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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1010
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1010
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Dec 2018

Research article | 05 Dec 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Interannual variations of water vapor in the tropical upper troposphere and the lower and middle stratosphere and their connections to ENSO and QBO

Edward W. Tian1,2, Hui Su1, Baijun Tian1, and Jonathan H. Jiang1 Edward W. Tian et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Abstract. In this study, we analyze the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder water vapor data in the tropical upper troposphere and the lower and middle stratosphere (UTLMS) (from 215hPa to 6hPa) for the period from August 2004 to September 2017 using time-lag regression analysis and composite analysis to explore the interannual variations of tropical UTLMS water vapor and their connections to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Our analysis shows that ENSO’s impact on the interannual tropical water vapor anomalies is strong in the upper troposphere (~215 to ~120hPa) and near the tropopause (~110 to ~90hPa) with a ~3-month lag but weak in the lower and middle stratosphere (~80 to ~6hPa). In contrast, QBO has a large impact on the interannual tropical water vapor anomalies in the lower and middle stratosphere with an upward propagating signal starting at the tropopause (100 hPa), peaking first in the lower stratosphere near 68 hPa with a ~7-month lag and then in the middle stratosphere near 15 hPa with a ~24-month lag. The phase lag is based on the 30-hPa QBO index and should be different from that found by previous studies based on the 50-hPa QBO index. In the upper troposphere, interannual tropical water vapor anomalies are positive during the warm ENSO phases but negative during the cold ENSO phases no matter what QBO phases are. Near the tropopause, interannual tropical water vapor anomalies are different depending on different ENSO and QBO phase combinations. In the lower and middle stratosphere, interannual tropical water vapor anomalies are mainly determined by QBO instead of ENSO. For the easterly QBO phases, interannual tropical water vapor anomalies are positive in the lower stratosphere but negative in the middle stratosphere. Vice versa for the westerly QBO phases.

Edward W. Tian et al.
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We study the interannual (2-7 years) water vapor variations in the tropical upper troposphere and the lower and middle stratosphere and their connections to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) using a much longer record of satellite data and time-lag regression analysis and composite analysis. We found that ENSO is more important in the upper troposphere and near the tropopause while QBO is more important in the lower and middle stratosphere.
We study the interannual (2-7 years) water vapor variations in the tropical upper troposphere...
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