A single-peak-structured solar cycle signal in stratospheric ozone based on Microwave Limb Sounder observations and model simulations

Dhomse, S. S. and Chipperfield, M. P. and Feng, W. and Hossaini, R. and Mann, G. W. and Santee, M. L. and Weber, M. (2022) A single-peak-structured solar cycle signal in stratospheric ozone based on Microwave Limb Sounder observations and model simulations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 22 (2). pp. 903-916. ISSN 1680-7316

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Until now our understanding of the 11-year solar cycle signal (SCS) in stratospheric ozone has been largely based on high-quality but sparse ozone profiles from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) II or coarsely resolved ozone profiles from the nadir-viewing Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer (SBUV) satellite instruments. Here, we analyse 16 years (2005–2020) of ozone profile measurements from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument on the Aura satellite to estimate the 11-year SCS in stratospheric ozone. Our analysis of Aura-MLS data suggests a single-peak-structured SCS profile (about 3 % near 4 hPa or 40 km) in tropical stratospheric ozone, which is significantly different to the SAGE II and SBUV-based double-peak-structured SCS. We also find that MLS-observed ozone variations are more consistent with ozone from our control model simulation that uses Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) v2 solar fluxes. However, in the lowermost stratosphere modelled ozone shows a negligible SCS compared to about 1 % in Aura-MLS data. An ensemble of ordinary least squares (OLS) and three regularised (lasso, ridge and elastic net) linear regression models confirms the robustness of the estimated SCS. In addition, our analysis of MLS and model simulations shows a large SCS in the Antarctic lower stratosphere that was not seen in earlier studies. We also analyse chemical transport model simulations with alternative solar flux data. We find that in the upper (and middle) stratosphere the model simulation with Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite solar fluxes is also consistent with the MLS-derived SCS and agrees well with the control simulation and one which uses Spectral and Total Irradiance Reconstructions (SATIRE) solar fluxes. Hence, our model simulation suggests that with recent adjustments and corrections, SORCE data can be used to analyse effects of solar flux variations. Furthermore, analysis of a simulation with fixed solar fluxes and one with fixed (annually repeating) meteorology confirms that the implicit dynamical SCS in the (re)analysis data used to force the model is not enough to simulate the observed SCS in the middle and upper stratospheric ozone. Finally, we argue that the overall significantly different SCS compared to previous estimates might be due to a combination of different factors such as much denser MLS measurements, almost linear stratospheric chlorine loading changes over the analysis period, variations in the stratospheric dynamics as well as relatively unperturbed stratospheric aerosol layer that might have influenced earlier analyses.

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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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19 Jan 2022 10:10
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04 May 2022 02:39