Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, submitted 5/12.

Implementation of the Quasi-equilibrium Tropical Circulation Model 2 (QTCM2): Global simulations and convection sensitivity to free tropospheric moisture

Benjamin R. Lintner, Gilles Bellon, Adam H. Sobel, Daehyun Kim, and J. David Neelin


The implementation of the Quasi-equilibrium Tropical Circulation Model 2 (QTCM2), an intermediate level complexity model, is described. Following the approach of Sobel and Neelin (2006), an explicit, prognostic atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) of fixed depth is added to a free troposphere (FT) containing one baroclinic and one barotropic mode. QTCM2 is shown to simulate reasonable climatologies of temperature, moisture, winds, and precipitation, albeit with only modest improvements relative to the predecessor single vertical mode version, QTCM1. The addition of an ABL increases the sharpness of horizontal precipitation and moisture gradients, and the separation of the moisture profile into ABL and FT components allows investigation into the separate roles of these two components in modulating deep convection. Model sensitivity to various convection parameters is explored, with contrasting precipitation responses often seen within the cores of convecting regions and along their margins.