Stratospheric impact on the Northern Hemisphere winter and spring ozone interannual variability in the troposphere

Junhua Liu, Jose M. Rodriguez, Luke D. Oman, Anne R. Douglass, Mark A. Olsen, Lu Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this study we use ozone and stratospheric ozone tracer simulations from the high-resolution (<span classCombining double low line"inline-formula"><math xmlnsCombining double low line"" idCombining double low line"M1" displayCombining double low line"inline" overflowCombining double low line"scroll" dspmathCombining double low line"mathml"><mrow><mn mathvariantCombining double low line"normal">0.5</mn><msup><mi/><mo>ĝ&circ; </mo></msup><mo>×</mo><mn mathvariantCombining double low line"normal">0.5</mn><msup><mi/><mo>ĝ&circ; </mo></msup></mrow></math><span><svg:svg xmlns:svgCombining double low line"" widthCombining double low line"52pt" heightCombining double low line"11pt" classCombining double low line"svg-formula" dspmathCombining double low line"mathimg" md5hashCombining double low line"32500727e8bf5abd8222412827504193"><svg:image xmlns:xlinkCombining double low line"" xlink:hrefCombining double low line"acp-20-6417-2020-ie00001.svg" widthCombining double low line"52pt" heightCombining double low line"11pt" srcCombining double low line"acp-20-6417-2020-ie00001.png"/></svg:svg></span></span>) Goddard Earth Observing System, Version 5 (GEOS-5), in a replay mode to study the impact of stratospheric ozone on tropospheric ozone interannual variability (IAV). We use these simulations in conjunction with ozonesonde measurements from 1990 to 2016 during the winter and spring seasons. The simulations include a stratospheric ozone tracer (Strat<span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">O3</span>) to aid in the evaluation of the impact of stratospheric ozone IAV on the IAV of tropospheric ozone at different altitudes and locations. The model is in good agreement with the observed interannual variation in tropospheric ozone, except for the post-Pinatubo period (1992-1994) over the region of North America. Ozonesonde data show a negative ozone anomaly in 1992-1994 following the Pinatubo eruption, with recovery thereafter. The simulated anomaly is only half the magnitude of that observed. Our analysis suggests that the simulated stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE) flux deduced from the analysis might be too strong over the North American (50-70<span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">ĝ&circ; </span>&thinsp;N) region after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the early 1990s, masking the impact of lower stratospheric ozone concentration on tropospheric ozone. European ozonesonde measurements show a similar but weaker ozone depletion after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, which is fully reproduced by the model. Analysis based on the stratospheric ozone tracer identifies differences in strength and vertical extent of stratospheric ozone impact on the tropospheric ozone interannual variation (IAV) between North America and Europe. Over North American stations, the Strat<span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">O3</span> IAV has a significant impact on tropospheric ozone from the upper to lower troposphere and explains about 60&thinsp;% and 66&thinsp;% of the simulated ozone IAV at 400&thinsp;hPa and <span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">ĝ&circ;1/411</span>&thinsp;% and 34&thinsp;% at 700&thinsp;hPa in winter and spring, respectively. Over European stations, the influence is limited to the middle to upper troposphere and becomes much smaller at 700&thinsp;hPa. The Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2), assimilated fields exhibit strong longitudinal variations over Northern Hemisphere (NH) mid-high latitudes, with lower tropopause height and lower geopotential height over North America than over Europe. These variations associated with the relevant variations in the location of tropospheric jet flows are responsible for the longitudinal differences in the stratospheric ozone impact, with stronger effects over North America than over Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6417-6433
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 4 2020


Acknowledgements. The first author gratefully acknowledges the financial support by NASA’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP). We thank the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre and the SHADOZ program for making the routine sonde data accessible. We gratefully acknowledge Jerry R. Ziemke from NASA for providing the OMI/MLS TCO data and Stacey M. Frith from NASA for providing SBUV total ozone column data. Work was performed under contract with NASA at Goddard. We thank Clara Orbe for her helpful comments on the model’s replay configuration. Computer resources for the MERRA-2 GMI simulation were provided by the NASA Center for Climate Simulation. We thank the editor and the reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions to improve this paper. Financial support. This research has been supported by the NASA Aura Science Team and ACMAP (2016) (grant no. NNH16ZDA001N-ACMAP/NNX17AG58G).

FundersFunder number
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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