Abstract / Description of output
Stratospheric transport and polar processing during the 2014/2015 Arctic winter were strongly influenced by a minor sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) in early January. Disturbances to temperatures and trace gases in the middle and upper stratosphere were similar in character to those associated with major SSWs: The stratopause dropped, and vertical temperature gradients weakened, followed by renewed descent of mesospheric air. The lower stratospheric polar vortex was barely disrupted and remained unusually strong throughout the winter. The SSW did, however, cause lower stratospheric temperatures to rise well above chlorine activation thresholds; trace gas abundances from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) were consequently exceptional. The degree of chlorine activation in January was the smallest, and lower stratospheric ozone values in February were the highest, in the 11 year MLS record. The major role played by a minor SSW highlights the Arctic stratosphere's sensitivity to a spectrum of dynamical variability.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- Arctic ozone
- satellite data
- stratospheric sudden warming