This title appears in the Scientific Report : 2015 

Hemispheric asymmetries and seasonality of mean age of air in the lower stratosphere: Deep versus shallow branch of the Brewer-Dobson circulation
Konopka, Paul (Corresponding author)
Ploeger, Felix / Tao, Mengchu / Birner, Thomas / Riese, Martin
Stratosphäre; IEK-7
Journal of geophysical research / Atmospheres, 120 (2015) 5, S. 2053 - 2066
Hoboken, NJ Wiley 2015
Journal Article
Helmholtz Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training in Energy and Climate Research (HITEC)
Composition and dynamics of the upper troposphere and middle atmosphere
Please use the identifier: in citations.
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Based on multiannual simulations with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere, (CLaMS) driven by ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis, we discuss hemispheric asymmetries and the seasonality of the mean age of air (AoA) in the lower stratosphere. First, the planetary wave forcing of the Brewer-Dobson circulation is quantified in terms of Eliassen Palm flux divergence calculated by using the isentropic coordinate θ. While the forcing of the deep branch at θ = 1000 K (around 10 hPa) has a clear maximum in each hemisphere during the respective winter, the shallow branch of the Brewer-Dobson circulation, i.e., between 100 and 70 hPa (380 < θ < 420 K), shows almost opposite seasonality in both hemispheres with a pronounced minimum between June and September in the Southern Hemisphere. Second, we decompose the time-tendency of AoA into the contributions of the residual circulation and of eddy mixing by analyzing the zonally averaged tracer continuity equation. In the tropical lower stratosphere between ±30°, the air becomes younger during boreal winter and older during boreal summer. During boreal winter, the decrease of AoA due to tropical upwelling outweighs aging by isentropic mixing. In contrast, weaker isentropic mixing outweighs an even weaker upwelling in boreal summer and fall making the air older during these seasons. Poleward of 60°, the deep branch locally increases AoA and eddy mixing locally decreases AoA with the strongest net decrease during spring. Eddy mixing in the Northern Hemisphere outweighs that in the Southern Hemisphere throughout the year.