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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 9-19, 1997
© 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd
PII: S0021-9169(96)00005-0

Total ozone and the 11-yr sunspot cycle

K. Labitzke and H. van Loon*

Meteorologisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin,
12165 Berlin, Germany
*Present affilation: National Center for Atmospheric Research,
Boulder, Colorado, CO 80307, U.S.A.


The correlations between the total column ozone abserved by TOMS and the 11-yr sunspot cycle are lowest in the equatorial region, where ozone is produced, and in the subpolar regions, where the largest amounts are found. In the annual mean the highest, statistically significant, correlations lie between the 5° and 30° parallels of latitude in either hemisphere -- between the area of production and the areas of plenty. This position of the largest correlations suggests that the association between the Sun and the ozone is not a direct, radiative one, but that it is due to solar induced changes in the transport of ozone, that is, to changes in the atmospheric circulation. The highest tropical-subtropical correlations move with the Sun from summer hemisphere to summer hemisphere.

The subtropical geopotential heights in the ozone layer are higher in the peaks than in the valleys of the 11-yr sunspot cycle. It is probable that the higher subtropical geopotentials in solar maxima depress the poleward transport of ozone through the subtropics and therefore create an abundance of ozone in the tropics relative to the solar minima. These results are based on a 15-yr series of ozone abservations and may thus not necessarily be representative of a longer period.
Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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