The seasonal cycle and interannual variability in stratospheric temperatures and links to the Brewer-Dobson circulation: An analysis of MSU and SSU data

Young, Paul J., Thompson, David W. J., Rosenlof, Karen H., Solomon, Susan and Lamarque, Jean-Francois (2011) The seasonal cycle and interannual variability in stratospheric temperatures and links to the Brewer-Dobson circulation: An analysis of MSU and SSU data. Journal of Climate, 24 (23). 6243–6258. ISSN 0894-8755

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that lower-stratosphere temperatures display a near-perfect cancellation between tropical and extratropical latitudes on both annual and interannual time scales. The out-of-phase relationship between tropical and high-latitude lower-stratospheric temperatures is a consequence of variability in the strength of the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC). In this study, the signal of the BDC in stratospheric temperature variability is examined throughout the depth of the stratosphere using data from the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU). While the BDC has a seemingly modest signal in the annual cycle in zonal-mean temperatures in the mid- and upper stratosphere, it has a pronounced signal in the month-to-month and interannual variability. Tropical and extratropical temperatures are significantly negatively correlated in all SSU channels on interannual time scales, suggesting that variations in wave driving are a major factor controlling global-scale temperature variability not only in the lower stratosphere (as shown in previous studies), but also in the mid- and upper stratosphere. The out-of-phase relationship between tropical and high latitudes peaks at all levels during the cold-season months: December–March in the Northern Hemisphere and July–October in the Southern Hemisphere. In the upper stratosphere, the out-of-phase relationship with high-latitude temperatures extends beyond the tropics and well into the extratropics of the opposite hemisphere. The seasonal cycle in stratospheric temperatures follows the annual march of insolation at all levels and latitudes except in the mid- to upper tropical stratosphere, where it is dominated by the semiannual oscillation. Mid- to upper-stratospheric temperatures also exhibit a distinct but small semiannual cycle at extratropical latitudes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: stratospheric circulation,stratosphere,temperature,satellite observations,interannual variability,seasonal cycle
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 19:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85444
DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-10-05028.1

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