Effects of nonlinearity on convectively forced internal gravity waves: Application to a gravity wave drag parameterization

Hye Yeong Chun, Hyun Joo Choi, In Sun Song

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, the authors propose a way to include a nonlinear forcing effect on the momentum flux spectrum of convectively forced internal gravity waves using a nondimensional numerical model (NDM) in a two-dimensional framework. In NDM, the nonlinear forcing is represented by nonlinear advection terms multiplied by the nonlinearity factor-(NF) of the thermally induced internal gravity waves for a given specified diabatic forcing. It was found that the magnitudes of the waves and resultant momentum flux above the specified forcing decrease with increasing NF due to cancellation between 'the two forcing mechanisms. Using the momentum flux spectrum obtained by the NDM simulations with various NFs, a scale factor for the momentum flux, normalized by the momentum flux induced by diabatic forcing alone, is formulated as a function of NF. Inclusion of the nonlinear forcing effect into current convective gravity wave drag (GWD) parameterizations, which consider diabatic forcing alone by multiplying the cloud-top momentum flux spectrum by the scale factor, is proposed. An updated convective GWD parameterization using the scale factor is implemented into the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). The 10-yr simulation results, compared with those by the original convective GWD parameterization considering diabatic forcing alone, showed that the magnitude of the zonal-mean cloud-top momentum flux is reduced for wide range of phase speed spectrum by about 10%, except in the middle latitude storm-track regions where the cloud-top momentum flux is amplified. The zonal drag forcing is determined largely by the wave propagation condition under the reduced magnitude of the cloud-top momentum flux, and its magnitude decreases in many regions, but there are several areas of increasing drag forcing, especially in the tropical upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-575
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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