An Analytical Study of Ozone Feedbacks on Kelvin and Rossby–Gravity Waves: Effects on the QBO

Eugene C. Cordero Atmospheric Science Program, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

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Terrence R. Nathan Atmospheric Science Program, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

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Robert S. Echols Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California

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Abstract

An equatorial beta-plane model of the middle atmosphere is used to analytically examine the effects of radiative cooling and ozone heating on the spatial and temporal evolution of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Under the assumption that the diabatic heating is weak and the background fields of wind, temperature, and ozone are slowly varying, a perturbation analysis yields expressions describing the vertical spatial modulation of Kelvin and Rossby–gravity waves in the presence of ozone. These expressions show that wave-induced changes in the diabatic heating arising from the advection of basic-state ozone reduce the local radiative damping rate by up to 15% below 35 km. In a one-dimensional model of the QBO, eddy ozone heating increases the amplitude of the zonal wind QBO by 1–2 m s−1 and increases the oscillation period by about two months. The significance of these results to the observed QBO is discussed.

* Current affiliation: Universities Space Research Association, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Eugene C. Cordero, NASA/GSFC, Code 916, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Email: cordero@polska.gsfc.nasa.gov

Abstract

An equatorial beta-plane model of the middle atmosphere is used to analytically examine the effects of radiative cooling and ozone heating on the spatial and temporal evolution of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Under the assumption that the diabatic heating is weak and the background fields of wind, temperature, and ozone are slowly varying, a perturbation analysis yields expressions describing the vertical spatial modulation of Kelvin and Rossby–gravity waves in the presence of ozone. These expressions show that wave-induced changes in the diabatic heating arising from the advection of basic-state ozone reduce the local radiative damping rate by up to 15% below 35 km. In a one-dimensional model of the QBO, eddy ozone heating increases the amplitude of the zonal wind QBO by 1–2 m s−1 and increases the oscillation period by about two months. The significance of these results to the observed QBO is discussed.

* Current affiliation: Universities Space Research Association, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Eugene C. Cordero, NASA/GSFC, Code 916, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Email: cordero@polska.gsfc.nasa.gov

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