Articles | Volume 26, issue 6
11 Jun 2008
 | 11 Jun 2008

The coupled chemistry-climate model LMDz-REPROBUS: description and evaluation of a transient simulation of the period 1980–1999

L. Jourdain, S. Bekki, F. Lott, and F. Lefèvre

Abstract. We present a description and evaluation of the Chemistry-Climate Model (CCM) LMDz-REPROBUS, which couples interactively the extended version of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique General Circulation Model (LMDz GCM) and the stratospheric chemistry module of the REactive Processes Ruling the Ozone BUdget in the Stratosphere (REPROBUS) model. The transient simulation evaluated here covers the period 1980–1999. The introduction of an interactive stratospheric chemistry module improves the model dynamical climatology, with a substantial reduction of the temperature biases in the lower tropical stratosphere. However, at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, a negative temperature bias, that is already present in the GCM version, albeit with a smaller magnitude, leads to an overestimation of the ozone depletion and its vertical extent in the CCM. This in turn contributes to maintain low polar temperatures in the vortex, delay the break-up of the vortex and the recovery of polar ozone. The latitudinal and vertical variation of the mean age of air compares favourable with estimates derived from long-lived species measurements, though the model mean age of air is 1–3 years too young in the middle stratosphere. The model also reproduces the observed "tape recorder" in tropical total hydrogen (=H2O+2×CH4), but its propagation is about 30% too fast and its signal fades away slightly too quickly. The analysis of the global distributions of CH4 and N2O suggests that the subtropical transport barriers are correctly represented in the simulation. LMDz-REPROBUS also reproduces fairly well most of the spatial and seasonal variations of the stratospheric chemical species, in particular ozone. However, because of the Antarctic cold bias, large discrepancies are found for most species at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere during the spring and early summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, polar ozone depletion and its variability are underestimated in the simulation.