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Stratospheric Control of Upward Wave Flux near the Tropopause

Scott, R. K.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

Using an idealized, global primitive equation model of the stratosphere-troposphere system in which all tropospheric variability is surpressed, we demonstrate the existence of internal modes of stratospheric variability. The variability in our model is similar to that observed in the winter stratosphere, consisting of sudden-warming like, wave-driven decelerations of the polar vortex followed by a more gradual re-establishment of the vortex by the radiative forcing. Using a common index of the strength of the stratospheric vortex, we find patterns of downward propagation resembling those found in recent observations. In addition, our model exhibits considerable variability in the upward flux of wave activity into the stratosphere; this variability strongly anti-correlates with the index of the mid-upper stratospheric vortex, again in agreement with recent observations.


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Geophysical Research Letters

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