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March 1998

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Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences



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Atmospheric Sciences | Climate | Meteorology


An equatorial beta-plane model of the middle atmosphere is used to analytically examine the effects of radiative cooling and ozone heating on the spatial and temporal evolution of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Under the assumption that the diabatic heating is weak and the background fields of wind, temperature, and ozone are slowly varying, a perturbation analysis yields expressions describing the vertical spatial modulation of Kelvin and Rossby–gravity waves in the presence of ozone. These expressions show that wave-induced changes in the diabatic heating arising from the advection of basic-state ozone reduce the local radiative damping rate by up to 15% below 35 km. In a one-dimensional model of the QBO, eddy ozone heating increases the amplitude of the zonal wind QBO by 1–2 m s−1 and increases the oscillation period by about two months. The significance of these results to the observed QBO is discussed.


This article originally appeared in Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences in Volume 55, Issue 6 and can be found online at this link.

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