Sukhodolov, T., Egorova, T., Stenke, A., Ball, W. T., Brodowsky, C., Chiodo, G., Feinberg, A., Friedel, M., Karagodin-Doyennel, A., Peter, T., Sedlacek., J., Vattioni, S., and Rozanov, E.: Atmosphere-Ocean-Aerosol-Chemistry-Climate Model SOCOLv4.0: description and evaluation, Geosci. Model Dev., 14, 5525-5560, doi: 10.5194/gmd-14-5525-2021, 2021

This paper features the new atmosphere–ocean– aerosol–chemistry–climate model, SOlar Climate Ozone Links (SOCOL) v4.0, and its validation. The new model was built by interactively coupling the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model version 1.2 (MPI-ESM1.2) (T63, L47) with the chemistry (99 species) and size-resolving (40 bins) sulfate aerosol microphysics modules from the aerosol– chemistry–climate model, SOCOL-AERv2. We evaluate its performance against reanalysis products and observations of atmospheric circulation, temperature, and trace gas distribution, with a focus on stratospheric processes.

We show that SOCOLv4.0 captures the low- and midlatitude stratospheric ozone well in terms of the climatological state, variability and evolution. The model provides an accurate representation of climate change, showing a global surface warming trend consistent with observations as well as realistic cooling in the stratosphere caused by greenhouse gas emissions, although, as in previous model versions, a too-fast residual circulation and exaggerated mixing in the surf zone are still present. The stratospheric sulfur budget for moderate volcanic activity is well represented by the model, albeit with slightly underestimated aerosol lifetime after major eruptions.

The presence of the interactive ocean and a successful representation of re cent climate and ozone layer trends make SOCOLv4.0 ideal for studies devoted to future ozone evolution and effects of greenhouse gases and ozone-destroying substances, as well as the evaluation of potential solar geoengineering measures through sulfur injections. Potential further model improvements could be to increase the vertical resolution, which is expected to allow better meridional transport in the stratosphere, as well as to update the photolysis calculation module and budget of mesospheric odd nitrogen.

In summary, this paper demonstrates that SOCOLv4.0 is well suited for applications related to the stratospheric ozone and sulfate aerosol evolution, including its participation in ongoing and future model intercomparison projects.