Remarks on the Seasonal Changes of Temperature and of Ozone in the Arctic and the Antarctic Stratospheres

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  • 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
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Abstract

The seasonal regimes of temperature in the arctic and the antarctic stratospheres are contrasted, with special reference to the sporadic winter warmings of the arctic and the explosive spring warming of the antarctic stratospheres. There follows a discussion of the inadequacy of the usual advective-dynamic explanation, at least in terms of any model presented to date, to account quantitatively for any of these phenomena in their more extreme manifestations. The seasonal regimes of total atmospheric ozone in the arctic and in the antarctic are likewise contrasted, again with special reference to the differing thermal regimes and sudden stratospheric warming. The strong annual period of auroral frequencies and the belts of maximum auroral frequency are discussed in relation to the arctic and the antarctic thermal regimes as is the relationship of sudden stratospheric warmings to auroral and solar activity. Finally, variability of the solar wind, i.e., of solar corpuscular penetration of the higher atmosphere, is tentatively suggested as a possible alternative explanation to the advective-dynamic hypothesis to account for the variation in common of polar stratospheric temperature, ozone and auroral activity.

Abstract

The seasonal regimes of temperature in the arctic and the antarctic stratospheres are contrasted, with special reference to the sporadic winter warmings of the arctic and the explosive spring warming of the antarctic stratospheres. There follows a discussion of the inadequacy of the usual advective-dynamic explanation, at least in terms of any model presented to date, to account quantitatively for any of these phenomena in their more extreme manifestations. The seasonal regimes of total atmospheric ozone in the arctic and in the antarctic are likewise contrasted, again with special reference to the differing thermal regimes and sudden stratospheric warming. The strong annual period of auroral frequencies and the belts of maximum auroral frequency are discussed in relation to the arctic and the antarctic thermal regimes as is the relationship of sudden stratospheric warmings to auroral and solar activity. Finally, variability of the solar wind, i.e., of solar corpuscular penetration of the higher atmosphere, is tentatively suggested as a possible alternative explanation to the advective-dynamic hypothesis to account for the variation in common of polar stratospheric temperature, ozone and auroral activity.

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