The global diabatic circulation of the stratosphere as a metric for the Brewer–Dobson circulation

The circulation of the stratosphere, also known as the Brewer–Dobson circulation, transports water vapor and ozone, with implications for radiative forcing and climate. This circulation is typically quantified from model output by calculating the tropical upwelling vertical velocity in the residual circulation framework, and it is estimated from observations by using time series of tropical water vapor to infer a vertical velocity. Recent theory has introduced a method to calculate the strength of the global mean diabatic circulation through isentropes from satellite measurements of long-lived tracers. In this paper, we explore this global diabatic circulation as it relates to the residual circulation vertical velocity, stratospheric water vapor, and ozone at interannual timescales. We use a comprehensive climate model, three reanalysis data products, and satellite ozone data. The different metrics for the circulation have different properties, especially with regards to the vertical autocorrelation. In the model, the different residual circulation metrics agree closely and are well correlated with the global diabatic circulation, except in the lowermost stratosphere. In the reanalysis products, however, there are more differences throughout, indicating the dynamical inconsistencies of these products. The vertical velocity derived from the time series of water vapor in the tropics is significantly correlated with the global diabatic circulation, but this relationship is not as strong as that between the global diabatic circulation and the residual circulation vertical velocity. We find that the global diabatic circulation in the lower to middle stratosphere (up to 500 K) is correlated with the total column ozone in the high latitudes and in the tropics. The upper-level circulation is also correlated with the total column ozone, primarily in the subtropics, and we show that this is due to the correlation of both the circulation and the ozone with upper-level temperatures.


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Authors: Linz, Marianna, Abalos, Marta, Glanville, Anne Sasha, Kinnison, Douglas E., Ming, Alison ORCIDORCID record for Alison Ming, Neu, Jessica L.

On this site: Alison Ming
15 April, 2019
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics / 19
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