Large-scale tropospheric transport in the Chemistry–Climate Model Initiative (CCMI) simulations
Understanding and modeling the large-scale transport of trace gases and aerosols is important for interpreting past (and projecting future) changes in atmospheric composition. Here we show that there are large differences in the global-scale atmospheric transport properties among the models participating in the IGAC SPARC Chemistry– Climate Model Initiative (CCMI). Specifically, we find up to 40 % differences in the transport timescales connecting the Northern Hemisphere (NH) midlatitude surface to the Arctic and to Southern Hemisphere high latitudes, where the mean age ranges between 1.7 and 2.6 years. We show that these differences are related to large differences in vertical transport among the simulations, in particular to differences in parameterized convection over the oceans. While stronger convection over NH midlatitudes is associated with slower transport to the Arctic, stronger convection in the tropics and subtropics is associated with faster interhemispheric transport. We also show that the differences among simulations constrained with fields derived from the same reanalysis products are as large as (and in some cases larger than) the differences among free-running simulations, most likely due to larger differences in parameterized convection. Our results indicate that care must be taken when using simulations constrained with analyzed winds to interpret the influence of meteorology on tropospheric composition.