Seasonal cycle of the residual mean meridional circulation in the stratosphere

Authors

  • Karen H. Rosenlof


Abstract

The transformed Eulerian-mean (TEM) residual circulation is used to study the zonally averaged transport of mass in the stratosphere. The residual circulation is estimated from heating rates computed with a radiative transfer model using data from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) as inputs. An annual cycle exists in the resulting circulation in the lower stratosphere, with a larger net upward mass flux across a pressure surface in the tropics during northern hemisphere winter than during northern hemisphere summer. The annual cycle in upward tropical mass flux follows the annual cycle in downward mass flux across a pressure surface in the northern hemisphere extratropics. It is argued that the annual cycle in zonal momentum forcing in the northern hemisphere stratosphere is controlling mass flux across a pressure surface in the lower stratosphere both in the tropics and in the northern hemisphere extratropics.

Ancillary