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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.

  17 Aug 2020

17 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Local and Remote Response of Ozone to Arctic Stratospheric Circulation Extremes

Hao-Jhe Hong1,2 and Thomas Reichler1 Hao-Jhe Hong and Thomas Reichler
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 84112, USA
  • 2Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taipei City, 11529, Taiwan

Abstract. Intense natural circulation variability associated with stratospheric sudden warmings, vortex intensifications, and final warmings is a typical feature of the winter Arctic stratosphere. The attendant changes in transport, mixing, and temperature create pronounced perturbations in stratospheric ozone. Understanding these perturbations is important because of their potential feedbacks with the circulation and because ozone is a key trace gas of the stratosphere. Here, we use MERRA-2 reanalysis to contrast the typical spatiotemporal structure of ozone during sudden warming and vortex intensification events. We examine the changes of ozone in both the Arctic and the Tropics, document the underlying dynamical mechanisms for the observed changes, and analyze the entire life-cycle of the stratospheric events – from the event onset in mid-winter to the final warming in early spring. Over the Arctic and during sudden warmings, ozone undergoes a rapid and long-lasting increase, which only gradually decays to climatology before the final warming. In contrast, vortex intensifications are passive events, associated with decreases in Arctic ozone that gradually intensify during early winter and decay thereafter. The persistent loss of Arctic ozone during vortex intensifications is dramatically compensated by sudden-warming-like increases after the final warming. In the Tropics, the changes in ozone from Arctic circulation events are obscured by the influences from the quasi-biennial oscillation. After controlling for this effect, coherent reductions in tropical ozone can be seen during the onset of sudden warmings, and also during the final warmings that follow vortex intensifications. Our results demonstrate that Arctic circulation extremes have significant local and remote influences on the distribution of stratospheric ozone.

Hao-Jhe Hong and Thomas Reichler

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Hao-Jhe Hong and Thomas Reichler

Hao-Jhe Hong and Thomas Reichler


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Latest update: 21 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Stratospheric ozone is a crucial chemical substance that prevents life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. This article demonstrates how a strong or a weak Arctic polar vortex has an impact on wintertime circulation activity and the concentration of ozone in the stratosphere. Our results suggest that changes in the strength of the polar vortex lead to not only significant and persistent ozone changes locally in the Arctic but also evident ozone changes in the Tropics.
Stratospheric ozone is a crucial chemical substance that prevents life on Earth from harmful...