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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 22
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 16499-16513, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-16499-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 16499-16513, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-16499-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Nov 2018

Research article | 21 Nov 2018

Response of Arctic ozone to sudden stratospheric warmings

Alvaro de la Cámara1,2, Marta Abalos1, Peter Hitchcock3,a, Natalia Calvo1, and Rolando R. Garcia4 Alvaro de la Cámara et al.
  • 1Dept. Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Madrid, Spain
  • 2Instituto de Geociencias (IGEO), CSIC-UCM, Madrid, Spain
  • 3Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique/IPSL, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • anow at: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Abstract. Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are the main source of intra-seasonal and interannual variability in the extratropical stratosphere. The profound alterations to the stratospheric circulation that accompany such events produce rapid changes in the atmospheric composition. The goal of this study is to deepen our understanding of the dynamics that control changes of Arctic ozone during the life cycle of SSWs, providing a quantitative analysis of advective transport and mixing. We use output from four ensemble members (60 years each) of the Whole Atmospheric Community Climate Model version 4 performed for the Chemistry Climate Model Initiative and also use reanalysis and satellite data for validation purposes. The composite evolution of ozone displays positive mixing ratio anomalies of up to 0.5–0.6ppmv above 550K ( ∼ 50hPa) around the central warming date and negative anomalies below (−0.2 to −0.3ppmv), consistently in observations, reanalysis, and the model. Our analysis shows a clear temporal offset between ozone eddy transport and diffusive ozone fluxes. The initial changes in ozone are mainly driven by isentropic eddy fluxes linked to enhanced wave drag responsible for the SSW. The recovery of climatological values in the aftermath of SSWs is slower in the lower than in the upper stratosphere and is driven by the competing effects of cross-isentropic motions (which work towards the recovery) and isentropic irreversible mixing (which delays the recovery). These features are enhanced in strength and duration during sufficiently deep SSWs, particularly those followed by polar-night jet oscillation (PJO) events. It is found that SSW-induced ozone concentration anomalies below 600K ( ∼ 40hPa), as well as total column estimates, persist around 1 month longer in PJO than in non-PJO warmings.

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Long chemistry–climate runs are used to investigate the changes that sudden stratospheric warmings (extreme and fast disruptions of the wintertime stratospheric polar vortex) induce on Arctic ozone. Ozone increases rapidly during the onset of the events, driven by deep changes in the stratospheric transport circulation. These anomalies decay slowly, particularly in the lower stratosphere where they can last up to 2 months. Irreversible mixing makes an important contribution to this behavior.
Long chemistry–climate runs are used to investigate the changes that sudden stratospheric...
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