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M. M. Hurwitz, P. A. Newman, L. D. Oman, and A. M. Molod

Abstract

This study is the first to identify a robust El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal in the Antarctic stratosphere. El Niño events between 1979 and 2009 are classified as either conventional “cold tongue” events (positive SST anomalies in the Niño-3 region) or “warm pool” events (positive SST anomalies in the Niño-4 region). The 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40), NCEP, and Modern Era Retrospective–Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) meteorological reanalyses are used to show that the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere responds differently to these two types of El Niño events. Consistent with previous studies, cold tongue events do not impact temperatures in the Antarctic stratosphere. During warm pool El Niño events, the poleward extension and increased strength of the South Pacific convergence zone favor an enhancement of planetary wave activity during September–November. On average, these conditions lead to higher polar stratospheric temperatures and a weakening of the Antarctic polar jet in November and December, as compared with neutral ENSO years. The phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) modulates the stratospheric response to warm pool El Niño events; the strongest planetary wave driving events are coincident with the easterly phase of the QBO.

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V. Aquila, L. D. Oman, R. Stolarski, A. R. Douglass, and P. A. Newman

Abstract

Observations have shown that the mass of nitrogen dioxide decreased at both southern and northern midlatitudes in the year following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, indicating that the volcanic aerosol had enhanced nitrogen dioxide depletion via heterogeneous chemistry. In contrast, the observed ozone response showed a northern midlatitude decrease and a small southern midlatitude increase. Previous simulations that included an enhancement of heterogeneous chemistry by the volcanic aerosol but no other effect of this aerosol produce ozone decreases in both hemispheres, contrary to observations. The authors’ simulations show that the heating due to the volcanic aerosol enhanced both the tropical upwelling and Southern Hemisphere extratropical downwelling. This enhanced extratropical downwelling, combined with the time of the eruption relative to the phase of the Brewer–Dobson circulation, increased Southern Hemisphere ozone via advection, counteracting the ozone depletion due to heterogeneous chemistry on the Pinatubo aerosol.

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