Influence of gravity waves in the tropical upwelling: WACCM simulations

Hye Yeong Chun, Young Ha Kim, Hyun Joo Choi, Jung Yoon Kim

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The annual cycle of tropical upwelling and contributions by planetary and gravity waves are investigated fromclimatological simulations using theWholeAtmosphere CommunityClimateModel (WACCM) including three gravity wave drag (GWD) parameterizations (orographic, nonstationary background, and convective GWD parameterizations). The tropical upwelling is estimated by the residualmean vertical velocity at 100 hPa averaged over 15°S-15°N. This is well matched with an upwelling estimate from the balance of the zonal momentum and the mass continuity. A clear annual cycle of the tropical upwelling is found, with a Northern Hemispheric (NH) wintertimemaximumandNHsummertimeminimumdetermined primarily by the Eliassen- Palm flux divergence (EPD), along with a secondary contribution from the zonal wind tendency. Gravity waves increase tropical upwelling throughout the year, and of the three sources the contribution by convective gravity wave drag (CGWD) is largest in most months. The relative contribution by all three GWDs to tropical upwelling is not larger than 5%. However, when tropical upwelling is estimated by net upward mass flux between turnaround latitudes where upwelling changes downwelling, annual mean contribution by all three GWDs is up to 19% at 70 hPa by orographic and convective gravity waves with comparable magnitudes. Effects of CGWD on upwelling are investigated by conducting an additional WACCM simulation without CGWD parameterization. It was found that including CGWD parameterization increases tropical upwelling not only directly by adding CGWD forcing, but also indirectly by modulating EPD and zonal wind tendency terms in the tropics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2599-2612
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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