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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Vol.61, 53-61, January 1999

The signal of the 11-year solar cycle in the global stratosphere

H. van Loon* and K. Labitzke

*Present affilation: National Center for Atmospheric Research,
Boulder, Colorado, CO 80307, U.S.A.

Meteorologisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin,
12165 Berlin, Germany


The search for a signal of the 11-year sunspot cycle in the heights and temperatures of the lower stratosphere was previously successfully conducted for the northern hemisphere with a data set from the Freie Universitšt Berlin, covering four solar cycles.(K. Labitzke and H. van Loon, 1997)

This work has been extended to the whole globe by means of the NCEP/NCAR re-analyses for the period 1968-1996. The re-analyses show that the signal exists in the southern hemisphere too, and that it is of nearly the same size and shape as on the northern hemisphere. The NCEP/NCAR re-analyses yield higher correlations with the solar cycle than do the Berlin analyses for the same period, because the interannual variability is lower in the NCEP/NCAR data.

The correlations between the solar cycle and the zonally averaged temperatures at the standard levels between 200 and 10 hPa are largest between the tropopause and the 25km level, that is, in the ozone layer. This may be partly a direct effect in this layer, because of more absorber (ozone) and more ultraviolet radiation from the sun in the peaks of the 11-year solar cycle. However, it is more likely to be mainly an indirect dynamical consequence of UV absorption by ozone in the middle and upper stratosphere.

The largest temperature correlations move with the sun from one summer hemisphere to the other, and the largest height correlations move poleward from winter to summer.

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