Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 4167-4198, 2011
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Zonal asymmetries in middle atmospheric ozone and water vapour derived from Odin satellite data 2001–2010
A. Gabriel1, H. Körnich2, S. Lossow3, D. H. W. Peters1, J. Urban3, and D. Murtagh3
1Leibniz-Institute for Atmospheric Physics of the University Rostock e.V., Schlossstr. 6, 18225 Kühlungsborn, Germany
2Department of Meteorology, Stockholms University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
3Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Hörsalsvägen 11, 41296 Göteborg, Sweden

Abstract. Based on Odin satellite data 2001–2010 we investigate stationary wave patterns in middle atmospheric ozone (O3) and water vapour (H2O) as indicated by their seasonal long-term means of the zonally asymmetric components O3* = O3-[O3] and H2O* = H2O-[H2O] ([O3], [H2O]: zonal means). At mid- and polar latitudes of Northern and Southern Hemisphere, we find a pronounced wave one pattern in both constituents. In the Northern Hemisphere, the wave one patterns increase during autumn, maintain their strength during winter and decay during spring, with maximum amplitudes of about 10–20% of zonal mean values. During winter, the wave one in stratospheric O3* is characterized by a maximum over North Pacific/Aleutians and a minimum over North Atlantic/Northern Europe and by a double-peak structure with enhanced amplitude in the lower and in the upper stratosphere. The wave one in H2O* extends from lower stratosphere to upper mesosphere with a westward shift in phase with increasing height including a jump in phase at upper stratosphere altitudes. In the Southern Hemisphere, similar wave one patterns occur during southern spring when the polar vortex breaks down. Based on a simplified tracer transport approach we explain these wave patterns as a first-order result of zonal asymmetries in mean meridional transport by geostrophically balanced winds, which were derived from combined temperature profiles of Odin, and ECMWF (European Centre of Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Reanalysis data (ERA Interim). Further influences which may contribute to the stationary wave patterns, e.g. eddy mixing processes or temperature-dependent chemistry, are discussed.

Citation: Gabriel, A., Körnich, H., Lossow, S., Peters, D. H. W., Urban, J., and Murtagh, D.: Zonal asymmetries in middle atmospheric ozone and water vapour derived from Odin satellite data 2001–2010, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 4167-4198, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-4167-2011, 2011.
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