skip to main content

Title: Mechanisms Governing Interannual Variability of Stratosphere-to-Troposphere Ozone Transport: MECHANISMS OF OZONE TRANSPORT
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1756958 1643167
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
234 to 260
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is known to modulate the strength and frequency of stratosphere-to-troposphere transport (STT) of ozone over the Pacific–North American region during late winter to early summer. Dynamical processes that have been proposed to account for this variability include variations in the amount of ozone in the lowermoststratosphere that is available for STT and tropospheric circulation-relatedvariations in the frequency and geographic distribution of individual STTevents. Here we use a large ensemble of Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model(WACCM) simulations (forced by sea-surface temperature (SST) boundaryconditions consistent with each phase of ENSO) to show that variability inlower-stratospheric ozone and shifts in the Pacific tropospheric jetconstructively contribute to the amount of STT of ozone in the NorthAmerican region during both ENSO phases. In terms of stratosphericvariability, ENSO drives ozone anomalies resembling the Pacific–NorthAmerican teleconnection pattern that span much of the lower stratospherebelow 50 hPa. These ozone anomalies, which dominate over other ENSO-drivenchanges in the Brewer–Dobson circulation (including changes due to both thestratospheric residual circulation and quasi-isentropic mixing), stronglymodulate the amount of ozone available for STT transport. As a result,during late winter (February–March), the stratospheric ozone response to theteleconnections constructively reinforces anomalous ENSO-jet-driven STT ofozone. However, as ENSO forcing weakens asmore »spring progresses into summer(April–June), the direct effects of the ENSO-jet-driven STT transportweaken. Nevertheless, the residual impacts of the teleconnections on theamount of ozone in the lower stratosphere persist, and these anomalies inturn continue to cause anomalous STT of ozone. These results should provehelpful for interpreting the utility of ENSO as a subseasonal predictor ofboth free-tropospheric ozone and the probability of stratospheric ozoneintrusion events that may cause exceedances in surface air qualitystandards.« less