Influence of planetary wave activity on the stratospheric final warming and spring ozone

Murry L. Salby*, Patrick F. Callaghan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    A three-dimensional model of dynamics and photochemistry is used to investigate the influence of planetary wave activity on the seasonal evolution of the wintertime stratosphere, which dictates springtime conditions. The final warming and springtime ozone are each found to depend strongly upon planetary wave activity during the disturbed season. The integrations reproduce their observed dependence, which enters through anomalous upward Eliassen-Palm (EP) flux from the troposphere and equatorial wind associated with the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Of those major influences, changes of upward EP flux are predominant. Changes representative of those in the observed record alter the timing of the final warming by as much as 1-2 months. Much the same lag distinguishes warm and cold winters in the observed record. Accompanying the shift in the final warming is a change of ozone at spring equinox. Magnified over the Arctic, anomalous springtime ozone develops largely through anomalous isentropic mixing by planetary waves. Such mixing, which precedes the final warming, incorporates ozone-rich air from lower latitude, leading to enriched polar ozone during spring. Relative to disturbed conditions, springtime polar ozone under undisturbed conditions appears depleted by some 60 DU. Derived through anomalous transport, the same difference characterizes observed changes between warm and cold winters. Much of the apparent depletion is eventually eliminated with the onset of isentropic mixing, as it is in the observed record. Together with anomalous dynamical structure, such behavior has implications important to the interpretation of interannual changes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberD20111
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
    Issue number20
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2007


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