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Detecting Ozone- and Greenhouse Gas–Driven Wind Trends with Observational Data

Science  01 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6119, pp. 563-567
DOI: 10.1126/science.1225154

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Abstract

Modeling studies suggest that Antarctic ozone depletion and, to a lesser degree, greenhouse gas (GHG) increase have caused the observed poleward shift in the westerly jet during the austral summer. Similar studies have not been performed previously with observational data because of difficulties in separating the two contributions. By applying a cluster analysis to daily ERA-Interim data, we found two 7- to 11-day wind clusters, one resembling the models' responses to GHG forcing and the other resembling ozone depletion. The trends in the clusters' frequency of occurrence indicate that the ozone contributed about 50% more than GHG toward the jet shift, supporting the modeling results. Moreover, tropical convection apparently plays an important role for the GHG-driven trend.

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