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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Jun 2019

Research article | 14 Jun 2019

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

On the impact of future climate change on tropopause folds and tropospheric ozone

Dimitris Akritidis1, Andrea Pozzer2, and Prodromos Zanis1 Dimitris Akritidis et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. Using a transient simulation for the period 1960–2100 with the state-of-the-art ECHAM5/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) global model and a tropopause fold identification algorithm, we explore the future projected changes in tropopause folds, Stratosphere-to-Troposphere Transport (STT) of ozone and tropospheric ozone under the RCP6.0 scenario. Statistically significant changes in tropopause fold frequencies are identified in both Hemispheres, occasionally exceeding 3 %, which are associated with the projected changes in the position and intensity of the subtropical jet streams. A strengthening of ozone STT is projected for future at both Hemispheres, with an induced increase of transported stratospheric ozone tracer throughout the whole troposphere, reaching up to 10 nmol/mol in the upper troposphere, 8 nmol/mol in the middle troposphere and 3 nmol/mol near the surface. Notably, the regions exhibiting the maxima changes of ozone STT at 400 hPa, coincide with that of the highest fold frequencies, highlighting the role of tropopause folding mechanism in STT process under a changing climate. For both the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME), and the Afghanistan (AFG) regions, which are known as hotspots of fold activity and ozone STT during the summer period, the year-to-year variability of middle tropospheric ozone with stratospheric origin is largely explained by the short-term variations of ozone at 150 hPa and tropopause folds frequency. Finally, ozone in the lower troposphere is projected to decrease under the RCP6.0 scenario during MAM (March, April and May) and JJA (June, July and August) at the Northern Hemisphere, and during DJF (December, January and February) at the Southern Hemisphere, due to the decline of ozone precursors emissions, while in the rest of the troposphere ozone shows a remarkable increase owing to the STT strengthening.

Dimitris Akritidis et al.
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Dimitris Akritidis et al.
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Short summary
We investigate the impact of future climate change under the RCP6.0 scenario on tropopause folds and tropospheric ozone, using a transient EMAC simulation and a tropopause fold detection algorithm. A strengthening of ozone Stratosphere-to-Troposphere Transport (STT) is projected for the future, resulting in an increase of upper and middle tropospheric ozone. The maxima of future ozone STT increases are projected over the regions where tropopause folds are expected to occur more frequently.
We investigate the impact of future climate change under the RCP6.0 scenario on tropopause folds...