Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 4223-4256, 2005
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The mean meridional circulation and midlatitude ozone buildup
G. Nikulin1 and A. Karpechko2
1Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Atmospheric Research Programme, Box 812, SE-98112 Kiruna, Sweden
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Arctic Research Centre, T¨ahteläntie 62, FIN-99600 Sodankylä, Finland

Abstract. The development of wintertime ozone buildup over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) midlatitudes and its connection with the mean meridional circulation in the stratosphere are examined statistically on a monthly basis from October to March (1980–2002). The ozone buildup begins locally in October with positive ozone tendencies over the North Pacific, which spread eastward and westward in November and finally cover all midlatitudes in December. During October–January a longitudinal distribution of the ozone tendencies mirrors a structure of quasi-stationary planetary waves in the lower stratosphere and has less similarity with this structure in February–March when chemistry begins to play a more important role. From November to March, zonal mean ozone tendencies (50°–60° N) show strong correlation (|r|=0.7) with different parameters used as proxies of the mean meridional circulation, namely: eddy heat flux, the vertical residual velocity (diabatically-derived) and temperature tendency. The correlation patterns between ozone tendency and the vertical residual velocity or temperature tendency are more homogeneous from month to month than ones for eddy heat flux. A partial exception is December when correlation is strong only for the vertical residual velocity. In October zonal mean ozone tendencies have no coupling with the proxies. However, positive tendencies averaged over the North Pacific correlate well, with all of them suggesting that intensification of northward ozone transport starts locally over the Pacific already in October. We show that the NH midlatitude ozone buildup has stable statistical relation with the mean meridional circulation in all months from October to March and half of the interannual variability in monthly ozone tendencies can be explained by applying different proxies of the mean meridional circulation.

Citation: Nikulin, G. and Karpechko, A.: The mean meridional circulation and midlatitude ozone buildup, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 4223-4256, doi:10.5194/acpd-5-4223-2005, 2005.
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