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Sigmond, Michael; Shepherd, Theodore G. (2014)
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Languages: English
Types: Article
Following recent findings, the interaction between resolved (Rossby) wave drag and parameterized orographic gravity wave drag (OGWD) is investigated, in terms of their driving of the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC), in a comprehensive climate model. To this end, the parameter that effectively determines the strength of OGWD in present-day and doubled CO2 simulations is varied. The authors focus on the Northern\ud Hemisphere during winter when the largest response of the BDC to climate change is predicted to occur. It is found that increases in OGWD are to a remarkable degree compensated by a reduction in midlatitude resolved wave drag, thereby reducing the impact of changes in OGWD on the BDC. This compensation is also found for the response to climate change: changes in the OGWD contribution to the BDC response to climate change are compensated by opposite changes in the resolved wave drag contribution to the BDC response to climate change, thereby reducing the impact of changes in OGWD on the BDC response to climate change.\ud By contrast, compensation does not occur at northern high latitudes, where resolved wave driving and the associated downwelling increase with increasing OGWD, both for the present-day climate and the response to climate change. These findings raise confidence in the credibility of climate model projections of the strengthened BDC.

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