Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 13975-14001, 2011
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Solar response in tropical stratospheric ozone: a 3-D chemical transport model study using ERA reanalyses
S. Dhomse1, M. P. Chipperfield1, W. Feng1, and J. D. Haigh2
1School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
2Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ, UK

Abstract. We have used an off-line 3-D chemical transport model (CTM), to investigate the 11-year solar cycle response in tropical stratospheric ozone. The model is forced with European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) (re)analysis (ERA-40/Operational and ERA-Interim) data for 1978–2005 time period. We have compared the modelled solar response in ozone to observational data from three satellite instruments, Solar Backscatter UltraViolet instrument (SBUV), Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) and Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE). A significant difference is seen between simulated and observed ozone during the 1980s, which is probably due to inhomogeneities in the ERA-40 reanalyses. In general, the model with ERA-Interim dynamics shows better agreement with the observations from 1990 onwards than ERA-40. Overall both standard model simulations are partially able to simulate a "double peak"-structured ozone solar response profile with a minimum around 30 km, and these are in better agreement with HALOE than SBUV or SAGE. The largest model-observation differences occur in the upper stratosphere where SBUV and SAGE show a significant (up to 4 %) solar response whereas the standard model and HALOE do not. This is partly due to a positive solar response in the ECMWF upper stratosphere analysed temperatures which reduces the modelled ozone signal. The large positive upper stratosphere response seen in SAGE/SBUV can be reproduced in a model run with fixed dynamical fields (i.e. no inter-annual meteorological changes). As this run effectively assumes no long-term temperature changes (solar-induced or otherwise) it should provide an upper limit of the ozone solar response. Overall, full quantification of the upper stratosphere ozone solar response is limited by differences in the observed dataset and by uncertainties in the solar response in the stratospheric temperatures. In the lower stratosphere we find that transport by analysed winds, which contain information about the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), can lead to a large ozone solar response. However, the run with fixed dynamical fields also produces a positive solar response (up to 2 %) in line with the SAGE and SBUV observations.

Citation: Dhomse, S., Chipperfield, M. P., Feng, W., and Haigh, J. D.: Solar response in tropical stratospheric ozone: a 3-D chemical transport model study using ERA reanalyses, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 13975-14001, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-13975-2011, 2011.
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