Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3359-3378, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-3359-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model description paper
12 Sep 2017
The Sectional Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosol module (S3A-v1) within the LMDZ general circulation model: description and evaluation against stratospheric aerosol observations
Christoph Kleinschmitt1,2, Olivier Boucher3, Slimane Bekki4, François Lott5, and Ulrich Platt1 1Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS/UPMC, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris CEDEX 05, France
3Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS/UPMC, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris CEDEX 05, France
4Laboratoire Atmosphères Milieux Observations Spatiales, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS/UVSQ, 11 boulevard d'Alembert, 78280 Guyancourt, France
5Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS/ENS, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France
Abstract. Stratospheric aerosols play an important role in the climate system by affecting the Earth's radiative budget as well as atmospheric chemistry, and the capabilities to simulate them interactively within global models are continuously improving. It is important to represent accurately both aerosol microphysical and atmospheric dynamical processes because together they affect the size distribution and the residence time of the aerosol particles in the stratosphere. The newly developed LMDZ-S3A model presented in this article uses a sectional approach for sulfate particles in the stratosphere and includes the relevant microphysical processes. It allows full interaction between aerosol radiative effects (e.g. radiative heating) and atmospheric dynamics, including e.g. an internally generated quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the stratosphere. Sulfur chemistry is semi-prescribed via climatological lifetimes. LMDZ-S3A reasonably reproduces aerosol observations in periods of low (background) and high (volcanic) stratospheric sulfate loading, but tends to overestimate the number of small particles and to underestimate the number of large particles. Thus, it may serve as a tool to study the climate impacts of volcanic eruptions, as well as the deliberate anthropogenic injection of aerosols into the stratosphere, which has been proposed as a method of geoengineering to abate global warming.

Citation: Kleinschmitt, C., Boucher, O., Bekki, S., Lott, F., and Platt, U.: The Sectional Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosol module (S3A-v1) within the LMDZ general circulation model: description and evaluation against stratospheric aerosol observations, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3359-3378, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-3359-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
Stratospheric aerosols play an important role in the climate system by affecting the Earth's radiative budget. In this article we present the newly developed LMDZ-S3A model and assess its performance against observations in periods of low and high aerosol loading. The model may serve as a tool to study the climate impacts of volcanic eruptions, as well as the deliberate injection of aerosols into the stratosphere, which has been proposed as a method of geoengineering to abate global warming.
Stratospheric aerosols play an important role in the climate system by affecting the Earth's...
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