The Role of Planetary Waves in the Maintenance of the Zonally Averaged Ozone Distribution of the Upper Stratosphere

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195
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Abstract

We use a quasi-geostrophic βplane channel model with parameterized photochemistry to study the effect of planetary waves on the zonally averaged ozone distribution in the wintertime upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere. When an initial state in radiative and photochemical equilibrium is disturbed by a stationary wavenumber 1 perturbation, the zonally averaged distribution above 30 km is modified significantly. Above 45 km, ozone responds to changes in the zonal-mean temperature caused by eddy beat flux; below 40 km, changes are brought about mainly by the convergence of the meridional eddy ozone transport, which is much enhanced by the interaction between dynamics and photochemistry. The latitudinal variation of ozone photochemistry is shown to play an essential role in determining the channel-mean ozone profile. Runs with time-dependent forcing indicate that wave transience does not enhance transport effects as long as strong interaction between the waves and the zonal-mean wind does not occur. When the zonal wind and the waves interact strongly, a zonal wind reversal often occurs, and the zonal-mean ozone distribution may be modified throughout most of the stratosphere.

Abstract

We use a quasi-geostrophic βplane channel model with parameterized photochemistry to study the effect of planetary waves on the zonally averaged ozone distribution in the wintertime upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere. When an initial state in radiative and photochemical equilibrium is disturbed by a stationary wavenumber 1 perturbation, the zonally averaged distribution above 30 km is modified significantly. Above 45 km, ozone responds to changes in the zonal-mean temperature caused by eddy beat flux; below 40 km, changes are brought about mainly by the convergence of the meridional eddy ozone transport, which is much enhanced by the interaction between dynamics and photochemistry. The latitudinal variation of ozone photochemistry is shown to play an essential role in determining the channel-mean ozone profile. Runs with time-dependent forcing indicate that wave transience does not enhance transport effects as long as strong interaction between the waves and the zonal-mean wind does not occur. When the zonal wind and the waves interact strongly, a zonal wind reversal often occurs, and the zonal-mean ozone distribution may be modified throughout most of the stratosphere.

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