Low potential for stratospheric dynamical change to be implicated in the large winter warming in the central Antarctic Peninsula

Stratospheric change associated with the Antarctic ozone hole is clearly implicated in changing surface climate near 65°S in late summer, in both measurements and models, via downward propagation of height anomalies following the final warming. But one of the largest changes in surface temperature in Antarctica has occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula at 60 to 65°S in winter, and most of the change at 65°S occurred before the ozone hole. Stratospheric change can cause tropospheric change in Antarctic winter by modifying the reflection and refraction of planetary waves, whereby a stronger stratospheric vortex moves the tropospheric jets polewards, which can modify the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) in surface pressure that forces the tropospheric circumpolar winds. We examine stratospheric influence on the SAM in winter by inter-annual correlation of the SAM with the solar-cycle and volcanic aerosols, which act to change forcing of the stratospheric vortex in winter. Correlations are a maximum in June (midwinter) and are significant then, but are poor averaged over winter months. Hence the potential of change in the stratosphere to change Antarctic tropospheric climate in winter by dynamical means is low. This negative result is important given the proven high potential for change in summer by dynamical means.


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Authors: Roscoe, H.K., Marshall, G.J., King, J.C.

On this site: Gareth Marshall, Howard Roscoe, John King
1 January, 2006
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society / 132
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