ACS  Vol.8 No.1 , January 2018
Observed Solar Cycle Variation of the Stratospheric QBO Generated in the Mesosphere and Amplified by Upward Propagating Waves
ABSTRACT
With an analysis of zonal wind observations over 40 years, Salby and Callaghan [1] showed that the Quasi-biennial Oscillation (QBO) at 20 km is modulated by 11-year solar cycle (SC) variations from about 12 to 20 m/s (Figure 2). The observations are reproduced qualitatively in a study with the 3D Numerical Spectral Model, which shows that the SC effect of the stratospheric QBO is produced by dynamical downward coupling originating in the mesosphere. In this modeling study, the SC period is taken to be 10 years, and a realistic heat source is applied varying exponentially with altitude: 0.2%, surface; 2%, 50 km; 20%, 100 km and above. The numerical results show that the variable solar radiation in the mesosphere around 65 km generates a hemispheric symmetric Equatorial Annual Oscillation (EAO), which is modulated by relatively large SC variations. Under the influence of wave mean flow interactions, the EAO propagates into the lower atmosphere and is the dynamical source or pacemaker for the large SC modulation of the QBO. The numerical results show that the upward propagating small-scale gravity waves from the troposphere amplify the SC modulations of the QBO and EAO in the stratosphere, part of the SC mechanism. The zonal winds of the equatorial QBO and EAO produce through the meridional circulation measurable SC variations in the temperature of the stratosphere and troposphere at high latitudes. Analysis of NCEP temperature and zonal wind data (1958 to 2006) provides observational evidence of the EAO with SC variations around 11 years.
Cite this paper
Mayr, H. , Huang, F. , Lee, J. , (2018) Observed Solar Cycle Variation of the Stratospheric QBO Generated in the Mesosphere and Amplified by Upward Propagating Waves. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 8, 63-83. doi: 10.4236/acs.2018.81005.
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