Kühlungsborn Mechanistic Circulation Model


KMCM (Kühlungsborn Mechanistic Circulation Model) is a so called Simple General Circulation Model (SGCM), describing atmospheric flow of dry air under physically idealized conditions. The basic numerical schemes are discretization in vertical direction according to Simmons & Burridge (1981), representation by spherical harmonics in horizontal direction (Machenhauer & Rasmussen, 1972) and semi-implicit time stepping (Asselin, 1972; Hoskins & Simmons, 1975). Realistic large-scale orography can be included due to the reference state reformulation of Simmons & Chen (1991). The thermal forcing of the model consists of temperature relaxation, prescribed tropical heat sources and self-induced heating in the middle latitudes. Orography and heating functions can independently be substituted by their zonal averages. KMCM includes a realistic boundary layer parameterization with the surface temperature being defined consistently with the thermal forcing. Horizontal diffusion is formulated consistently with elementary hydrodynamics (Becker, 2000). In this model version, no parameterization of inertia-gravity waves is used.


Animations from a simulated annual cycle (click on them to make them go).

Recent publications

  • Becker, E., 2017: Mean-Flow Effects of Thermal Tides in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere. J. Atmos. Sci. 74,  6: 2043-2063, doi:10.1175/jas-d-16-0194.1.
  • Karlsson, B. & E. Becker, 2016: How does Interhemispheric Coupling contribute to cool down the summer polar mesosphere? J. Climate 29, 24: 8807-8821. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0231.1.
  • Lübken, F.-J., R. Latteck, E. Becker, J. Höffner & D. Murphy, 2016: Using polar mesosphere summer echoes and stratospheric/mesospheric winds to explain summer mesopause jumps in Antarctica. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys.: in press. doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2016.06.008.
  • Zülicke, C. & E. Becker, 2017: Relation between equatorial mesospheric wind anomalies during spring and middle atmosphere variability modes. Sci. Online Lett. Atmos. 13A: 31-35, doi:10.2151/sola.13A-006.
  • Zülicke, C., E. Becker, V. Matthias, D. H. W. Peters, H. Schmidt, H.-L. Liu, L. de la Torre Ramos & D. M. Mitchell, 2017: Coupling of stratospheric warmings with mesospheric coolings in observations and simulations. J. Climate: in press, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0047.1.

Collected publications

Documentation & Code

A complete technical documentation is here: kmcm1r1u10.pdf. The Fortran source code is available on request from Erich Becker.


  • Erich Becker
  • Sebastian Brune
  • Mikhailo Grygalashvyly
  • Urs Schaefer-Rolffs
  • Christoph Zülicke