ON THE SPECTRAL DECOMPOSITION OF GEOPOTENTIAL AND TEMPERATURE FIELDS IN THE STRATOSPHERE

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Abstract

Summary

The spectral structure of stratospheric fields (temperature and geopotential) is analyzed in terms of spherical harmonics in an effort to study the long-term behaviour of large-scale circulation patterns, as well as their connections to some extra-terrestrial effects. The daily meteorological data from the Free University Berlin (FUB) cover more or less the period 1976–1996 and are available for stratospheric levels of 50, 30 and 10 hPa. The analysis of the annual cycle of spherical harmonics is introduced, and changes of the principal wave components are compared with the changes in different sets of solar, geomagnetic and global circulation indices. This paper also deals with interannual variability with special emphasis on quasibiennial oscillations (QBO) and El Nino and Southern Oscillations (ENSO).

Although this is a rather preliminary study, the decomposition of the stratospheric field into complex spherical harmonics seems to be a powerful technique in investigating and qualifying the response of the global atmospheric system to the changes in solar and geomagnetic activity, and in qualifying the relationships between large-scale circulation patterns and various oscillations such as QBO or ENSO, Using this technique, reasonable strong connections were found between wave numbers and interannual factors, and these connections were tentatively interpreted in terms of statistics. A very high degree of correlation was found for the four-trough shape of the polar vortex.

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