Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
Technical note
12 Feb 2014
Technical note |  | 12 Feb 2014

Technical Note: A simple procedure for removing temporal discontinuities in ERA-Interim upper stratospheric temperatures for use in nudged chemistry-climate model simulations

C. McLandress, D. A. Plummer, and T. G. Shepherd

Abstract. This note describes a simple procedure for removing unphysical temporal discontinuities in ERA-Interim upper stratospheric global mean temperatures in March 1985 and August 1998 that have arisen due to changes in satellite radiance data used in the assimilation. The derived temperature adjustments (offsets) are suitable for use in stratosphere-resolving chemistry-climate models that are nudged (relaxed) to ERA-Interim winds and temperatures. Simulations using a nudged version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM) show that the inclusion of the temperature adjustments produces temperature time series that are devoid of the large jumps in 1985 and 1998. Due to its strong temperature dependence, the simulated upper stratospheric ozone is also shown to vary smoothly in time, unlike in a nudged simulation without the adjustments where abrupt changes in ozone occur at the times of the temperature jumps. While the adjustments to the ERA-Interim temperatures remove significant artefacts in the nudged CMAM simulation, spurious transient effects that arise due to water vapour and persist for about 5 yr after the 1979 switch to ERA-Interim data are identified, underlining the need for caution when analysing trends in runs nudged to reanalyses.

Final-revised paper