Articles | Volume 8, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6037–6050, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6037–6050, 2008

  21 Oct 2008

21 Oct 2008

On interpreting studies of tracer transport by deep cumulus convection and its effects on atmospheric chemistry

M. G. Lawrence1 and M. Salzmann1,2 M. G. Lawrence and M. Salzmann
  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Abstract. Global chemistry-transport models (CTMs) and chemistry-GCMs (CGCMs) generally simulate vertical tracer transport by deep convection separately from the advective transport by the mean winds, even though a component of the mean transport, for instance in the Hadley and Walker cells, occurs in deep convective updrafts. This split treatment of vertical transport has various implications for CTM simulations. In particular, it has led to a misinterpretation of several sensitivity simulations in previous studies in which the parameterized convective transport of one or more tracers is neglected. We describe this issue in terms of simulated fluxes and fractions of these fluxes representing various physical and non-physical processes. We then show that there is a significant overlap between the convective and large-scale mean advective vertical air mass fluxes in the CTM MATCH, and discuss the implications which this has for interpreting previous and future sensitivity simulations, as well as briefly noting other related implications such as numerical diffusion.

Final-revised paper