Transport of Ozone in the Middle Stratosphere: Evidence for Planetary Wave Breaking

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
  • 2 NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23665
  • 3 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80303
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Abstract

Data from the Nimbus 7 Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS) for the period 25 October 1978–28 May 1979 are used in a descriptive study of ozone variations in the middle stratosphere. It is shown that the ozone distribution is strongly influenced by irreversible deformation associated with large amplitude planetary-scale waves. This process, which has been described by McIntyre and Palmer as planetary wave breaking, takes place throughout the 3–30 mb layer, and poleward transport of ozone within this layer occurs in narrow tongues drawn out of the tropics and subtropics in association with major and minor warming events. Thew events complement the zonal mean diabatic circulation in producing significant changes in the total column amount of ozone.

1Permanent affiliation: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virgina.

2The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by th National Science Foundation.

Abstract

Data from the Nimbus 7 Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS) for the period 25 October 1978–28 May 1979 are used in a descriptive study of ozone variations in the middle stratosphere. It is shown that the ozone distribution is strongly influenced by irreversible deformation associated with large amplitude planetary-scale waves. This process, which has been described by McIntyre and Palmer as planetary wave breaking, takes place throughout the 3–30 mb layer, and poleward transport of ozone within this layer occurs in narrow tongues drawn out of the tropics and subtropics in association with major and minor warming events. Thew events complement the zonal mean diabatic circulation in producing significant changes in the total column amount of ozone.

1Permanent affiliation: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virgina.

2The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by th National Science Foundation.

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