Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 1703-1726, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
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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.
Antarctic stratospheric warming since 1979
Y. Hu1 and Q. Fu2
1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Abstract. In the present study, we show evidence of significant stratospheric warming over large portions of the Antarctic polar region in winter and spring seasons, with a maximum warming of 7–8°C in September and October, using satellite Microwave Sounding Unit observations for 1979–2006. It is found that this warming is associated with increasing wave activity from the troposphere into the stratosphere, suggesting that the warming is caused by enhanced wave-driven dynamical heating. We show that the Antarctic stratospheric warming has close correlations with sea surface temperature (SST) increases, and that general circulation model simulations forced with observed time-varying SSTs reproduce similar warming trend patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere. These findings suggest that the Antarctic stratospheric warming is likely induced by SST warming. As SST warming continues as a consequence of greenhouse gas increases due to anthropogenic activity, Antarctic stratospheric warming would also continue, which has important implications to the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole.

Citation: Hu, Y. and Fu, Q.: Antarctic stratospheric warming since 1979, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 1703-1726, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-1703-2009, 2009.
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