The Effects of Interactive Stratospheric Chemistry on Antarctic and Southern Ocean Climate Change in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model
Abstract:Stratospheric ozone depletion has played a dominant role in driving Antarctic climate change in the last decades. In order to capture the stratospheric ozone forcing, many coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) prescribe the Antarctic ozone hole using monthly and zonally averaged ozone field. However, the prescribed ozone hole has a high ozone bias and lacks zonal asymmetry. The impacts of these biases on model simulations, particularly on Southern Ocean and the Antarctic sea ice, are not well understood. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of using interactive stratospheric chemistry instead of prescribed ozone on Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate change in an AOGCM. We compare two sets of ensemble simulations for the 1960-2010 period using different versions of the Goddard Earth Observing System 5 – AOGCM: one with interactive stratospheric chemistry, and the other with prescribed monthly and zonally averaged ozone and 6 other stratospheric radiative species calculated from the interactive chemistry simulations.
Consistent with previous studies using prescribed sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations, the interactive chemistry runs simulate a deeper Antarctic ozone hole and consistently larger changes in surface pressure and surface winds than the prescribed ozone runs. The use of a coupled atmosphere-ocean model in this study enables us to determine the impact of these surface trend differences on Southern Ocean circulation and Antarctic sea ice. The larger surface wind trends in the interactive chemistry case lead to larger Southern Ocean circulation trends with stronger changes in northerly and westerly surface flow near the Antarctica continent and stronger upwelling near 60ºS. Using interactive chemistry also simulates a larger decrease of sea ice concentrations. Our results highlight the importance of using interactive chemistry in order to correctly capture the influences of stratospheric ozone depletion on climate change over Antarctic and the Southern Ocean.