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Volume 22, issue 5
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1495–1512, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 1495–1512, 2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Apr 2004

08 Apr 2004

QBO effects manifesting in ozone, temperature, and wind profiles

S. A. Sitnov S. A. Sitnov
  • A. M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Pyzhevsky 3, Moscow, 119017, Russia

Abstract. On the basis of ozonesonde records up to 1998 the responses on the equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), manifesting in ozone, temperature, and wind (QBO effects) were isolated in the region from the ground to altitudes as high as 35km at 22 stations located in Europe (7), North America (7), Japan (4), Hawaii (1), Australia (2), and Antarctic (1).

The vertical structures of the QBO effects of ozone are represented as an alternation of layers of well-developed quasi-biennial signals, whose phases gradually change with height and thin transitional layers of ill-developed signals, whose phases change abruptly with height. The amplitudes of the effects depend on height and reach the maxima of 3–6nbar in the lower stratosphere. At the majority of sites the effects are found to be approximately in phase between 20 and 23km.

Two types of the vertical structures of the temperature QBO effects are found. At most of the sites located equatorward of about 50° the stratospheric temperature anomalies are characterized by downward propagation, whereas at sites situated poleward of about 50° they look as column-like structures. Near the tropopause the effects frequently reveal dipole-like structure, when the stratospheric and tropospheric anomalies are of opposite signs. The amplitudes of the effects are in the range of 0.5–1°C.

The vertical structures of the QBO effects of horizontal wind components reveal a diversity of patterns. The amplitudes of the QBO effects of the meridional and zonal winds are comparable and lie in the range of 0.5–2m s–1. As a rule, the maxima of the effects are noticed slightly below the tropopause, as well as in the middle stratosphere.

In general, a statistical assurance of the obtained QBO effects is rather poor. However, a considerable part of them reveal similarity, which can be hardly explained by chance. Furthermore, the results agree with possible physical mechanisms of off-equatorial influence of the QBO, as well as with results of other observational studies.

Differences between the QBO effects obtained at different sites can be induced by peculiarities of corresponding ozonesonde records, differing by periods, gaps, number of sondes, errors of measurements, etc. Also, the differences can be associated with an inconstancy of characteristics of the equatorial QBO itself, as well as with an interdependency of the QBO and the annual cycle. Finally, the differences can reflect real regional characteristics of the QBO effects associated with local peculiarities of the large-scale circulation.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (climatology; general circulation; middle atmosphere dynamics)

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