Articles | Volume 15, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 7269–7286, 2015
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 7269–7286, 2015

Research article 03 Jul 2015

Research article | 03 Jul 2015

Impact of planetary boundary layer turbulence on model climate and tracer transport

E. L. McGrath-Spangler et al.

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Comparison of GEOS-5 AGCM planetary boundary layer depths computed with various definitions
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Subject: Aerosols | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Bacmeister, J. T., Suarez, M. J., and Robertson, F. R.: Rain Reevaporation, Boundary Layer-Convection Interactions, and Pacific Rainfall Patterns in an AGCM, J. Atmos. Sci., 63, 3383–3403,, 2006.
Baker, D. F., Law, R. M., Gurney, K. R., Rayner, P., Peylin, P., Denning, A. S., Bousquet, P., Bruhwiler, L., Chen, Y.-H., Ciais, P., Fung, I. Y., Heimann, M., John, J., Maki, T., Maksyutov, S., Masaarie, K., Prather, M., Pak, B., Taguchi, S., and Zhu, Z.: TransCom 3 inversion intercomparison: Impact of transport model errors on the interannual variability of regional CO2 fluxes, 1988–2003, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 20, GB1002,, 2006
Balkanski, Y., Schulz, M., Claquin, T., and Guibert, S.: Reevaluation of Mineral aerosol radiative forcings suggests a better agreement with satellite and AERONET data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 81–95,, 2007.
Ballard, S. P., Golding, B. W., and Smith, R. N. B.: Mesoscale model experimental forecasts of the Haar of northeast Scotland, Mon. Weather Rev., 119, 2107–2123,<2107:MMEFOT>2.0.CO;2, 1991.
Beljaars, A. C. M. and Betts, A. K.: Validation of the boundary layer representation in the ECMWF model, ECMWF Seminar Proceedings, Reading, UK, 7–11 September 1992, Validation of models over Europe, Vol. II, 159–195, available at: (last access: 24 October 2014), 1992.
Short summary
PBL processes are important for weather, climate, and tracer transport and concentration. In the GEOS-5 AGCM, the PBL depth is used in the calculation of turbulent mixing. This study analyzes the impact of using different PBL depth definitions in this calculation. Near surface wind speed differences modify Saharan dust on the order of 1e-4kg m-2. CO surface concentrations are modified by up to 20 ppb over biomass burning regions. Instantaneous CO2 differences are on the order of 10 ppm.
Final-revised paper