The Effect of Zonally Asymmetric Ozone Heating on the Northern Hemisphere Winter Polar Stratosphere
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC SPACE SCIENCE DIV
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Previous modeling studies have found significant differences in winter extratropical stratospheric temperatures depending on the presence or absence of zonally asymmetric ozone heating ZAOH, yet the physical mechanism causing these differences has not been fully explained. The present study describes the effect of ZAOH on the dynamics of the Northern Hemisphere extratropical stratosphere using an ensemble of free-running atmospheric general circulation model simulations over the 1 December - 31 March period. We find that the simulations including ZAOH produce a significantly warmer and weaker stratospheric polar vortex in mid-February due to more frequent major stratospheric sudden warmings compared to the simulations using only zonal mean ozone heating. This is due to regions of enhanced Eliassen-Palm flux convergence found in the region between 40 deg-70 deg N latitude and 10-0.05 hPa. These results are consistent with changes in the propagation of planetary waves in the presence of ZAOH predicted by an ozone-modified refractive index.