Asymmetry and pathways of inter-hemispheric transport in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere

Yan, Xiaolu; Konopka, Paul; Hauck, Marius; Podglajen, Aurélien; Ploeger, Felix

Inter-hemispheric transport may strongly affect the trace gas composition of the atmosphere, especially in relation to anthropogenic emissions, which originate mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. This study investigates the transport from the boundary surface layer of the northern hemispheric (NH) extratropics (30–90inline-formula N), southern hemispheric (SH) extratropics (30–90inline-formula S), and tropics (30inline-formula S–30inline-formula N) into the global upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) using simulations with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS). In particular, we diagnose inter-hemispheric transport in terms of the air mass fractions (AMFs), age spectra, and the mean age of air (AoA) calculated for these three source regions. We find that the AMFs from the NH extratropics to the UTLS are about 5 times larger than the corresponding contributions from the SH extratropics and almost 20 times smaller than those from the tropics. The amplitude of the AMF seasonal variability originating from the NH extratropics is comparable to that from the tropics. The NH and SH extratropical age spectra show much stronger seasonality compared to the seasonality of the tropical age spectra. The transit time of NH-extratropical-origin air to the SH extratropics is longer than vice versa. The asymmetry of the inter-hemispheric transport is mainly driven by the Asian summer monsoon (ASM). We confirm the important role of ASM and westerly ducts in the inter-hemispheric transport from the NH extratropics to the SH. Furthermore, we find that it is an interplay between the ASM and westerly ducts which triggers such cross-Equator transport from boreal summer to fall in the UTLS between 350 and 370 K.

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Yan, Xiaolu / Konopka, Paul / Hauck, Marius / et al: Asymmetry and pathways of inter-hemispheric transport in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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