Modelling the wintertime response to upper tropospheric and lower stratospheric ozone anomalies over the North Atlantic and Europe
During boreal winter months, mean longitude-dependent ozone changes in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere are mainly used by different ozone transport by planetary waves. The response to radiative perturbation induced by these ozone changes near the tropopause on the circulation is unclear. This response is investigated with the ECHAM4 general circulation model in a sensitivity study. In the simulation two different mean January realizations of the ozone field are implemented in ECHAM4. Both ozone fields are estimated on the basis of the observed mean January planetary wave structure of the 1980s. The first field represents a 14-year average (reference, 1979-1992) and the second one represents the mean ozone field change (anomaly, 1988-92) in boreal extra-tropics during the end of the 1980s. The model runs were carried out pairwise, with identical initial conditions for both ozone fields. Five statistically independent experiments were performed, forced with the observed sea surface temperatures for the period 1988 to 1992. The results support the hypothesis that the zonally asymmetric ozone changes of the 80s triggered a systematic alteration of the circulation over the North Atlantic - European region. It is suggested that this feedback process is important for the understanding of the decadal coupling between troposphere and stratosphere, as well as between subtropics and extra-tropics in winter.