What Causes the Seasonal Cycle of Stationary Waves in the Southern Stratosphere?

View More View Less
  • 1 Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
© Get Permissions Rent on DeepDyve
Restricted access

Abstract

Stationary planetary waves in the southern stratosphere display a characteristic seasonal cycle. Previous research based on a one-dimensional model suggests that this behavior is mainly determined by seasonally varying transmission properties of the atmosphere with respect to wave propagation. The issue is investigated with the help of a hemispheric, linear, quasi-geostrophic model. It reproduces well some of the observed qualitative features and is internally consistent in the sense that its seasonal wave cycle can be explained in terms of varying wave transmission properties of the mean circulation. On the other hand, the model does not yield the observed seasonal cycle. Despite considerable sensitivity to modifications in the basic-state wind and dissipation parameterization, the model could not be reasonably fit to reproduce the observed seasonal cycle. Possible reasons for the model deficiency are put forward. In summary, even though suggestive, the present study is not entirely conclusive about the degree to which the observed cycle is determined by wave transmission properties alone.

Abstract

Stationary planetary waves in the southern stratosphere display a characteristic seasonal cycle. Previous research based on a one-dimensional model suggests that this behavior is mainly determined by seasonally varying transmission properties of the atmosphere with respect to wave propagation. The issue is investigated with the help of a hemispheric, linear, quasi-geostrophic model. It reproduces well some of the observed qualitative features and is internally consistent in the sense that its seasonal wave cycle can be explained in terms of varying wave transmission properties of the mean circulation. On the other hand, the model does not yield the observed seasonal cycle. Despite considerable sensitivity to modifications in the basic-state wind and dissipation parameterization, the model could not be reasonably fit to reproduce the observed seasonal cycle. Possible reasons for the model deficiency are put forward. In summary, even though suggestive, the present study is not entirely conclusive about the degree to which the observed cycle is determined by wave transmission properties alone.

Save