10.3 QBO Influence on Polar Stratospheric Variability in the GEOS Chemistry-Climate Model

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 11:30 AM
3B (Washington State Convention Center)
Margaret M. Hurwitz, NASA Postdoctoral Program, Greenbelt, MD; and L. Oman, F. Li, I. S. Song, P. A. Newman, and J. E. Nielsen

The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) modulates the strength of both the Arctic and Antarctic stratospheric vortices. Model and observational studies have found that the phase and characteristics of the QBO contribute to the high degree of variability in the Arctic stratosphere in winter. While the Antarctic stratosphere is less variable, recent work has shown that Southern Hemisphere planetary wave driving increases in response to “warm pool” El Niño events that are coincident with the easterly phase of the QBO. These events hasten the breakup of the Antarctic polar vortex.

The Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) chemistry-climate model (CCM) is now capable of generating a realistic QBO, due a new parameterization of gravity wave drag. In this presentation, we will use this new model capability to assess the influence of the QBO on polar stratospheric variability. Using simulations of the recent past, we will compare the modeled relationship between QBO phase and mid-winter vortex strength with the observed Holton-Tan relation, in both hemispheres. We will use simulations of the 21st century to estimate future trends in the relationship between QBO phase and vortex strength. In addition, we will evaluate the combined influence of the QBO and El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the timing of the breakup of the polar stratospheric vortices in the GEOS CCM. We will compare the influence of these two natural phenomena with trends in the vortex breakup associated with ozone recovery and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

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