Articles | Volume 10, issue 17
13 Sep 2010
 | 13 Sep 2010

Temperature variability and trends in the UT-LS over a subtropical site: Reunion (20.8° S, 55.5° E)

N. Bègue, H. Bencherif, V. Sivakumar, G. Kirgis, N. Mze, and J. Leclair de Bellevue

Abstract. This paper mainly focuses on the trends and variability of the UT-LS temperature using radiosonde observations carried out over 16 years (January 1993 to December 2008) from a southern subtropical site, Reunion (20.8° S, 55.5° E), using a linear-regression fitting model. Two kinds of tropopause definitions, namely, cold point tropopause (CPT) and lapse rate tropopause (LRT) are used. In order to characterize and quantify the relationship between regional oceanic forcing and temperature at UT-LS, we took into account the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) for the estimation of temperature trends. Results show that the main component is the Annual Cycle (AC), particularly at tropopause (CPT, LRT) and in the lower stratosphere (LS) where more than 26.0±2.4% of temperature variability can be explained by AC. The influence of IOD on the variability of the temperature is at highest ratio at CPT and LS, with respectively 12.3±7.3% and 13.1±5.9%. The correlations between IOD and temperature anomalies at UT-LS are barely significant, which are found to be in close agreement with the results obtained by Rosenlof et al. (2008) over the western tropical Pacific Ocean. The temperature trend in the LS reveals a cooling of about −0.90±0.40 K per decade. The cooling trend at LS is found to be in close agreement with the others studies. Trend estimates in the LS suggest that IOD forcing contributes to increasing cooling by about 0.16±0.05 K per decade. Past works have shown that the additional carbon dioxide increase has a minor effect in the LS, and suggested that other effects than ozone and carbon dioxide changes have to be considered, in order to explain the observed temperature changes in the LS. From this study, we can suggest that the SST changes can be considered also, in addition to effects due to ozone and carbon dioxide changes, in order to explain the observed temperature changes in the LS. As a consequence, our results support the assumption that the Indian Ocean may have a slight impact on temperature variability and on temperature change in the LS over Reunion.

Final-revised paper