The Surface-Pressure Signature of Atmospheric Tides in Modern Climate Models
Author(s)Covey, Curt; Dai, Aiguo; Marsh, Daniel R.; Lindzen, Richard Siegmund
MetadataShow full item record
Although atmospheric tides driven by solar heating are readily detectable at the earth’s surface as variations in air pressure, their simulations in current coupled global climate models have not been fully examined. This work examines near-surface-pressure tides in climate models that contributed to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); it compares them with tides both from observations and from the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), which extends from the earth’s surface to the thermosphere. Surprising consistency is found among observations and all model simulations, despite variation of the altitudes of model upper boundaries from 32 to 76 km in the IPCC models and at 135 km for WACCM. These results are consistent with previous suggestions that placing a model’s upper boundary at low altitude leads to partly compensating errors—such as reducing the forcing of the tides by ozone heating, but also introducing spurious waves at the upper boundary, which propagate to the surface.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
American Meteorological Society
Covey, Curt et al. “The Surface-Pressure Signature of Atmospheric Tides in Modern Climate Models.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 68 (2011): 495-514. © 2011 American Meteorological Society .
Final published version