Abstract

Seasonal differences in the impact of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) on tropical and extratropical upper troposphere–lower stratosphere (UTLS) temperature, circulation, and trace gases are examined using trace gases (ozone, carbon monoxide, and water vapor) and temperature from measurements from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and meteorological fields from the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2). During boreal winter months (November–February), atmospheric fields exhibit a well-known planetary-scale perturbation consistent with the upper-level flow modeled by Gill, with twin high and low pressure extratropical systems associated with a Rossby wave response. However, the circulation anomalies in the UTLS differ during boreal summer months (June–September), when background UTLS circulation north of the equator is dominated by the Asian summer monsoon anticyclone. The twin high and low pressure extratropical systems are much weaker but with a stronger equatorial Kelvin wave front that encircles the globe as the MJO propagates eastward. These differences are explained in terms of seasonal variations in vertically propagating Kelvin waves that strongly depend on the zonal structure of the climatological background winds. The trace gas response to the MJO is strongly coherent with circulation anomalies showing strong seasonal differences. The stronger equatorial Kelvin wave front during the summer produces enhanced upwelling in the tropical tropopause layer, resulting in significant cooling of this region, reduced ozone and water vapor, and enhanced carbon monoxide.

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