Dependence of Sudden Stratospheric Warmings on Internal and External Drivers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonGeophysical Research Letters. 2020, 47 (5), e2019GL086444 10.1029/2019GL086444
A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is a large-scale disturbance of the wintertime stratosphere, which occurs especially in the Northern Hemisphere. Earlier studies have shown that SSW occurrence depends on atmospheric internal factors and on solar activity. We examine SSW occurrence in northern winters 1957/1958–2016/2017, considering several factors that may affect the SSW occurrence: Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), geomagnetic activity, and solar radiation. We confirm the well-known result that SSWs occur more often in easterly QBO phase than in westerly phase. We show that this difference depends on how the QBO phase is determined. We find that the difference in SSW occurrence between easterly and westerly QBO winters strengthens (weakens) if geomagnetic activity or solar activity is low (high), or if the ENSO is in a cold (warm) phase. In easterly QBO phase significantly more SSWs occur during low geomagnetic activity than high activity.