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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Nov 2020

06 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Differences in the QBO response to stratospheric aerosol modification depending on injection strategy and species

Henning Franke1,2, Ulrike Niemeier1, and Daniele Visioni3 Henning Franke et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 2International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Sibley School for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Abstract. A known adverse side effect of stratospheric aerosol modification (SAM) is the modification of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), which is caused by the stratospheric heating associated with an artificial aerosol layer. Multiple studies found the QBO to slow down or even completely vanish for point-like injections of SO2 at the equator. The cause for this was found to be a modification of the thermal wind balance and a stronger tropical upwelling. For other injection strategies, different responses of the QBO have been observed. It has not yet been presented a theory which is able to explain those differences in a comprehensive manner, which is further complicated by the fact that the simulated QBO response is highly sensitive to the used model even under identical boundary conditions. Therefore, within this study we investigate the response of the QBO to SAM for three different injection strategies (point-like injection at the equator, point-like injection at 30° N and 30° S simultaneously, and areal injection into a 60° wide belt along the equator). Our simulations confirm that the QBO response significantly depends on the injection location. Based on the thermal wind balance, we demonstrate that this dependency is explained by differences in the meridional structure of the aerosol-induced stratospheric warming, i.e. the location and meridional extension of the maximum warming. Additionally, we also tested two different injection species (SO2 and H2SO4). The QBO response is qualitatively similar for both investigated injection species. Comparing the results to corresponding results of a second model, we further demonstrate the generality of our theory as well as the importance of an interactive treatment of stratospheric ozone for the simulated QBO response.

Henning Franke et al.

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Henning Franke et al.

Henning Franke et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Stratospheric aerosol modification (SAM) may alter the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Our model simulations show that the characteristics of the QBO response are primarily driven by the injection location, while injection species and rate rather act to scale a specific response. The comparison with another models highlights the importance of an interactive ozone chemistry for modeling the QBO response to SAM. Our results have important implications for evaluating negative side effects of SAM.
Stratospheric aerosol modification (SAM) may alter the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Our...