Abstract

A multiple regression statistical model is applied to investigate the existence of upper-stratospheric ozone, temperature, and zonal wind responses to long-term (solar cycle) changes in solar ultraviolet radiation using 11.5 years of reprocessed Nimbus-7 Solar Backscattered Ultraviolet (SBUV) data and 12.4 years of National Meteorological Center (NMC) data. A positive solar cycle variation of independently measured ozone and temperature occurs with maximum amplitude near the low-latitude stratopause. The seasonal solar regression coefficients near 1 mb for both ozone and temperature occur at low latitudes supporting a role for photochemical and radiative forcing in their origin. Zonal wind perturbations that correlate with long-term solar ultraviolet variations are a strong function of season and pressure level. Above ∼2 mbar, the largest solar-correlated zonal wind enhancements occur at middle winter latitudes near the time of winter solstice in both hemispheres. The Northern Hemisphere December enhancement at 1 mb was especially large, 23 ± 9 m s−1 from solar minimum to maximum during the last solar cycle. The derived ozone, temperature, and zonal wind increases with increasing solar ultraviolet flux near the stratopause are larger than predicted by models that consider primarily photochemical and radiative processes. The higher ozone and temperature response amplitudes at low latitudes may be due to modified ozone transport and adiabatic temperature changes induced by the dynamical response. If the midlatitude winter solstice wind enhancements are solar induced, their high amplitudes require a positive feedback due to wave-mean flow interaction such that the planetary wave drag on the flow is reduced under solar maximum conditions.

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