Karin Labitzke and Markus Kunze: Variability in the stratosphere: The sun and the QBO

Posted: October 3, 2015 by tallbloke in climate, solar system dynamics
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Here’s a 2009 paper I missed at the time which shows the ‘top down’ modulation of seasonal weather by changes in solar activity. I think Ren and Stephen Wilde will like this one.



Large effects of solar variability related to the 11-year sunspot cycle (SSC) are seen in the stratosphere, but only if the data are grouped according to the phase of the QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation). New results based on an extended, 66-year long data set fully confirm earlier findings and suggest a significant effect of the SSC on the occurrence of the Major Midwinter Warmings (MMWs) over the Arctic as well as on the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex and on the mean meridional circulation. By means of teleconnections the dynamical interaction between the Arctic and the Tropics in the stratosphere and in the troposphere is shown for the whole data set and compared with the anomalies of single events. The results suggest strongly that during the northern winter the teleconnections between the Arctic and the Tropics were determined by the MMWs and the undisturbed, cold winters, respectively. These events in the stratosphere depend, however, on the 11-year SSC and on the QBO. The stratosphere is least disturbed during the northern summer when the interannual variability is small. And if the different phases of the QBO are introduced, a large solar signal is found in the eastphase of the QBO (more than two standard deviations). It is shown that the QBO not only modulates the solar signal on the decadal scale, but that the QBO is itself modulated by the solar variability.

Full paper here

  1. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Piers has pointed me to Labitzke’s work a few times.

  2. Michele says:

    The physics process (source) that drives the geology and atmosphere is identical but it is unknown.

    Stratospheric Warming events and Solar Cycles


  3. FIGURE 7 in the above study shows how the Sunspot Number ,QBO Phase result in a given Arctic Oscillation most likely phase.

    Great chart to look at.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Mikey likes it too 🙂

  5. Paul Vaughan says:

    I’m glad this discussion came up because it caused me to notice something really simple that I’ve seen pointed out nowhere.

    Annual QBO aliasing has been recorded and it looks like it may be possible to decode it. I’ve only had time for quick preliminary exploration, but it’s 100% crystal clear that the year is aliasing the QBO and that this is steering interannual regional evolution. What further exploration is needed to see if this breaks down into something really simple is unknown. Traditional conventional approaches won’t work on this kind of problem, but I’ve prototyped a method that can see the pattern and I’ll pursue this further should the rare event that I actually have sufficient time arise.

  6. Yes, I do like it.

    The evidence is building up.

  7. ren says:

    We can already see the lock polar vortex over the Bering Strait.

  8. ren says:

    “July for the 30-hPa level (about 24 km): again, the east phase dominates the solar
    signal (upper part of Fig. 15). In addition, the anomalous zonal (west-east) wind in
    the equatorial belt is affected by the solar variability on the decadal scale. At the top
    of the figure anomalously high values (more than two standard deviations, Fig. 1) are
    centered over the equator. This means that an anomalous ridge is centered on the
    equator in the solar maximum east years, connected with anomalous winds from the
    west. Therefore, during solar maxima in QBO/east years the low-latitude east wind
    is weakened, and conversely in the solar minimum years.”