12.2 Antarctic stratospheric warming induced by SST increases

Friday, 12 June 2009: 8:40 AM
Pinnacle A (Stoweflake Resort and Confernce Center)
Yongyun Hu, Peking University, Beijing, China, Beijing, China; and Q. Fu

In the present study, we show evidence of significant stratospheric warming over large portions of the Antarctic polar region in winter and spring seasons, with a maximum warming of 7-8o C in September and October, using satellite Microwave Sounding Unit observations for 1979-2006. It is found that this warming is associated with increasing wave activity from the troposphere into the stratosphere, suggesting that the warming is caused by enhanced wave-driven dynamical heating. We show that the Antarctic stratospheric warming has close correlations with sea surface temperature (SST) increases, and that general circulation model simulations forced with observed time-varying SSTs reproduce similar warming trend patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere. These findings suggest that the Antarctic stratospheric warming is likely induced by SST warming. As SST warming continues as a consequence of greenhouse gas increases due to anthropogenic activity, Antarctic stratospheric warming would also continue, which has important implications to the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole.
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