Articles | Volume 27, issue 3
10 Mar 2009
 | 10 Mar 2009

Planetary waves in ozone and temperature in the Northern Hemisphere winters of 2002/2003 and early 2005

A. Belova, S. Kirkwood, and D. Murtagh

Abstract. Temperature and ozone data from the sub-millimetre radiometer (SMR) installed aboard the Odin satellite have been examined to study the relationship between temperature and ozone concentration in the lower and upper stratosphere in winter time. The retrieved ozone and temperature profiles have been considered between the range of 24–46 km during the Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter of December 2002 to March 2003 and January to March 2005. A comparison between the ozone mixing ratio and temperature fields has been made for the zonal means, wavenumber one variations and 5-day planetary waves. The amplitude values in temperature variations are ~5 K in the wavenumber one and 0.5–1 K in the 5-day wave. In ozone mixing ratio, the amplitudes reach ~0.5 ppmv in the wavenumber one and 0.05–0.1 ppmv in the 5-day wave.

Several stratospheric warming events were observed during the NH winters of 2002/2003 and early 2005. Along with these warming events, amplification of the amplitude has been detected in wavenumber one (up to 30 K in temperature and 1.25 ppmv in ozone) and partly in the 5-day perturbation (up to 2 K in temperature and 0.2 ppmv in ozone).

In general, the results show the expected in-phase behavior between the temperature and ozone fields in the lower stratosphere due to dynamic effects, and an out-of-phase pattern in the upper stratosphere, which is expected as a result of photochemical effects. However, these relationships are not valid for zonal means and wavenumber one components when the wave amplitudes are changing dramatically during the strongest stratospheric warming event (at the end of December 2002/beginning of January 2003). Also, for several shorter intervals, the 5-day perturbations in ozone and temperature are not well-correlated at lower heights, particularly when conditions change rapidly.

Odin's basic observation schedule provides stratosphere mode data every third day and to validate the reliability of the 5-day waves extracted from the Odin measurements, additional independent data have been analysed in this study: temperature assimilation data by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for the NH winter of 2002/2003, and satellite measurements of temperature and ozone by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on board the Aura satellite for the NH winter in early 2005.

Good agreement between the temperature fields from Odin and ECMWF data is found at middle latitude where, in general, the 5-day perturbations from the two data sets coincide in both phase and amplitude throughout the examined interval. Analysis of the wavenumber one and the 5-day wave perturbations in temperature and ozone fields from Odin and from Aura demonstrates that, for the largest part of the examined period, quite similar characteristics are found in the spatial and temporal domain, with slightly larger amplitude values seen by Aura. Hence, the comparison between the Odin data, sampled each third day, and daily data from Aura and the ECMWF shows that the Odin data are sufficiently reliable to estimate the properties of the 5-day oscillations, at least for the locations and time intervals with strong wave activity.