We contrast the responses to ozone depletion in two climate models: Community Atmospheric Model version 3 (CAM3) and Geophysical Fuild Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) AM3. Although both models are forced with identical ozone concentration changes, the stratospheric cooling simulated in CAM3 is 30% stronger than in AM3 in annual mean, and twice as strong in December. We find that this difference originates from the dynamical response to ozone depletion, and its strength can be linked to the timing of the climatological springtime polar vortex breakdown. This mechanism is further supported by a variant of the AM3 simulation in which the southern stratospheric zonal wind climatology is nudged to be CAM3-like. Given that the delayed breakdown of the southern polar vortex is a common bias among many climate models, previous model-based assessments of the forced responses to ozone depletion may have been somewhat overestimated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- climate model
- general circulation
- ozone depletion