Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Technical note
04 Jun 2014
Technical note |  | 04 Jun 2014

Technical Note: Adjoint formulation of the TOMCAT atmospheric transport scheme in the Eulerian backtracking framework (RETRO-TOM)

P. E. Haines, J. G. Esler, and G. D. Carver

Abstract. A new methodology for the formulation of an adjoint to the transport component of the chemistry transport model TOMCAT is described and implemented in a new model, RETRO-TOM. The Eulerian backtracking method is used, allowing the forward advection scheme (Prather's second-order moments) to be efficiently exploited in the backward adjoint calculations. Prather's scheme is shown to be time symmetric, suggesting the possibility of high accuracy. To attain this accuracy, however, it is necessary to make a careful treatment of the "density inconsistency" problem inherent to offline transport models. The results are verified using a series of test experiments. These demonstrate the high accuracy of RETRO-TOM when compared with direct forward sensitivity calculations, at least for problems in which flux limiters in the advection scheme are not required. RETRO-TOM therefore combines the flexibility and stability of a "finite difference of adjoint" formulation with the accuracy of an "adjoint of finite difference" formulation.

Final-revised paper