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An upper-branch Brewer–Dobson circulation index for attribution of stratospheric variability and improved ozone and temperature trend analysis

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Ball William T., Kuchař Aleš, Rozanov Eugene V., Staehelin Johannes, Tummon Fiona, Smith Anne K., Sukhodolov Timofei, Stenke Andrea, Revell Laura, Coulon Ancelin, Schmutz Werner, Peter Thomas,
Project Future and Past Solar Influence on the Terrestrial Climate II
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume (Issue) 16(24)
Page(s) 15485 - 15500
Title of proceedings Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
DOI 10.5194/acp-16-15485-2016

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


We find that wintertime temperature anoma- lies near 4 hPa and 50◦ N/S are related, through dynam- ics, to anomalies in ozone and temperature, particularly in the tropical stratosphere but also throughout the upper stratosphere and mesosphere. These mid-latitude anoma- lies occur on timescales of up to a month, and are related to changes in wave forcing. A change in the meridional Brewer–Dobson circulation extends from the middle strato- sphere into the mesosphere and forms a temperature-change quadrupole from Equator to pole. We develop a dynami- cal index based on detrended, deseasonalised mid-latitude temperature. When employed in multiple linear regression, this index can account for up to 60 % of the total variabil- ity of temperature, peaking at ∼ 5 hPa and dropping to 0 at ∼ 50 and ∼ 0.5 hPa, respectively, and increasing again into the mesosphere. Ozone similarly sees up to an additional 50 % of variability accounted for, with a slightly higher max- imum and strong altitude dependence, with zero improve- ment found at 10 hPa. Further, the uncertainty on all equa- torial multiple-linear regression coefficients can be reduced by up to 35 and 20 % in temperature and ozone, respectively, and so this index is an important tool for quantifying current and future ozone recovery.