study indicate substantial spurious dispersion. The more accurate conservation demonstrated with the UWmodel is especially noticeable within extratropical amplifying baroclinic waves, and it stems from the dominance of two-dimensional, quasi-horizontal isentropic exchange processes in a stratified baroclinic atmosphere. This condition, which largely precludes spurious numerical dispersion associated with vertical advection, is unique to isentropic coordinates. Conservation of trace constituent maxima in sigma coordinates suffers from the complexity of, and inherent need for, resolving three-dimensional transport in the presence of vertical wind shear during baroclinic amplification, a condition leading to spurious vertical dispersion. The experiments of this study also indicate that the shape-preserving SLT scheme used in CCM2 further reduces conservation of the initial maximum value when compared to the spectral transport of trace constituents, although the patterns are more coherent and the Gibbs phenomenon is eliminated.