Articles | Volume 13, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 4057–4072, 2013

Special issue: The Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Model Intercomparison...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 4057–4072, 2013

Research article 18 Apr 2013

Research article | 18 Apr 2013

Evaluation of ACCMIP outgoing longwave radiation from tropospheric ozone using TES satellite observations

K. W. Bowman1, D. T. Shindell2, H. M. Worden3, J.F. Lamarque3, P. J. Young4, D. S. Stevenson5, Z. Qu6, M. de la Torre1, D. Bergmann7, P. J. Cameron-Smith7, W. J. Collins8, R. Doherty5, S. B. Dalsøren9, G. Faluvegi2, G. Folberth10, L. W. Horowitz11, B. M. Josse12, Y. H. Lee2, I. A. MacKenzie5, G. Myhre9, T. Nagashima13, V. Naik15, D. A. Plummer16, S. T. Rumbold10, R. B. Skeie9, S. A. Strode17, K. Sudo14, S. Szopa18, A. Voulgarakis20, G. Zeng19, S. S. Kulawik1, A. M. Aghedo21, and J. R. Worden1 K. W. Bowman et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory-California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia Earth Institute, New York, NY, USA
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Research,Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 4Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 5School of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 6Raytheon Intelligence & Information Systems, Pasadena, CA USA
  • 7Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA
  • 8Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 9Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 10Met Office, Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
  • 11NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 12GAME/CNRM, Météo-France, CNRS – Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Toulouse, France
  • 13National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 14Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 15UCAR/NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 16Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis, Environment Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 17NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
  • 18Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 19National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Lauder, New Zealand
  • 20Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 21Civil and Environmental Engineering,Rice University, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract. We use simultaneous observations of tropospheric ozone and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) sensitivity to tropospheric ozone from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) to evaluate model tropospheric ozone and its effect on OLR simulated by a suite of chemistry-climate models that participated in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Model Intercomparison Project (ACCMIP). The ensemble mean of ACCMIP models show a persistent but modest tropospheric ozone low bias (5–20 ppb) in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) and modest high bias (5–10 ppb) in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) relative to TES ozone for 2005–2010. These ozone biases have a significant impact on the OLR. Using TES instantaneous radiative kernels (IRK), we show that the ACCMIP ensemble mean tropospheric ozone low bias leads up to 120 mW m−2 OLR high bias locally but zonally compensating errors reduce the global OLR high bias to 39 ± 41 m Wm−2 relative to TES data. We show that there is a correlation (R2 = 0.59) between the magnitude of the ACCMIP OLR bias and the deviation of the ACCMIP preindustrial to present day (1750–2010) ozone radiative forcing (RF) from the ensemble ozone RF mean. However, this correlation is driven primarily by models whose absolute OLR bias from tropospheric ozone exceeds 100 m Wm−2. Removing these models leads to a mean ozone radiative forcing of 394 ± 42 m Wm−2. The mean is about the same and the standard deviation is about 30% lower than an ensemble ozone RF of 384 ± 60 m Wm−2 derived from 14 of the 16 ACCMIP models reported in a companion ACCMIP study. These results point towards a profitable direction of combining satellite observations and chemistry-climate model simulations to reduce uncertainty in ozone radiative forcing.

Final-revised paper