Mechanisms for tropical upwelling in the stratosphere

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Semeniuk, Kirill ; Shepherd, Theodore G. (2001)

The dynamics of the tropical upwelling branch of the stratospheric Brewer–Dobson circulation are examined, with a particular focus on the role of the middle-atmosphere Hadley circulation. Upwelling is examined in terms of both the diabatic circulation and Lagrangian trajectories using a zonally symmetric balance model. The behavior of the wave-driven circulation in the presence of angular momentum redistribution by the Hadley circulation is also considered. The results of the zonally symmetric model are compared with fields from a middle-atmosphere GCM. It is found that the Hadley circulation makes a significant contribution to annual mean tropical upwelling at the upwelling maximum in the vicinity of the stratopause, and can account for most of the annual mean upwelling seen in the GCM. In the mid- to lower stratosphere, the role of the Hadley circulation is much weaker and wave drag appears to be required to explain the observed upwelling, although the Hadley circulation makes a nonnegligible contribution to the annual cycle of the upwelling. Subtropical wave drag can produce annual mean upwelling through a nonlinear mechanism; viscosity is not required. However, the magnitude of the observed upwelling suggests that wave drag must penetrate quite close to the equator.
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