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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 and Thompson, David W. J. and Rosenlof, Karen H. and 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. Mi

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Climate
    Additional Information: © 2011 American Meteorological Society
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Stratospheric circulation ; Stratosphere ; Temperature ; Satellite observations ; Interannual variability ; Seasonal cycle
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
    ID Code: 58835
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 04 Oct 2012 11:51
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 13:21
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/58835

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