3B.3 The Impact of Stratospheric Ozone on Southern Hemisphere Circulation Change: A Multimodel Assessment

Monday, 24 January 2011: 4:30 PM
609 (Washington State Convention Center)
Seok-woo Son, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; and E. P. Gerber, J. Perlwitz, L. M. Polvani, N. P. Gillett, K. H. Seo, and SPARC/CCMVal-2 Coauthors

The impact of stratospheric ozone on the tropospheric general circulation of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) is examined with a set of chemistry-climate models participating in the SPARC/CCMVal-2 project. Model integrations of both the past and future climates reveal the crucial role of stratospheric ozone in driving SH circulation change: stronger ozone depletion in late spring generally leads to greater poleward displacement and intensification of the tropospheric jet, and expansion of the SH Hadley cell in the summer. These circulation changes are systematic as poleward displacement of the jet is typically accompanied by intensification of the jet and expansion of the Hadley cell. Possible mechanisms are discussed, and overall results are compared with coupled models participating in the IPCC AR4.

While the tropospheric circulation response appears quasi-linearly related to stratospheric ozone changes, the quantitative response to a given forcing varies considerably from one model to another. The scatter partly results from differences in model climatology. It is shown that poleward intensification of the westerly jet is generally stronger in models whose climatological jet is biased toward lower latitudes. This result is discussed in the context of quasi-geostrophic zonal-mean dynamics.

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