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Inter-hemispheric mesospheric coupling in a comprehensive middle atmosphere model

Karlsson, B., McLandress, C. and Shepherd, T. G. (2009) Inter-hemispheric mesospheric coupling in a comprehensive middle atmosphere model. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 71 (3-4). pp. 518-530. ISSN 1364-6826

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2008.08.006

Abstract/Summary

Observations of noctilucent clouds have revealed a surprising coupling between the winter stratosphere and the summer polar mesopause region. In spite of the great distance involved, this inter-hemispheric link has been suggested to be the principal reason for both the year-to-year variability and the hemispheric differences in the frequency of occurrence of these high-altitude clouds. In this study, we investigate the dynamical influence of the winter stratosphere on the summer mesosphere using simulations from the vertically extended version of the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM). We find that for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, variability in the summer polar mesopause region from one year to another can be traced back to the planetary-wave flux entering the winter stratosphere. The teleconnection pattern is the same for both positive and negative wave-flux anomalies. Using a composite analysis to isolate the events, it is argued that the mechanism for interhemispheric coupling is a feedback between summer mesosphere gravity-wave drag (GWD) and zonal wind, which is induced by an anomaly in mesospheric cross-equatorial flow, the latter arising from the anomaly in winter hemisphere GWD induced by the anomaly in stratospheric conditions.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:28445
Publisher:Elsevier

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