11 Jul 2023
 | 11 Jul 2023

Sensitivity of the nocturnal and polar boundary layer to transient phenomena

Amandine Kaiser, Nikki Vercauteren, and Sebastian Krumscheid

Abstract. Numerical weather prediction and climate models encounter challenges in accurately representing flow regimes in the stably stratified atmospheric boundary layer and the transitions between them, leading to an inadequate depiction of regime occupation statistics. As a consequence, existing models exhibit significant biases in near-surface temperatures at high latitudes. To explore inherent uncertainties in modeling regime transitions, the response of the near-surface temperature inversion to transient small-scale phenomena is analyzed based on a stochastic modeling approach. A sensitivity analysis is conducted by augmenting a conceptual model for near-surface temperature inversions with randomizations that account for different types of model uncertainty. The stochastic conceptual model serves as a tool to systematically investigate what types of unsteady flow features, and in what contexts, may trigger abrupt transitions in the mean boundary layer state. The findings show that the incorporation of enhanced mixing, a common practice in numerical weather prediction models, blurs the two regime characteristic of the stably stratified atmospheric boundary layer. Simulating intermittent turbulence is shown to provide a potential workaround for this issue. Including key uncertainty in models could lead to a better statistical representation of the regimes in long-term climate simulation. This would help to improve our understanding and the forecasting of climate change especially in high-latitude regions.

Amandine Kaiser et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1519', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Aug 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1519', Adam Monahan, 22 Aug 2023

Amandine Kaiser et al.

Amandine Kaiser et al.


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Short summary
Current numerical weather prediction models encounter challenges in accurately representing regimes stably stratified atmospheric boundary layer (SBL) and the transitions between them. Stochastic modeling approaches are a promising framework to analyze when transient possible small-scale phenomena can trigger regime transitions. Therefore, we conducted a sensitivity analysis of the SBL to transient phenomena by augmenting a surface energy balance model with meaningful randomizations.