The coupled atmosphere–chemistry–ocean model SOCOL-MPIOM

Muthers, Stefan; Anet, J. G.; Stenke, A.; Raible, Christoph; Rozanov, E.; Brönnimann, Stefan; Peter, T.; Arfeuille, Florian Xavier; Shapiro, A. I.; Beer, J.; Steinhilber, F.; Brugnara, Yuri; Schmutz, W. (2014). The coupled atmosphere–chemistry–ocean model SOCOL-MPIOM. Geoscientific model development (GMD), 7(5), pp. 2157-2179. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/gmd-7-2157-2014

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The newly developed atmosphere–ocean-chemistry-climate model SOCOL-MPIOM is presented by demonstrating the influence of the interactive chemistry module on the climate state and the variability. Therefore, we compare pre-industrial control simulations with (CHEM) and without (NOCHEM) interactive chemistry. In general, the influence of the chemistry on the mean state and the variability is small and mainly restricted to the stratosphere and mesosphere. The largest differences are found for the atmospheric dynamics in the polar regions, with slightly stronger northern and southern winter polar vortices in CHEM. The strengthening of the vortex is related to larger stratospheric temperature gradients, which are attributed to a parametrization of the absorption of ozone and oxygen in the Lyman-alpha, Schumann–Runge, Hartley, and Higgins bands. This effect is parametrized in the version with interactive chemistry only. A second reason for the temperature differences between CHEM and NOCHEM is related to diurnal variations in the ozone concentrations in the higher atmosphere, which are missing in NOCHEM. Furthermore, stratospheric water vapour concentrations differ substantially between the two experiments, but their effect on the temperatures is small. In both setups, the simulated intensity and variability of the northern polar vortex is inside the range of present day observations. Sudden stratospheric warming events are well reproduced in terms of their frequency, but the distribution amongst the winter months is too uniform.

Additionally, the performance of SOCOL-MPIOM under changing external forcings is assessed for the period 1600–2000 using an ensemble of simulations driven by a spectral solar forcing reconstruction. The amplitude of the reconstruction is large in comparison to other state-of-the-art reconstructions, providing an upper limit for the importance of the solar signal. In the pre-industrial period (1600–1850) the simulated surface temperature trends are in reasonable agreement with temperature reconstructions, although the multi-decadal variability is more pronounced. This enhanced variability can be attributed to the variability in the solar forcing. The simulated temperature reductions during the Maunder Minimum are in the lowest probability range of the proxy records. During the Dalton Minimum, when also volcanic forcing is an important driver of temperature variations, the agreement is better. In the industrial period from 1850 onward SOCOL-MPIOM overestimates the temperature increase in comparison to observational data sets. Sensitivity simulations show that this overestimation can be attributed to the increasing trend in the solar forcing reconstruction that is used in this study and an additional warming induced by the simulated ozone changes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Climatology
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Muthers, Stefan, Raible, Christoph, Brönnimann, Stefan, Arfeuille, Florian Xavier, Brugnara, Yuri


900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Copernicus Publications




Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2014 17:03

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:37

Publisher DOI:





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