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J.A.S.-T.P., special issue,
67, 45-54, 2005

On the Solar Cycle-QBO-Relationship: A Summary

(download pdf (~2.3 MB)

K. Labitzke

Meteorologisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin,
12165 Berlin, Germany


Abstract

We have shown in several publications that there exists a strong signal of the 11-year sunspot cycle throughout the year, but this signal can only be identified, if the data are stratified according to the phase of the QBO (Labitzke, 1987; 2002, 2003; Labitzke and van Loon, 1988, 2000; van Loon and Labitzke, 1994, 2000).

The 11-year sunspot cycle is connected with a large variability of the solar radiation in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the spectrum which varies about 6-8% between solar maxima and minima (Chandra and McPeters, 1994). That is enough to cause in the upper stratosphere changes in the temperatures, winds and ozone which will result in circulation changes here and it is possible that such changes have an indirect effect on the lower stratosphere and on the troposphere.

Different observations indicate that the mean meridional circulation systems, like the Brewer-Dobson Circulation (BDC) and the Hadley Circulation (HC) are influenced by the 11-year solar cycle (Kodera and Kuroda, 2002; Hood and Soukharev, 2003; Labitzke, 2003, 2004a, b; Salby and Callaghan, 2004; van Loon and Meehl, 2004).

Recent simulations of the middle atmosphere, using General Circulation Models (GCMs) and introducing the changes in UV and ozone and profiles of the winds over the equator, simulating the east and west phase of the QBO, respectively, resulted in a realistic simulation of the variability of the arctic polar vortex in northern winters (e.g., Matthes et al., 2004). The simulated signal over the tropics is, however, still too weak.





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