The spatial and temporal behaviour of the lower stratospheric temperature over the Southern Hemisphere: the MSU view. Part I: data, methodology and temporal behaviour

Authors

  • Rosa H. Compagnucci,

    1. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • M. Alejandra Salles,

    1. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Pablo O. Canziani

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Current affiliation:
    1. Laboratorio de Investigaciones de Sistemas Ecológicos y Ambientales, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina
    • Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, FCEN-UBA, Pabellón II-2do Piso, Ciudad Universitaria, 1428 Capital Federal, Argentina
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Abstract

The lower stratosphere monthly temperature anomalies over the Southern Hemisphere derived from soundings made by the Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) between 1979 and 1997 are analysed. Specifically MSU channel 4 temperature retrievals are considered. Principal component (PC) analysis with the S-mode approach is used in order to isolate grid points that covary in a similar manner and to determine the main features of their temporal behaviour. The first six PCs explain 81.3% of the variance and represent the different time variability patterns observed over the Southern Hemisphere for the ten area clusters determined by the method. The most important feature is common to all the PC score pattern–time series and corresponds to a negative linear trend present in almost all the Southern Hemisphere except over New Zealand and surrounding areas. The negative trend is largest over Antarctica. The remaining features of the temporal variability are different for each PC score and therefore for each cluster region over the Southern Hemisphere. The first PC score pattern shows the impact of the Chichón and Mt Pinatubo eruptions that each produced a 2-year warming over the tropical and sub-tropical lower stratosphere. This variability is orthogonal with the behaviour present over Antarctica. There are different anomalies between 1987 (El Niño) and 1988 (La Niña). This second PC does not show any evidence whatsoever of the volcanic eruptions. The semi-annual wave is present in the anomaly recurrence at mid to high latitudes. Over very low latitudes, close to the Equator, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) band of frequency is also present. Copyright © 2001 Royal Meteorological Society

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