Differences in the quasi-biennial oscillation response to stratospheric aerosol modification depending on injection strategy and species

Franke, Henning; Niemeier, Ulrike; Visioni, Daniele

A known adverse side effect of stratospheric aerosol modification (SAM) is the alteration of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), which is caused by the stratospheric heating associated with an artificial aerosol layer. Multiple studies found the QBO to slow down or even completely vanish for point-like injections of inline-formulaSO2 at the Equator. The cause for this was found to be a modification of the thermal wind balance and a stronger tropical upwelling. For other injection strategies, different responses of the QBO have been observed. A theory which is able to explain those differences in a comprehensive manner has not yet been presented. This is further complicated by the fact that the simulated QBO response is highly sensitive to the used model even under identical boundary conditions. Therefore, within this study we investigate the response of the QBO to SAM for three different injection strategies (point-like injection at the Equator, point-like injection at 30inline-formula N and 30inline-formula S simultaneously, and areal injection into a 60inline-formula wide belt along the Equator). Our simulations confirm that the QBO response significantly depends on the injection location. Based on the thermal wind balance, we demonstrate that this dependency is explained by differences in the meridional structure of the aerosol-induced stratospheric warming, i.e., the location and meridional extension of the maximum warming. Additionally, we also tested two different injection species (inline-formulaSO2 and inline-formulaH2SO4). The QBO response is qualitatively similar for both investigated injection species. Comparing the results to corresponding results of a second model, we further demonstrate the generality of our theory as well as the importance of an interactive treatment of stratospheric ozone for the simulated QBO response.

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Franke, Henning / Niemeier, Ulrike / Visioni, Daniele: Differences in the quasi-biennial oscillation response to stratospheric aerosol modification depending on injection strategy and species. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Henning Franke et al.

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