Circulation anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere and ozone changes

Braesicke, P.; Keeble, J.; Yang, X.; Stiller, G.; Kellmann, S.; Abraham, N. L.; Archibald, A.; Telford, P.; Pyle, J. A.

We report results from two pairs of chemistry-climate model simulations using the same climate model but different chemical perturbations. In each pair of experiments an ozone change was triggered by a simple change in the chemistry. One pair of model experiments looked at the impact of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) and the other pair at the impact of short-lived halogenated species on composition and circulation. The model response is complex with both positive and negative changes in ozone concentration, depending on location. These changes result from coupling between composition, temperature and circulation. Even though the causes of the modelled ozone changes are different, the high latitude Southern Hemisphere response in the lower stratosphere is similar. In both pairs of experiments the high-latitude circulation changes, as evidenced by N 2O differences, are suggesting a slightly longer-lasting/stronger stratospheric descent in runs with higher ozone destruction (a manifestation of a seasonal shift in the circulation). We contrast the idealised model behaviour with interannual variability in ozone and N 2O as observed by the MIPAS instrument on ENVISAT, highlighting similarities of the modelled climate equilibrium changes to the year 2006–2007 in observations. We conclude that the climate system can respond quite sensitively in its seasonal evolution to small chemical perturbations, that circulation adjustments seen in the model can occur in reality, and that coupled chemistry-climate models allow a better assessment of future ozone and climate change than recent CMIP-type models with prescribed ozone fields.

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Braesicke, P. / Keeble, J. / Yang, X. / et al: Circulation anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere and ozone changes. 2013. Copernicus Publications.

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